Your Guide To Planning a Conservatory

Deciding to expand your home and invest in a conservatory is an exciting time. Yet, with so many ideas floating around your head, it can be difficult to know where to start.

Careful planning and thoughtful design will ensure that you create a space that is functional for everyone using it, all the while creating an aesthetic that blends in with the style of your home.

Richard Thomas has been expanding and improving homes since 2008, and in our 15 years, we have built up an understanding of everything that needs to be considered when planning and designing a conservatory.

In this blog, we run through the process and considerations you should make when planning your conservatory.

pshaped conservatory

Decide The Type of Conservatory

There are five types of conservatories available, all of which have a different look and feel to them.

The first step of any conservatory journey will be to decide which style you would like. Whether you are looking for a classic and ornate Victorian Conservatory or something a bit more modern with an Edwardian Conservatory, the five styles offer choice and variety, so you can find a shape and style that will suit your needs.

Determine A Use

Before moving on any further, now is a good time to solidify your intentions for the space. This is because it will dictate many of the design options going forward, such as the placement of windows and doors or even electrical points.

Conservatories are versatile spaces and can be used in many different ways, so think about what your needs are.

Ask yourself:

  • What was it that made me decide to invest in a conservatory?
  • Who will use this room the most?
  • What will they likely be using it for?

With these two basic yet fundamental decisions made, it is time to start planning some of the other details of your conservatory.

edwardian conservatory


While the shape of your conservatory is likely to be determined by the style you are going for, the size is yet to be set.

This is a consideration you need to make early on, as it will impact the rest of the design and planning stages.

The size of the conservatory will also determine whether or not you need to apply for planning permission before you start building.

Framing Materials

There are a number of different materials that can be used for the frame of a conservatory. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks.

Aluminium with thermal breaks for enhanced heat insulation is gaining popularity thanks to the variety of colours it is available in.

The most common material used for conservatory frames is UPVC because it is easy to maintain and has a long life expectancy.

Wood is another choice that you often see for conservatory structures because it offers a natural look.

Interior Materials

The materials that you choose for the interior of your conservatory will most likely be steered by the use of the space.

If you are planning on using it as a halfway house between outside in the garden and inside the house, you might want a more natural look, with tiled floors, outdoor furniture and bare brick walls.

However, if you are looking to extend your house, you will probably want plastered walls that can be painted, carpets or hardwood flooring and soft furnishings.

Roofing and Glazing

Thermal efficiency is going to be key to ensuring you can use this space all year round.

Double-glazing is a must for all new buildings these days, so that isn’t really a question. However, you might want to consider triple-glazing for additional insulation.

Moreover, glass conservatory roofs are now not the only option. These are incredibly inefficient, creating the dreaded sauna room in summer and freezer in winter. Research alternative options such as solid roofing.

Doors and Windows

Traditionally, a conservatory will mostly be constructed of windows, with a door placed somewhere for easy access to the garden.

You will need to decide where you want the door and what type of door you want – bi-folding doors, sliding doors or a single door.

Additionally, consider the type of window you want, as this will impact the look and feel of the space.


Ventilation is an integral part of any building as it prevents condensation and mould.

Most roofing solutions will include a form of ventilation, such as trickle ventilation, but this is still something to consider and query as you move through the design process for your conservatory.

Get Started with Richard Thomas

At Richard Thomas, our team are experts at designing and fitting conservatories for clients in and around Dorset, Hampshire and Wiltshire.

We use the Ultraframe Hup! System that allows us and our clients full control over the design and layout of their conservatory, extension or orangery.

After you have reached out to us, we will visit your home to complete a site survey. At this visit, our expert will sit with you to design your dream space on our CAD system, enabling you to see a 3D drawing that brings your vision to life.

Throughout this process, our expert will guide you through the process and considerations above, helping you make informed decisions to create a functional, comfortable space.

Looking to extend your home with a conservatory? Get in touch with our friendly team today.

Call us on 01202 488944 or complete our online contact form, and we will call you back as soon as possible.

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