Glass Conservatory – Prices, Designs & Features
What is a glass conservatory and how is it different from a regular conservatory?
It is commonplace to see a conservatory use a certain amount of solid walling, such as low rise brickwork, stonework or panelling. Of late, however, there is a trend appearing where homeowners are forgoing the use of “dwarf-walls” (as they are known) and using as much glass as possible in their conservatories, even to the extent where the room effectively becomes a “glass-box”
So the, rather obvious difference from a regular conservatory is that a glass conservatory will not use poly-carbonate sheeting or solid tiles and the walls will be glazed from floor to ceiling.
Prices for glass conservatories, with the exception of the “glass-box” style, will be fairly similar to those of a regular conservatory, in some cases a maybe a little lower due to the absence of labour intensive, and pricey, solid brickwork.
How much do glass conservatories cost?
- Lean-to Glass conservatory 3.0m x 3.0m could cost in the region of £7,500 to £10,000
- Victorian Glass conservatory 3.5m x 3.5m could cost in the region of £10,500 to £15,500
- Loggia Glass conservatory 3.5m x 3.5m could cost in the region of £10,000 to £15,000
Types of Glass Conservatory
Your options for design styling is not limited to any particular type of conservatory. The general styling clues of any particular type of conservatory designs are not changed, other than to maximise the use of glass.
So you will be able to use any of the different types of designs such as:
- Victorian, Edwardian, Georgian, Elizabethan or Regency period conservatories
- Gable and Pavilion
- Lean-to, Veranda or Loggia
- Bespoke, such as P-shape, T-shape, L-shape, B-shape.
You also have the choice of which material from which to construct the main conservatory frame.
- Timber conservatories, retain a high level of appeal to homeowners, especially hardwood conservatories, Oak is very popular. The modern alternative option is to use engineered wood for your glass conservatory frame.
- Engineered wood is made from individual lengths of natural wood laminated together in such a way that the wood grain in each layer runs in a different direction. The timber is treated and then cut to suit. The way LSL (laminated strand lumber) is made without a “natural” grain direction, makes it very stable and resistant to movement such as shrinking or expanding, excellent properties for use in a conservatory.
- UPVC conservatories are hugely popular and offer a great combination of competitive pricing, long lifespan and durability – again, excellent properties for using in conservatory frames.
- Aluminium framed glass conservatories can be seen in some of the more striking and unusual designs in the market. Aluminium being so structurally strong compared to uPVC can be used in many situations where UPVC just would not be suitable. This strength also allows for much slimmer frames and longer spans.
Conservatory glazing options
It’s going to be even more important to consider the glazing options for a full glass conservatory as the inside of the room is going to be exposed to the elements, especially direct sunlight.
There are 2 ways to approach this aspect. One is to simply block the light by using blinds or curtains. Most of us like to close the blinds or curtains at night to offer privacy, but during the day, they are very effective ways to reduce heat or cold transfer.
Having said that, surely the main idea of having a glass conservatory is to be able to enjoy its openness. By closing the room off this way, especially during the daytime, it’s simply defeating the purpose of having a glass conservatory in the first place.
The other way to address it is to make use of as many of the energy efficiency features of double (or triple) glazed windows as you can:
- Low-e glass: This is a specially coated glass that can reflect the harmful sunrays, manging both the issues of heat & cold transfer. You can have low-e coatings on one glass pane or both.
- Glass panel separation: As we know, double glazed units have an inner and outer pane of glass. The wider the distance between them, the more energy efficient they become (up to a certain point). A gap of 20mm will give maximum benefit. Allowing for a glass pane thickness of 4mm each, this will make the thickness of the whole double glazed unit 28mm.
- Gas filled sealed units: The gap between the glass panes we mentioned above can also be filled with a heavy inert gas such as Argon. This gas acts as an extra barrier to heat or cold transfer as it has a convection level many times lower than that of “air”.
What are the advantages & disadvantages of a glass conservatory?
The idea of increasing the glass proportion is to increase the levels of incoming natural light and also improve the external view that you get from inside the room.
You may be also getting a price advantage compared to a Dwarf walled conservatory of the same size & style. Adding brick or block to the conservatory has a few cost implications, such as needing extra tradespersons to do the construction work and the cost of the materials.
A full length glass panel can be fitted with much less hassle.
You could also gain an advantage with speed of construction, once again, without having to build dwarf walls the frames of the conservatory can swiftly be fitted to the base of the room.
There are not many, but one is the increased levels of natural light. Ultra-violet & Infra-red light can cause sun-fade of furnishing or heat build-up if not managed – using low-e solar control glass is a good option.
Glass walls are not always as energy efficient as solid walls. Double glazing and Triple glazing go a long way to redress this issue, but you need very good quality A++ rated units to match a solid wall.
Glass box conservatories
One of the designs not on the above list is the very modern home extension that is known as the Glass Box conservatory. This design has gone to the extreme in terms of its use of glass as both a window and a structural material.
A true glass box will have minimalist framing or even not have any “visible” frame like you see in a standard conservatory. The sides and the roof make use of specially made structured architectural glass products – often laminated.
These specially made panels are used in both the sides and roof which are often supported by structural glass beams.
By default, a Glass box conservatory is a highly bespoke creation. Designed to meet the requirements of each client these are ‘high-end’ conservatories and come with a relatively hefty price tag.
In terms of what you can create for this type of conservatory extension, you are really only limited by the imagination and, of course, your budget – but you will need to be thinking in terms of £35,000 to £50,000+
- Here is a nice example shown on the right from https://www.jeffkahane.com/#!/Projects
If you are considering installing a new conservatory and is someone who wants your room to be filled with light and be able to enjoy great views of the outside, then a glass conservatory could be the ideal solution.
We suggest you get a number of quotations from independent specialist conservatory suppliers / installers. Not only will you get accurate prices that you can sit down with and compare, they can also provide invaluable assistance with design ideas and help come up with the perfect room for your home.
All our installers who quote are UK Trade Body Accredited