In any large, well-appointed house built in the classic style, a conservatory is a welcome addition. Conservatories today are Instagram-worthy luxury garden rooms or extended libraries, a room to entertain summer guests.

When you begin canvassing funds and looking up contractors to create your ultimate conservatory, consider the following to make your planning go smoothly.

Are you Building a Conservatory or Orangery?

Both traditionally provide access to the garden, whether through the views it provides with large windows, or with literal access, with a door to the outside. Those who are looking to move up the housing ranks can use the conservatory to add value to their property. While it doesn’t add to your home’s value as much as a full extension does, a conservatory or orangery can still increase market value and help sell the house faster, especially if it is built on a good location that showcases your yard or garden to maximum effect.

Conservatories are rooms with glazed roofs and walls that incorporate a lot of glass to let the maximum amount of natural light through. Orangeries use more brick or other solid materials for walls and roofing. While they offer more privacy, orangeries have less of a view and offer less sun than a traditional conservatory. On the other hand, the extensive use of glass also means that compared to orangeries, conservatories tend to be colder in the winter, and warmer in the summer.

What Style Do You Want It?

The number of conservatory styles available to you are plentiful. Each type has a different appeal and suitability for the kind of home you have. Some are more adapted for bungalows, while others can be built as detached sun parlors.

Lean-tos or Mediterranean conservatories are most suited for bungalows. Closer to the ground than other types, one of the lean-to’s external walls is connected to the house for support. They can fit into corners better than other styles. The roof is also simplistic as it is comprised of a single-sloped roof.

Edwardian or Gregorian conservatories are shaped like regular rectangular rooms. This shape maximizes floor size. The roof of an Edwardian-style conservatory is usually ridged and have a gables.

Victorian conservatories are probably what most people have in mind when they think of the word. This popular style features a bay front, ornate, ridged roofs, and can be made into T-, P-, or U-shapes to tailor it better to your home. Victorian conservatories look rounded thanks to its faceted walls, which can range from the three to five facets.

Will You Need a Permit to Build It?

woman smelling flowers

Depending on your local building laws, you may need to get a builder’s permit when building your conservatory. Laws vary from state to state. Your contractor would know what permits you will need, but be aware that securing a permit can take anywhere between three to eight weeks, depending on the approval processes your local building authority has in place. This process involves application, processing, site inspection, project valuation (for permit fees), and approval.

Conservatories should fit your budget, needs, and style perfectly. Custom conservatories can be the cornerstone of your home and your private retreat from the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life. Pick carefully what your home needs, and select a good contractor.