Wooden Conservatories: Pros, Cons & Costs

Close up off a hardwood timber conservatory

Enjoy your garden all year round within the elegant setting of a wooden conservatory. Hardwood, such as oak, gives conservatories a natural quality that perfectly blends in with the rest of the garden and, thanks to its strength and durability, the occasional small bit of maintenance is more than enough to keep it looking good as new.

Find out the benefits, considerations and costs that come with a wooden conservatory.


 
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When looking to have a wooden conservatory built, there are several types of wood you can choose between, all of which have different aesthetics and benefits. Wooden conservatories tend to be constructed from hardwoods such as oak, sapele, idigbo and iroko.

Oak

Oak is a popular choice across the UK when building a wooden conservatory thanks to being a high-quality hardwood.

Sapele

Sapele is known for its strength; this is an incredibly durable hardwood just like oak and comes with an appealing finish.

Idigbo

Unless you know wood like the back of your hand then you might think that stained idigbo is actually oak. It’s a light wood which makes it easy to work with and is often a cheaper option.

Iroko

Iroko is a very hard wood that can have a very lengthy lifetime, similar to oak. It can be fairly challenging to come across which usually means it will come with a higher price tag.

Mahogany
This is a red wood that over time will eventually weather to a grey colour; mahogany is a strong wood that’s less susceptible to warping than other woods.

Benefits of a Wooden Conservatory

Not only does wood have a visual appeal that’s hard to match, you’ll be able to enjoy many other benefits too:

Aesthetics

The visual appeal of a material often comes down to individual taste but it’s hard to argue with the elegance and charm you get with a wooden conservatory.

Versatile

Unlike other materials, wood can be shaped to your liking, giving you flexibility with the final design of your new conservatory.

Style

The paints and varnishes you can choose from to finish the wood, if you so wish, are almost endless so you can style it to compliment the rest of your home.

Lifetime

Thanks to being a strong and durable material, some types of wood can outlast both uPVC and aluminium in terms of lifetime, but only if maintained properly.

Warranty

As wood is a strong and durable material, you might be able to get a lengthy warranty of between 10-25 years so that you’re well covered after the installation.

Speedy Construction

One of the huge advantages of choosing wood over uPVC or aluminium is that it can be easily adjusted onsite meaning that construction can be relatively quick.

Increase Property Value

By building a wooden conservatory at the back of your home, you’re not only making an investment in your day-to-day life but your property too. Increased living space, especially when it has the charm of a wooden conservatory, could be more appealing to potential buyers.


 
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Types of Wooden Conservatory

Not only can you take your pick of the type of wood, you can choose between several styles to find the right shape for your home and garden.

Victorian

The most familiar conservatory style in the UK, Victorian conservatories have a bay at the end and an angled roof. The windows can go from top to bottom or they can meet some brickwork before reaching the ground.

Benefits of a Victorian conservatory:

  • Look out at your garden from all angles thanks to the bay
  • Design suits traditional and modern homes
  • The angled roof maximises height space, meaning there’s room for a roof fan, perfect for those hot summer days

Lean-to

Lean-to conservatories are a simple rectangular shape. What separates them from other conservatories is a sloping roof which starts high on the brick work of your home and goes down at an angle to meet the far side of the conservatory.

Benefits of a lean-to conservatory:

  • Able to suit just about any property
  • The simple shape means that all available floor space is maximised
  • Tend to be the most cost-effective type of conservatory.

P-shaped Conservatory

Combine the Victorian and Lean-to conservatory styles and you have a P-Shaped conservatory. Look down on the distinctive shape and you’ll see that it forms a ‘P’ (hence the name), with one long room that maximises space and a dome at one end where you’ll get those panoramic views of your garden.

Benefits of a P-shaped conservatory:

  • Distinctive design that gives you the best of other conservatory styles
  • The long part of the conservatory can stretch the width of the home so could be accessible by 2 doors.

Orangery

An orangery sits somewhere between a conventional conservatory and an extension. The windows and doors will be framed with wood and sit underneath a flat roof that has a protruding glass windows in the centre to allow more natural light in.

Having an orangery at the back of your home not only gives you an indoor space that puts your closer to nature but an additional room that can be used for dining, working or just relaxing.

Benefits of an orangery:

  • Almost like having an extension that can be enjoyed all year round
  • Could prove cheaper than an extension
  • Fairly low maintenance
  • Less direct sunlight than a conservatory so it won’t get too hot during the summer.
  • Wooden Doors: Considerations

    Maintenance

    To ensure that you get as much life out of your wooden conservatory as possible the wood will need to be maintained. Any moisture that gets into the wood can lead to rotting so it’s important that the right type of paint is applied; a microporous wood stain is the best choice as it will prevent moisture from getting into the wood to extend its lifetime. It will need to be reapplied every few years so that it can continue to be effective.

    Moisture content

    Take note of the moisture content of the wood you’re considering as the higher this is, the more susceptible the wood will be to warping.

    Cost

    More often than not, hardwood comes at a higher price than other materials such as uPVC and aluminium but keep them maintained and you’ll be able to enjoy them for many years to come.

    Wooden Conservatory Prices

    It’s worth bearing in mind than the additional costs you’ll pay for wood mean that you get a longer investment over the cheaper uPVC.

    You should expect to pay up to £2,500 per square metre for a new conservatory, with the average cost often being around the £30,000 mark. Find out approximately how much you might expect to pay using the table below.

    Conservatory Type Potential Cost
    Lean-to £7,000 – £12,500
    Victorian £11,000 – £16,000
    P-shaped £17,500 – £25,000
    Orangery £25,000 – £40,000

    The potential cost does vary and that’s because there’s several things that can affect the price:

    • Type of wood
    • Style of conservatory
    • Size of the conservatory
    • Installing glass of polycarbonate windows
    • The cost of hiring an installer.

    It’s worth noting that the potential costs in the table don’t include installation, the price of which will vary depending on who you hire to carry out the work. We highly recommend comparing quotes from several installers to give you the greatest chance of finding the best deal.

    Complete one of our simple online forms and you’ll get free quotes from up to 3 trusted installers in your area ready to give you a quote.

    Should I Install a Wooden Conservatory?

    For anyone with the budget, a wooden conservatory is an excellent addition to the home thanks to its elegant charm. They may appear more suited to traditional homes but they can also be an inspired addition to modern homes.

    The strength and durability of wood means that you’ll be making a long term investment that could also help to add value to your home.


     
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