Many homeowners decide to build a conservatory onto their residence, but when they get into the planning and design of the structure, they find that there is an almost bewildering array of conservatory styles to choose from. However, on closer inspection this long list can be broken down into a few main styles such as Victorian, Lean- to and Edwardian conservatories. There are quite a few others but if you can confine your search to begin with to these main three types you will have plenty of variety to choose from.

Of these three types Edwardian style conservatories are possible the least fussy, the most practical and yet will have a certain elegance. An Edwardian conservatory will not have the decorative trimmings built into the design that a Victorian conservatory will have. It has a simple floor shape, rectangular or square, and will rarely have a corner cut off from this shape, unlike some of its counterparts.

This full use of floor space has various advantages, not least when it comes to placing furniture in the new extension. Many homeowners like the look of a Victorian style sunroom on the plans, but often the limitations in the floor space due to the fact that some corners get removed for design purposes can be irritating.

If you have a large garden this can be overcome by increasing the overall size of the conservatory at the planning stage to allow for the fact that you will need more internal space, but if your garden size or patio area is limited to begin with you may not be able to avail of this option.

An Edwardian conservatory will normally have a flat front with a sloping roof. This can be designed differently if you have an issue with the window heights in your home. A double-hipped conservatory roof will mean that the roof will slope downwards at the rear of the conservatory and therefore drop below the window levels, enabling you to build the conservatory in your desired location.

Victorian conservatories also have their admirers and some of those would say that Edwardian structures are a bit austere and lacking in frivolity and cheer. This may be the case, but when it comes to practicality and proper use of space it is the Edwardian structure that leads the field.

Lean to conservatories are also popular mainly to the fact that they can usually be brought in on a tighter budget, but they can in actual fact be rather plain, as the name 'lean-to' implies. They are however quite simple to build and are often the conservatory of choice for home improvement enthusiasts.

Edwardian conservatories are not without their faults, but if you want a no-nonsense conservatory that 'does what it says on the tin', then you could do worse that give these conservatories your serious consideration.