Conservatories - Styles of conservatory
When it comes to choosing a conservatory, it is helpful to know more about the different materials used for conservatories as well as the various styles of conservatory. It is important to consider the various styles of conservatory as well as the available materials in order to choose the one that best compliments your home.
The Styles of Conservatory
Choosing from among the styles of conservatory can be confusing. Often, the same styles of conservatory will be called by different names by different manufacturers. For example, one manufacturer may refer to a conservatory as a "Lean-To," while another refers to the same style of conservatory as a "Home Extender." Similarly, one manufacturer may refer to a conservatory style as "Victorian," while another calls it "Edwardian" and another refers to it as "Georgian."
To further confuse matters, "Victorian" style conservatories are available with varying numbers of bay sections. Most commonly, they are sold with three section bay fronts, but they can also be purchased with five section bay fronts. Even the terminology for these styles of conservatory are not consistent within the industry, because some manufacturers call three bay fronted conservatories "five side" conservatories and five bay fronted conservatories as "seven sided" conservatories.
Therefore, it is best to be as specific as possible when shopping for a conservatory. For instance, you should tell the manufacturer you are looking for a Victorian conservatory with a pitched roof and a bell end and bay front if that is what you are looking for. If you depend solely on the names the manufacturers provide for the various styles of conservatory, you may not be accurately comparing conservatories from one manufacturer to the next. If the manufacturer isn't willing to discuss these specifics with you, then move on to one who will.
Equally as important as the styles of conservatory is the materials used to make them. The materials used have an effect on the overall look of your conservatory, as well as on its function. There are three primary materials used to make conservatories: PVCu, hardwood, and aluminum.
PVCu is great at insulating the conservatory and also requires very little maintenance. It is easy to find cost less than your other material options. PVCu is most often found in white, but can also be purchased in cherry oak and mahogany woodgrain styles. PVCu is the most popular conservatory material, but it does not have a traditional look to compliment some styles of conservatory.
Hardwood is the best material for traditional styles of conservatory because it looks more authentic than other material choices, though it is also the most expensive. Hardwood does require some maintenance now and again, though high-quality paints and stains make maintenance minimal. Hardwood is available in stains and in painted finishes, so you can choose pretty much any color your like.
Aluminum is similar to PVCu, but it is more expensive and does not insulate the conservatory as well. Aluminum is often the material of choice for commercial conservatories or for styles of conservatory needing extra strength.
No matter what material or style of conservatory you think you would like, it is best to never purchase a conservatory directly from a brochure. If at all possible, visit a center and look at some erected conservatories before making a final decision. This will help you see what the various styles of conservatory look like when completed, which will give you a better idea of which one is best for you.