Lean-to Overtakes Victorian as Most Popular Conservatory Style

From Centre Court at Wimbledon to the stunning retractable roof at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, adding roofs which provide the ability to see the sky or add light without the biting British wind and rain is something many homeowners seek to capture with the addition of a conservatory or orangery onto their properties.

For decades, the Victorian-style conservatory has been the most popular choice amongst homeowners – but over the last 12 months, market research shows that’s now changed.

Liniar’s Digital Marketing Manager Simone Sangha explains, “I’ve been researching search trends, starting with the Liniar website page views over the last 12 months – and what I found actually shocked me. Our page for ‘Victorian conservatories’ wasn’t even in the top three of our most-viewed conservatory-type pages. The most popular is now ‘Lean-to conservatories’, which receives nearly four times the amount of views versus the Victorian page, closely followed by ‘Orangeries’.

“To rule out other factors such as navigation, usability and page speed, I turned to Google to see if this was a similar trend over the whole industry. When I compared the volume of traffic found through Google Search using the search terms ‘Lean-to’, ‘Victorian conservatory’ and ‘orangery’ the results confirmed our suspicions: lean-tos and orangeries are now the most preferred option for glazed extensions.”

Cause for Change

There are many factors which have brought about this change. From the state of the economy resulting in homeowners choosing to extend rather than move, the environmental issues facing our planet, a definite change in tastes, to innovative new product development – plus a desire to have more visibility of the outdoors from our properties.


According to a report by the MET Office, the UK’s average temperature has increased nearly a full degree over the last three decades and nine out of ten of the hottest years in the last century have occurred after 2002. Rainfall is also up more than 20% over the last 30 years, creating a ‘perfect storm’ of people wanting to spend more time outdoors, but requiring shelter because of all the rain.


It’s no secret that the living area for UK homeowners is shrinking by the day, so there’s a demand for glazed extensions which let the light into living spaces, but come with a smaller footprint than a larger Victorian or Edwardian conservatory. Enter the lean-to which can be squeezed into smaller areas. Where space is limited, homeowners are choosing add a smaller glazed extension or a glazed roof onto their flat roof extension to bring light into rooms like kitchens and dining areas.

Environmental Wellbeing

Homeowners are much more environmentally conscious than they have been in prior decades. Where space allows, homeowners are growing vegetables and fruits in their gardens, or using their green spaces for compost plots, plants to attract bees, places for butterfly gardens and safe spaces for hedgehogs.

This is where the smaller footprint of a lean-to offers the best of both worlds… the ability to enjoy extra room space whilst keeping a good chunk of the garden for eco-friendly pursuits.


It’s no secret that Brexit uncertainty is having an impact on the UK economy – and in fact may be part of the reason people are choosing smaller conservatories. The downturn in the economy can be felt throughout the industry. The lean-to could be the answer, providing customers with an alternative which won’t break the bank, adds equity to their properties and improves their quality of life.

What does the future hold?

Liniar’s predictions for the future include a move towards more modern, sleek, coloured lean-to conservatories, as well as more orangeries with lantern style roofs and bi-fold doors. More glass and unobstructed views are key, so slim sightlines are essential – and fenestration products with high thermal efficiency are also critical to enable the room to be used all year round.

For more information about the Liniar lean-to conservatory or the Elevate lantern roof for orangeries, visit https://www.liniar.co.uk/conservatories/.


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