Thinking of adding a conservatory to extend your house? We look at what you need to know before choosing, buying and building a conservatory.
Adding a conservatory to your home is a big home improvements project which is why there are many questions you need to ask yourself before considering extending your home with a conservatory. We have compiled some of the most frequently asked questions pertaining to conservatories that every homeowner needs to ask themselves before buying and building a conservatory.
Frequently Asked Questions About Conservatories
Simply click the relevant image below to go striaght to the question that is most relevant to you.
What Are The Best Windows, Doors Or Roof For A Conservatory?
Carefully plan your conservatory build, know which doors, windows and roof is best suited to your needs.
What Is The Best Flooring For A Conservatory?
There are many types of conservatory flooring, find out which best suits your project.
What Glass Should Be Used In A Conservatory?
Did you know that there are different types of glass you can choose for your conservatory?
What Are The Planning Rules For Conservatories?
In 2019 new planning rules allowed conservatories to be built under permitted builds if they meet a specific criteria.
Where Is The Best Place To Buy A Conservatory From?
There are many places that you can buy a conservatory from, even large DIY stores supply and sometimes install conservatories, but that doesn’t mean you should buy one from there.
National Window companies such as Everest, Anglian and up until recently Safestyle all sell conservatories, again this doesn’t mean you should buy one from them.
We strongly recommend shopping around, check out local suppliers and installers as you will most likely get a better deal and a higher standard of finish. Always where possible get three quotes, trust your instincts when you meet someone for a consultation, ask questions and take notes.
Who Should You Choose To Supply & Install A Conservatory?
Word of mouth is the best form of advertising and reference. It can be the best way of choosing a reliable company to supply and install a conservatory.
Ask friends, family and neighbours for recommendations of conservatory companies but avoid builders and jack of all trades.
Most reputable conservatory suppliers offer a start-to-finish service for conservatory installations. Get at least three quotes from different companies, this gives you a price comparison, but keep in mind cheapest isn’t usually the best.
Do your homework, research companies before requesting a quote, check online reviews on Google, this is the most reliable source of genuine reviews.
Use the consultation to get to know some background information about the company, ask questions about things like the guarantee, lead times and how long the installation will take.
Take physical notes, write everything down, even compile a list of questions you can ask during your initial consultation, you can compare the notes after getting quotes from different companies, don’t just go with the cheapest quote.
Ask about a companies accreditations, are they a member of the Federation of Master Builders, are they TrustMark Governement endorsed, do they have a FENSA registration? Having these sorts of accrediations will offer you peace of mind that you are dealing with a reputable company.
What Style Of Conservatory Should You Choose?
There are many different styles of conservatory to choose from, some more suitable for certain types of buildings than others. Carefully planning a conservatory will help you get the most out of the room whilst enhancing the look of your property.
What Are The Benefits Of Adding A Conservatory To Your Home
The most obvious benefit of adding a conservatory to your home is the extra space and lets face it, it’s always good to have some extra space. Adding a well built and perfectly designed conservatory will add value to your home, how much value would depend on the type of conservatory you go for. A glass extension for instance could add up to 6% overall value to your home, whilst simply adding a solid roof could add upto 12% overall value to your home, choosing the right materials is hugely important.
As well as extra space and the monetary value a conservatory can add to your home a well designed conservatory can add value to your lifestyle. Conservatories can be used to create extra dining space, extend a kitchen, a room for entertaining guests, even housing a hot tub.
How Much Does A Conservatory Cost?
There are many variables that will affect how much is costs to build a conservatory, the size, shape and materials will all make a difference to the price.
A small conservatory with a simple lean too design and a polycarbonate roof would be the least expensive option.
At the bottom end of the scale you should expect to pay anywhere from £5,000.00 upwards.
The top end of the scale could see a conservatory costing as much as £40,000.00
This is why it is crucial to carefully plan your conservatory project and choose a size and the materials to suit your needs, your style of home and of course your budget.
When choosing a conservatory supplier and installer, always get three quotes but remember, cheapest isn’t always the best option!
Does A Conservatory Installation Add Value To Your Home?
A conservatory can add or detract from the value of your home. Property experts claim that a carefully planned and well constructed glass conservatory can add around six or seven percent to the overall value of your home.
A conservatory with a solid roof can add over 13 percent value to your home.
As you can see, it’s important to choose your conservatory design carefully, an aesthetically pleasing build that blends in with the rest of your home will obviously add more value than a conservatory that looks like it’s just been tacked on to your home as an afterthought.
You should also consider whether building a conservatory will negatively impact the garden by making it smaller. It would not be wise to use valuable parking space for instance to add a conservatory.
What Materials Are Best For Building A Conservatory?
Years ago conservatories were constructed from hardwood timber – but the call for this material these days is rare.
The modern materials of choice are uPVC and Aluminium, both of these materials are strong, energy efficient and can be recycled.
When choosing uPVC for the framework, you can choose a foiled product which will allow a choice of colours and a woodgrain effect.
Aluminium conservatory structures are more often used for conservatory builds in conservation areas.
What Are The Heating Regulations For Conservatories?
In order to comply with building regulations a conservatory must have an independent heating system with its own control system that operates separately to the rest of the house.
Older conservatories get too hot or too cold depending on the season which is why a lot of homeowners are now converting their conservatories to extensions with replacement conservatory roofs that are either solid or tiled. If a glass roof is preferred then a decent heating system and sufficient ventilation are most certainly required in order to use the conservatory for most of the year.
There are many ways to make your conservatory warmer during the winter, such as using electric heaters, underfloor heating, and even central heating. If you choose to use central heating you will need to contact your local planning office.
Keeping a conservatory warm in the winter is actually easier than trying to keep it cool in the summer if you have a glass or polycarbonate roof. With the right furnishings, the addition of blinds and some other tips on how to keep you conservatory cool in the summer it is achievable.
What Are The Best Doors, Windows & Roofs For A Conservatory?
The doors between your home and the adjoining conservatory must be external grade doors & meet the same requirements of any other exterior door on your property, if you wish to remove the doors or install internal grade doors you must seek planning permission.
For conservatories in conservation areas, timber or aluminium windows and doors should be used, for builds with no restrictions the type of windows and doors used comes down to taste, needs and preference.
When choosing the windows, doors & roof for your conservatory, give careful consideration to what the room will be used for, the aesthetics and the style best suited to your home.
Most conservatory supply and installation companies will offer advice on the best windows, doors and roof for your home improvements project.
Smaller conservatories benefit from patio sliding doors between the house and the conservatory, this kind of setup does not encroach into the limited space of a smaller build.
Aluminium windows offer a stronger frame and slimmer sightlines, perfect for homeowners looking to enhance the views from the conservatory.
Timber windows are well suited to homes that are situated in areas of natural beauty, or conservation areas, or to match the look of a period home.
The choice of roof would depend on what the room would be used for, how the roof would fit with the exisiting building and budget, solid roofs are more expensive than a glass roof but will add more value to your home and create a room that can be used all year round without being too hot or too cold.
What Is The Best Flooring To Use In A Conservatory?
There are many types of flooring to choose from for your conservatory, the best type of flooring for a conservatory would depend on the style of conservatory, which direction it faces and what you use the room for.
If your conservatory is south facing it will naturally attract more sunlight, we would recommend using ceramic tiles or stone flooring for south facing builds.
Glazed ceramic or granite tiles are the perfect choice if you plan to extend your kitchen or dining area into your conservatory; they are both hard wearing and resistant to liquids.
For all other conservatory builds you have a choice of laminate flooring, Karndean, lino or carpet, what you use the extra space for would have a strong bearing on the type of floor covering you choose.
What Glass Is Best For A Conservatory?
Modern conservatories use double or triple glazing to meet energy efficiency standards. High performance glass roofs have a choice of tints, self cleaning and colours. Conservatory doors must provide a means of escape in case of fire and the windows must provide sufficient ventilation.
Self cleaning glass must be cleaned without the use of chemicals as this can cause damage to the coating on the glass.You can learn How to clean a conservatory in our guide.
What Is The Best Size For A Conservatory?
Conservatories are classed as a permitted build as long as they meet certain criteria, it must be a single-storey construction that is no more than 4m tall. The conservatory must not exceed 30 square meters, it must not be closer than 1 meter to any boundary. Before building any conservatory check the permissions at the Planning Portal.
What Planning Rules Affect A Conservatory?
Planning permission pertains to the impact a construction has upon the immediate area, such as the house itself, neighbouring homes and the neighbourhood itself.
Building regulations pertain to how a building is constructed, the materials that are used and energy efficiency.
Planning permission is not required to add a conservatory to your home as long as your plans meet certain criteria.
The main things to keep in mind regarding planning permission and building regulations for conservatories are:
- A conservatory should not cover more than half the area of land around the original house.
- An extension must not be higher than the highest point of your home’s roof.
- Conservatories must be built at the back of a house.
- The height of conservatories must not obscure adjacent upper windows.
Do I Need Planning Permission For My Conservatory?
As we outlined above, planning permission is not required for a conservatory that follows the 2019 permitted building rules. Planning permssion will be required however if you wish to build a conservatory on a home that is in a conservation area, an area of outstanding beauty or a National Park.
Planning permission is also required for a conservatory if your home has already been extended or you live in a terraced house.
If you are in any doubt or would like further information on planning permission for conservatories you can check out the Planning Portal online.