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Fleming Verandas – Glass Rooms, Verandas and Awnings  

When it comes to choosing between a veranda and a conservatory, it can be a difficult decision. They are both popular options, increasing the value of your home and enhancing your outdoor aesthetic, impressing friends and family alike. Conservatories are the more ‘traditional’ option – once you have eliminated a home extension – and their designs are still considered quite stylish. Verandas, however, are a more contemporary and elegant solution to outdoor living.

But what are the key differences, and which one should you choose? Let’s have a look at some of the pros and cons!

What is a conservatory?

A conservatory is a small building typically attached to the side or rear of a property that can be used for a variety of purposes. They normally consist of low-level brick walls set onto a concrete pad, with framed glazing above them. Conservatories are often made primarily from glass and a uPVC frame, though polycarbonate options are available from some suppliers. Glass allows the maximum amount of natural light to enter the conservatory, while a sloped or curved roof optimises the Sun’s position throughout the day. Available in several unique designs, each has their unique aesthetic and benefits. These include the Edwardian, the Lean-to, the Victorian and the Gable End.

In the UK, a conservatory is legally defined as a structure that has glazing for at least 50% of its side wall, including the doors and windows, and at least 75% of its roof must use polycarbonate or glass inside the uPVC framework.

Conservatory Pros:

Conservatories first became popular during the 1970s and 1980s as a cheaper alternative to getting a home extension. Unfortunately, poor temperature control meant that conservatories installed across the country became stylish storage spaces as they were unusable during the winter and summer. The designs haven’t changed much since they first became popular, and they aren’t quite as desirable as they once were. Nonetheless, there are still some benefits to having a conservatory.

1 – Additional Indoor Living Space

Conservatories are a great way to create an additional living space fit for any purpose, from relaxing to dining and entertainment. It enables you to spend time in the garden without being subjected to the unpredictable elements of the British summer, allowing to bask in the abundance of natural light they permit, on those rare days where we get uninterrupted sunshine. However, it is worth noting that this abundance of natural light means that conservatories can easily become too hot during the summer, even on the more temperate days they can feel very uncomfortable, almost claustrophobic. Similarly, they can become too cold during winter, thereby making them unusable for several months of the year.

2 – Cheaper than a Home Extension

Conservatories remain a cheaper alternative to the traditional home extension, offering many of the same benefits and serving a very similar purpose.  Conservatories are actually classed as a ‘permitted development’, meaning that they may not require planning permission if they meet the regulations. The price difference between them is significant. A basic extension can cost at between £36,000 and £44,000 for a 20 square-metre space (source), whereas costs for a UPVC lean-to conservatory can start around £13,950, reaching up to £26,650. The Victorian and Edwardian conservatories can cost around 25% more than the lean-to models (source).

Conservatory Cons:

While conservatories have their benefits, they do have their drawbacks, especially when compared to an extension or a veranda. Here are a few that are worth considering:

1 – Temperature Control

Temperature remains as one of the most common customer complaints, as any extremes of weather during winter or summer can make them unusable, or extremely uncomfortable. Depending on their design, some conservatories may not have the glazing or insulation needed to properly regulate the temperature in the same way an extension does, and they cannot be completely opened like a glass room, or a garden veranda can be. Some conservatories can have special windows put in to regulate the temperature, but these are quite inefficient, and trying to manage the temperature with heaters or air conditioners is an option that likely put a sharp increase on your household energy bills.

When you consider the overall cost, combined with the hassle of arranging its construction, and then dealing with the contractors for weeks, or even months, it can take to complete, a conservatory may not be a worthwhile investment for your time, your money, or your energy.

2 – Obstructed Garden View.

Conservatories are not considered outdoor seating areas in the same way a veranda is, and your ability to open it up for a clearer view, or to create a more aerated space, are quite limited. The windows at the sides are limited in how far they can open, and the framework can also obstruct your garden view. Most people with a conservatory will still have a patio area where they can enjoy a summer breeze or an unobstructed view of their garden. Unlike a conservatory, a veranda is designed to have a minimal frame, while maximising comfort and providing an unobstructed view.

Our customer Elaine had an existing conservatory, then purchased a veranda to cover her patio area. Take a look at her installation here.

3 – A Dated Aesthetic

While they do possess elements of style, and they are considered the more traditional option, there has been no real chance in conservatory designs since they first rose to popularity. Their selection is quite limited, with only the Edwardian, Victorian, Lean-to and Gable-End available with either a glass or polycarbonate roof. These can look quite dated, particularly on a modern property, or a new-build, especially with a polycarbonate roof. Polycarbonate requires more frequent cleaning, and it can get dirty quite easily. Conservatories are often restricted to set sizes, whereas a veranda offers far more flexibility and can be more easily customized to suit your needs.

What is a veranda?

A veranda is a stylish, contemporary garden structure that enhances indoor-outdoor connectivity and provides a luxurious multi-purpose outdoor room. They are available as either a freestanding or lean-to model that can be attached to the rear of a property, with the option to either fix the posts to your existing patio or concrete them into the ground. They require much less time to erect, and can be put within a handful of days. Verandas can be open concept, with either a glass or polycarbonate roof to provide shelter and shade, or they can be partially- or fully-enclosed with a wide range of fixed panel systems and sliding glass doors to create a luxurious garden room for you to enjoy.

Veranda Pros:

Fleming Verandas fits our glass rooms and glass garden verandas with 8.8mm laminated glass that conforms with industry guidelines and standards, offering premium-quality, strength, and security. Polycarbonate is just as durable, available in opal, bronze, and clear, with a 16mm triple-wall profile. The frames are powder-coated aluminium, resistant to rusting, weathering, or aging, with integrated guttering that is engineered into the front profile and the legs.

As a more contemporary option for outdoor living, a veranda offers many benefits to homeowners.

1 – Bespoke and Versatile Structures

A veranda offers far more flexibility and customisation options than a conservatory. They can be used for a wide variety of purposes, from al-fresco dining to entertaining family and friends, or enjoying a quiet morning coffee. They can be structured to suit your needs, and your garden’s layout, as there is no ‘standard’ design or layout as there is with a conservatory. Their modular nature means they can be added to, or fully enclosed, at any point after the veranda roof is put up, whereas the others have to be erected in one go. They can be made entirely transparent through the use of glass on every face, or if privacy or UV exposure is a concern, then opal or bronze polycarbonate permits light into the structure while protecting you from the sun’s rays. Louvered roof systems offer a luxury method of creating an entirely open space, which you can retract back as far as you choose. Some verandas are even made-to-measure, as opposed to being purely in set sizes, eliminating any concerns about dropping down to the next best size, or if it needs to be cut down to size on site.

2 – Increasing Property Values

Investing in a garden veranda is investing in your property. Outdoor living has become more popular among UK buyers in the last few years, and a polycarbonate or glass veranda offers many benefits to the homeowner, or equally, many incentives to a buyer. Not only does it increase the overall square footage, a stylish, well-designed veranda will enhance your home’s architectural appeal and garden aesthetic. They are an attractive feature that will help your home stand apart from similar properties currently on the market, and is certain to generate interest with any potential buyer. Research has shown that the addition of a glass room or garden veranda can increase a property’s overall value by as much as 10%, making it a wise investment for the future.

3 – Connecting Indoors and Outdoors

One of the major benefits of a veranda is the way it can connect indoor and outdoor living spaces. A veranda encourages you to spend more time outdoors, while providing the comfort and convenience of an indoor space. Whether you want to enclose it for year-round use, or keep it as an open concept space ideal for the summer months, a veranda will extend your overall living space, and will create a seamless transition between the outdoors and indoors.

Veranda Cons:

1 – Temperature Control

Glass or polycarbonate verandas are best enjoyed in good weather, but temperature control can be a problem. Like a conservatory, they are not an insulated product, however it is much easier to solve it in a veranda. Whether it is the height of summer, or the dead of winter, you can simply open it up to create a cooling breeze, or switch on a portable heater to create a comfortable indoor temperature.

Veranda vs Conservatory: A Summary

Conservatories have declined in popularity over the last two decades. These ‘home extensions’ were considered a stylish and highly fashionable means of extending your living space without the cost of a traditional extension. However, flaws in the design made them difficult during summer and winter, and there hasn’t been much change since they first rose to popularity.

Verandas offer a very different, more contemporary, and versatile method of extending your outdoor living space. Their bespoke nature and staggering array of design options make them ideal for almost any property, allowing you to create a stylish indoor-outdoor seating area, entertainment space, or a dining area without the hassle. Despite the fact verandas are subject to temperatures, they are not as extreme, and you’ll have much more flexibility in how you can manage it.


Ultimately, the decision whether to have a veranda or a conservatory comes down to your personal preference, and what you are looking to get from your outdoor living space. Both have their unique benefits and drawbacks, and it always pays to do a bit of research to help make that decision. Once the decision is made, you can sit back, relax, and look forward to the beautiful, functional outdoor living space that you will be able to enjoy for years to come.

Having trouble with this decision? Why not visit our YouTube channel and see some examples of our veranda installations? At Fleming Verandas, we supply and install bespoke glass rooms and garden verandas across the UK, and our team are more than happy to answer any questions you may have, and to provide honest, impartial advice on what may best suit your outdoor space.

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