Thinking of buying or building a conservatory or maybe confused or interested as why your friends and neighbours have opted for a conservatory which isn't, after all, a cheap home improvement? What are the benefits of buying a conservatory and do they outweigh the cost involved?
Benefits of building or buying a conservatory:
- The Conservatory gives you more living space. Adding a conservatory to your home will increase size of one of your down stairs rooms. This can be especially useful for a new family with children on the way.
- Although it may sound costly a conservatory could actually be cheaper than moving home into a bigger property. Remember that the costs associated with moving house could easily be more than £10,000 especially if you were to include the absurd stamp duty payable. This will buy you a very nice conservatory as this table on conservatory prices will tell you. You will also save in that once you have moved house you will probably do some amount of re-decorating - usually, if the missus has anything to do with it, beyond a few coats of paint.
- You can get a amazing ambient light quality in a conservatory. There is nothing like natural sunlight to improve your mood. With the large percentage of glass in a conservatory build you get plenty of light.
- A conservatory provides a smoother transition from your living or dining room into the garden. It brings the garden into the house especially if combined with a complementary patio area.
- They can be very cozy and relaxing, especially on a wet and windy day. The sound of rain on the roof makes me fall asleep every time in mine.
- What a great dining room a conservatory makes - light, great views and a wonderful ambience in the evening.
Downside of having a conservatory built:
- They can be very expensive to build.
- Yes a conservatory will add another room to your house but obviously at the expense of some of your garden. As mentioned earlier a growing family may appreciate the extra room made by adding a conservatory but young children love to play outside in the garden. For all the toys in the world my little ones find a wet leaf from the garden just a fascinating as a new flashing robot or doll.
- The beautiful wooden or vinyl floor that you had put in your new conservatory may look nice but is asking for trouble from your young children (and older parents!) who slip over on it in there socks onto the very hard floor. This is why we actually keep our kids out of our conservatory - the eldest kept hurting herself in there. You think they'll learn but never do. And don't get me started on my parents...
- The build isn't the end of the cost, once built a conservatory will need furnishing and heating (in winter). See here for more details on conservatory furniture.
- They can be un-believably warm in the summer. If your conservatory is south facing you will need definately blinds - which are can be very expensive - else you will not use the conservatory. We need blinds for ours as we didn't use it all last summer (after moving into the house last summer as well). In fact we kept the curtains to the living room shut all day and the door to the conservatory closed as it heated the living room up too much as well. They are ovens! You could invest in air conditioning but obviously at extra cost.
- For these reasons although the conservatory is an addition to the house space it will not be used unless you budget for the extra cash need to furnish it, heat it, cool it and make it safe for all to use.
With such a difficult decision to make it is helpful to remember the following points. In most cases it may be cheaper to move house rather than build a conservatory, this is especially so if you are planning on moving anyway within a few years - you will never recoup the total cost that you have outlaid for the conservatory in the selling price of your house.
Reasons Not to Build a Conservatory
- You are moving in the next three to four years
- You have a relatively small garden
- The size of the conservatory you need is large in comparison to your house size
- A cheaper greenhouse will do the same job
- You simply cannot afford it
- You have other space to your house that you can convert
Consider a Sun Room or Extension if:
You don't want higher heating costs but need a comfortable space for year round use
Your proposed site faces due south and you want to use the space comfortably over the summer months
You wish to use the space in winter but can't afford increased heating costs
It is cheaper than building a conservatory
So, is it worth while? For a young family with a south facing garden building or buying a conservatory, to be honest probably not. However, an older couple or one with a non-south facing garden would benefit from the extra space a conservatory would bring.
Summary: Buying or Building a Conservatory?
Think it through carefully what you would use a conservatory for before making any rash decisions.