Conservatories can be a highly rewarding investment, regardless of how old your home is. They create a charming new living space for your indoor environment and are extremely versatile. Conservatories also allow you to raise the value of your home, which is a smart choice if you have any plans to move house in the future.
Georgian conservatories – practical and elegant
Georgian architecture describes the architectural style of the period 1720 – 1840, a time when the United Kingdom experienced significant economic advances with the advent of the Industrial Revolution, when many wealthy merchants built luxurious Georgian mansions.
Originally, it was the Dutch who decided to invent the modern conservatory to protect plants from sub-zero temperatures. The Georgian conservatory is known for its distinctive Greek and Roman features; it is renowned for its attractive cornices and pleasing symmetry, which continue to be popular with many homeowners in the 21st century.
Unlike Victorian mansions, which are more elaborate and possess a rounded shape, Georgian conservatories are modelled on precision and order, along with all the aesthetic advantages of Georgian sophistication and grandeur.
1. Understand Georgian dimensions
Georgian conservatories are known for their square or rectangular shape and feature a high, prominent roof which gives the impression of greater space. Like Georgian houses, they have symmetrical proportions, and are a good companion for a well-landscaped, symmetrical garden. Typically, the maximum projection of a Georgian conservatory is approximately 4 meter by 8 meters, which should provide plenty of room for a new reception area.
2. Choose a full-glass roof
The Georgians had a strong admiration for full-glass roofs in their conservatories because this maximised the amount of available light. The Georgian roof style is also referred to as the ‘Double Hipped Lean-To’ design, which can be relatively cost-effective due to the low maintenance costs involved.
3. Choose the right type of windows
If your period property has single glaze sash windows, you may want to consider building a conservatory that fits in with this style. This will create a more harmonious, consistent design that will help your conservatory become a new focal point for your home.
4. Choose an appropriate level of insulation
In Britain, it is advisable to use low-e double glazing to help retain heat in your conservatory in the colder months. Polycarbonate with a thickness of at least 35mm can also reduce heat loss in the winter and increase heat reflection in the summer months.
5. Don’t choose gutters!
Georgian conservatories were not designed to include gutters. Instead, they simply allow rainwater to fall from the roof, which will subsequently fall onto a bed of gravel surrounding them. If you are determined to make your Georgian conservatory accurately reflect your period home (however pedantic it may seem), this is another point to consider.
Just like any other conservatory, you can choose from a variety of finishes such as rosewood, English oak or cream. You may also want to consider adding other features such as furniture or integral blinds, which you can tailor to your individual preferences.