Conservatories are simple structures that stretch along the back of homes. They are a minimalist way of linking rooms in a home to its outside area and make the most of what’s there. Essentially, conservatories are cheaper extensions with lots of different designs. The one we’re going to discuss in this article is the lean-to conservatory.
What is a lean-to conservatory?
A lean to conservatory is a designed inspired by Mediterranean properties and is an incredibly affordable way of creating a warm room to enjoy when it’s cold outdoors. There are elegant and fit snugly on the back or side of a home. They offer a relaxing place to spend time no matter the weather outside. Contemporary lean-tos have a slanted roof with clean lines and a simple shape that adds extra room in a cost-effective way.
Lean to conservatories, often called Mediterranean conservatories, are often a low maintenance way of making home improvements. They suit both traditional homes as well as new build properties. They’re even suitable for bungalows or terraces that have little room under the eaves.
If you own a terraced or Victorian property, they’re an ideal choice. It’s easy to extend this type of home with a narrow and long lean-to that will integrate seamlessly into your garden.
What do lean to conservatories look like?
Typically, a lean-to conservatory has three fully-glazed sides with a single pane roof. They’re a straightforward shape and can be small or large. Traditionally, the glass roof is angled and flat in order for rain to run off easily. It’s also possible to have a tiled roof and a double-hipped roof.
Like other conservatories, lean-to conservatories can have floor-to-ceiling glass sides or they can be built with a dwarf wall with windows above.
They look great on modern and traditional homes alike.
Easy to install & maintain
Unlike a home extension, lean-to conservatories are easy to install. They are also easy and cost-efficient when it comes to maintenance as their rectangular shape and large windows means they are uncomplicated in terms of conservatory cleaning and repairs further down the line.
Most approved installers will guarantee their installations for a period of time. This is typically around ten years.
Benefits of lean-to conservatories
A lean-to conservatory creates a sun-filled extension with many benefits. These include:
- They’re adaptable to almost all property styles – with slim, simple lines a lean-to style of conservatory suits most homes and the structure is easy to install even in an awkward space. For people who are concerned about space, lean-to conservatories are perfect.
- Cost-effective – these are among the most affordable conservatory types thanks to their simple structure. Their design means their maintenance costs and installation costs are much lower.
- They add space – with their larger footprint, lean-to conservatories provide maximum space year round. You can use it as a dining room, reading room, office, playroom, or anything else you can think of.
- Maximise light – since there is lots of glass, your home will be bathed in much more natural light. There is a reason that a conservatory can also be called a Mediterranean sunroom! More sunlight in a highly-insulated conservatory creates a natural warmth too.
- Increase the value of your home – a new conservatory can increase the value of your property by up to 9%, which makes it a worthwhile investment.
- When enjoying your garden via your conservatory, you won’t feel fully disconnected from your home.
Lean-to conservatory – conservatory styles
There are so many style choices for lean-to conservatories that it can be quite difficult to choose the perfect space! Even a modest design can improve your living space.
Even though a lean-to is a style in itself there are many customisation options. You can choose whether to go fully-glazed, have a dwarf wall, have a 3/4 wall on one side, have a simple roof, a sloping roof or a solid roof like a tiled roof. Tiled roofs are not commonly seen though when looking at the different roofing systems and styles, but are still possible. There are also lots of colour options and a choice of conservatory doors too, including French doors.
Lean-to conservatory features and designs
The first obvious feature of this conservatory compared to other styles is that it looks as though it leans against the house. This type of conservatory is great for its simplicity.
Typically, there are only two designs – one with brickwork and one without. If your conservatory lean to design has a brick wall at the base, it is a dwarf wall lean-to conservatory. If it doesn’t, it is an all-glazed lean-to conservatory. Bear in mind that a dwarf wall increases the costs.
Another type of lean-to conservatory that is popular in Britain is the veranda conservatory. This is also an easy build. With this slanted roof system, the front edge of the roof is extended, which means the space outside the door is protected. Essentially, it’s a more weatherproof design allowing people to enjoy being outside without getting wet if it’s raining.
How much do lean-to conservatories cost?
It’s difficult to put a price on a conservatory because they are all different depending on size, materials and features. However, no matter the cost of a conservatory, if it is well-built it could potentially add a lot to the value of your property, making it a fantastic return on investment.
Even if you think you can’t afford it, there are lots of finance options available for lean-to conservatories, which would allow you to pay in monthly instalments.
Do you need permission for a lean-to conservatory?
Most of the time, this type of home modification does not require planning permission or assessment for building regulations. There are some specific guidelines that will help you decide whether this is something you need (although the designers and installers will be thoroughly knowledgeable to advise you.
No planning permission required for a lean-to conservatory if:
- The new conservatory is no longer than 8m on a detached house
- The new conservatory is no longer than 6m on a terraced or semi-detached house
- The property isn’t a listed building
- The property isn’t a site of specific interest, on designated land, or in a conservation area
- there is no ‘Article 4 Direction’ in place by the Local Authority to restrict developments in the area (i.e. you PDR – Permitted Development Rights – remain in place)
- The roof of the lean-to does not surpass the existing roof and is less than 4m from the ground
- There are no raised platforms, verandas or balconies
- It is a separate room, accessed from the main property via a door
You need to be aware, however, that these are the rules for England (there are different rules elsewhere in the United Kingdom). Also, these guidelines are only applicable to houses. There are separate planning permission rules for converted houses, maisonettes, and flats.
In summary, these conservatories are:
- Low cost
- Require little maintenance
- Have safety glazing windows
- Can be in a range of colours
- Can be constructed out of uPVC