Types of Conservatory

The Different Types of Conservatory

If you’re thinking about a new conservatory, you might be wondering what are the different types of conservatory and which would be best for you.

Conservatory glass roof

Adding a new conservatory to your home can feel like a daunting task, but once you understand the differences you can comfortably make the right choices for your needs.

To help you, we’ve listed the main types of conservatory below with their advantages and which property style they suit the best.

What are the different types of conservatories?

There are four main types of conservatory and all other types are varieties of these core styles.

Lean-to Conservatory

The style of conservatory that is most like the original Mediterranean sunrooms. A lean-to conservatory is elegantly simple with clean lines.

Even though lean-tos are the most affordable option, this doesn’t mean that they lack style or quality. In fact, some lean-to conservatories can make dramatic statements adding a contemporary glass structure to a home.

The style of the lean-to is best described by the roof shape that slopes away from the house. The height and length of the roof can add varying degrees of style and character.

Lean-tos are very versatile and can be styled with a variety of options to make them unique. They are well-suited to properties that have a low roofline or a small outdoor space. Lean-to conservatories work well with bungalows.

At Everest, a lean-to is the same as our ‘Cheltenham’ style.

Victorian Conservatory

When you think of a classic traditional conservatory, it’s most likely to be a Victorian style.

The Victorian conservatory is a direct descendent of the original ornate glass structures that were introduced to Britain in the late 1800s.

Highly decorative with an ornate gothic style, the Victorian has an apex roofline that usually features crests and spike finials.

Where other conservatory styles are flat-fronted across, the Victorian features a rounded front. Not unlike an extended bay window, the Victorian roof has a faceted front. This bay window effect allows for maximum views of the outside and makes the internal space feel considerably spacious.

The Victorian conservatory is perfect for a traditional style house. It does need a property with enough roofline height and might not be the best choice for a bungalow or a new-build modern house.

Edwardian Conservatory

An Edwardian conservatory is rather grand and has a styling that sits between an orangery and the traditional Victorian style.

The main difference between the Victorian and Edwardian is the Victorian style is rounded at the front and the Edwardian is square or rectangle. The rectangular shape maximises available space and can add considerable living space to your home.

The styling on the Edwardian is more subdued with a less ornate finish than the Victorian for those who prefer the subtle style reminiscent of the Edwardian era.

The Edwardian conservatory roof forms a central apex that can feature a central orangery style lantern if combined with a hybrid roof. This classic style suits a traditional style house with enough roof height to accommodate.

Hip-back Edwardian (or double-hip) has four roof facets that form an apex to look like a separate roof to the house. The hip-back is well-suited for a house with a low roofline or a bungalow.


Technically an orangery is not a conservatory but a hybrid brick-based structure with large windows and a flat roof with a glass lantern.

The traditional orangery has large tall windows on one side (south-facing) and is made from stone or brick. The roof is flat with a central glass lantern and wooden shutters on the windows to retain heat at night.

The main difference between a conservatory and orangery is the amount of glass used in the structure. A conservatory is defined as having walls with more than 50% glass and an orangery has less than 50%.

Orangeries are often considered as a type of conservatory, but a true orangery is a grand and elegant building, often separate from the main house.

Everest doesn't sell orangeries, but an Edwardian conservatory with a hybrid roof would offer the same elegant styling.

Create your perfect light-filled living space

When you choose an Everest conservatory you're getting an expert team to help you with a full end-to-end conservatory advice and design service

Types of conservatory overview

Conservatory TypeSuited toAdvantagesDisadvantages
Lean-toAny property, low rooflinesAffordable, modern, versatileNot as suited to traditional houses
VictorianTraditional propertiesTraditional style, maximum viewsNot for low rooflines
EdwardianTraditional propertiesElegant style, maximises spaceNot for low rooflines
OrangeryTraditional propertiesAdds grandeur and value, better climate controlMore expensive

Types of conservatory glass

When thinking about the style of your new conservatory, there are also different types of glass options that are suitable for different requirements:

  • Standard glass
    The standard glass for a conservatory is double glazed (as required by Building Regulations). Everest double glazing is rated A+ as standard and you should only install a minimum rating of A – watch out for cheap conservatories using B rated standard glass.
  • Self-cleaning glass
    Everest self-cleaning glass has an outer coating of titanium dioxide which reacts with water molecules in the atmosphere to break down dirt on the surface of the glass, which then gets washed away by the rain.
    The coating can stop slightly less light coming through the window but otherwise looks the same as standard glass.
  • Low-E glass
    Low-E glass has a reflective layer applied to the outside of the glass that can deflect up to 80% of the sun's heat and help to alleviate the ‘greenhouse effect’. On the inside, the coating stops heat from escaping, creating a warmer space in winter and cooler in summer.
    Recommended for conservatories that face south or south west.
  • Noise reduction glass
    Everest specialist noise reducing glass has a polymer coating on one pane of glass that disrupts the soundwaves to lessen the transfer of the sound energy as it passes through the glass.
    Noise reduction glass can make a big difference in reducing the noise from a road or neighbours. But realistically will not remove the transfer of all sounds.

Types of conservatory roof

The type of roof you choose for your conservatory can have a considerable effect on the look and feel of the new space.

By choosing a different type of roof, you can tailor your conservatory space to your needs and create a bespoke space right for you.

  • Glass
    The traditional style of conservatory roof that allows the maximum light into the space. Consider that for south and south west facing structures, you might need roof blinds for climate control.
  • Hybrid
    If you want to create a light-filled space but also want better climate control a hybrid roof is the perfect balance to create a contemporary space. A combination of solid panels and glass panels you can create your own bespoke roof that allows light in controlled areas.
  • Tiled
    If you want a structure that is more like an extended living space then a solid tiled roof will offer better heat retention and stop the space from overheating in summer months.

Read more about the different types of conservatory roofs here.

Before you choose a conservatory, think about how you want to use the space

The starting point when thinking about a new conservatory is to always consider what your specific needs are.

How you want to use the space should determine the choices you do make:

  • A classic light-filled sunroom for reading
  • A kitchen diner extension to your home
  • A contemporary dining room and space for entertaining
  • A space to relax and enjoy views of the garden

We recommend speaking to an expert who can help you to design the perfect space for your needs by combining the variety of options that are available for a conservatory.

At Everest, we have an expert team who can help you bring your vision to life and offer an end-to-end service of design, planning to installation. Contact us to get a non-obligation quote and discuss your options with our helpful team.

Conservatory FAQs

  • +
    Is a conservatory cheaper than an extension?
    A basic conservatory is a cheaper and more affordable option than an extension to add more space to your home. However, a conservatory won’t add the same value to a property that a full extension will.
  • +
    What is the difference between an orangery and a conservatory?
    An Orangery is defined as a brick structure with large windows, a flat roof and a glass lantern. The wall of an orangery is usually under 50% glass and a conservatory is over 50% glass. A conservatory is a glass structure with a pitched roof of over 75% glass.
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    What is the difference between an Edwardian and Victorian conservatory?
    The main difference between a Victorian conservatory and an Edwardian conservatory is that the latter is square or rectangular with a flat front, whilst the Victorian conservatory has a rounded front and more detail giving you extra living space with a strong sense of grandeur.
    The most defining traits of Victorian conservatories are a rounded multi-faceted front, a high-pitched roof and heavy ornamentation, with sharp edges and extravagant detailing found all over the ridges and roof.
    An Edwardian conservatory is a classic style very similar to a Victorian conservatory but less ornate and with more subdued lines. Edwardian conservatories are an ideal choice because they maximise the amount of available floor space due to their bold, symmetry square or rectangular shape.

Tell us about your dream conservatory and we'll make it happen

Whether you want a modern lean to conservatory or a historic Victorian conservatory design, we know what it takes to bring your dream conservatory to life. See our full range of conservatories.