Conservatories are often grouped or referred to, by the design of their roofs as this is the component of a conservatory that often defines its character the most. There are 5 main types of roofs that encompass all conservatories:
Mono-pitch / Lean-to
Some conservatories may include 2 or more of these roofs in the same design.
Plain hipped roofs were very popular in Georgian times where the front facades of buildings were grand and bold and the roof took a very subtle role.
The Victorians also used hipped roofs, but in quite a different way. They often designed faceted bays which required a faceted hipped roof, and unlike the Georgians they often made the height of the roof a feature – the bigger the better.
Gabled roofs are found on all styles of buildings. The Georgians used them over porticos and entrances, but again quite small and subtle. The Victorians designed very large and bold gables with ornate designs in the barge boards and in the gable itself.
Mono-Pitch / Lean-To
This is the most simple of roofs and unfairly treated in recent years. The plastic double glazing industry has almost destroyed the name ‘Lean-to conservatory’ which now seems to mean ‘little white box with no roof’. The Lean-to roof has been used for centuries to design some of the most beautiful horticultural conservatories in the country and truly deserves its place in the Conservatory Industry.
Well constructed flat roofs form a vital part in the artillery of the designer. Bespoke conservatory design often requires flat roof areas to overcome design challenges where roof lines conflict.
The modern flat roof, with its vapour layers, insulation, decking and GRP or lead finishes really has advanced from the days of 4 x 2 softwood and some felt!
A lantern roof refers to a ‘roof within a roof’ This may form a glass area within a flat roof – a design feature of the contemporary orangery – or a glass roof within a larger glass roof, creating a very large and decorative vaulted conservatory roof.
Deciding which design will look best on your home and complement it best, is one of the most important decisions to get right. Having some professional guidance at this stage can make the difference between a stunning room and one that will enhance your property and increase its value, or a conservatory that doesn’t get used to its full potential and looks ‘odd’, and can even reduce the value of your home.