The Materials and Detailing of Conservatory Roofs

The Materials and Detailing of Conservatory Roofs

Choosing a conservatory roof is one thing, but on every roof there are details that need to be considered. Crestings and finials are architectural features that are used to make the roof more decorative. They have been around for many years but it was from the Victorian age that architects became obsessed with detailed designs and ornate devices, so in conservatories built from this period onwards crestings and finials have frequently been used with the design of the building. As styles have changed and morphed over the years, these styles are still evident today although with more contemporary conservatories one can either just not use them at all or use then in a minimalist way.

Cresting is the material or finishing that runs along the central ridge of the roof while the finial is the pointed feature that sits at the front of the apex of the roof. Both these features sit on the roof capping and are more ornamental than functional. That said, they were originally designed so that the eye would glance up at the roof but they have also evolved so that they are also used as a devise so that birds to not perch on the roof and then leave a bird-like message on your clean glass. The finial also has a slight practical use in that it can be used as a lightning rod, although today the material used is often the same as the construction material, whether this be wood, cast aluminium or moulded plastic.

This brings us onto what crestings are made of. Most of the time it is similar to the finial and is made of either cast aluminium or moulded plastic. Most aluminium varieties are finished with a polyester based powder coating that leaves a very durable clean surface that is often guaranteed for 10 years depending on the supplier and the price of the cresting. Of course one can always use a moulded plastic cresting and this often comes out cheaper than aluminium. All crestings and finials should be available in a colour to match the paint work of your conservatory.

Crestings and finials come in a variety of designs, typically these are:

– Antique
– Traditional
– Victorian
– Regency
– Fleur-de-lys
– Baroque
– Edwardian
– Elizabethan
– Tudor

Sometimes a roof will have to be constructed of a stronger material like such as lead. Building regulations may stipulate that you construct the conservatory or orangery in a way that does not restrict ladder access to either windows on the first floor or a loft conversion. This will mean you may have to build the conservatory with a partial flat roof to give fire access. In cases like this the builder may also need to get building regulations signed off to prove this point. In addition to fire regulations, if a window in the main building overlooks the conservatory or orangery you will want to consider the design of the roof and its fittings much more closely since they will be visible from this window. If this is the case you might want to consider more expensive materials like lead, zinc or copper. The colours and textures of these metals can add a great deal to the look of your conservatory and change over time, although be prepared because they can also add a substantial amount to the final cost. For this reason we usually recommend synthetic weatherproof materials with a long guarantee.


You might also like …