The start of spring is the perfect time to invest in a conservatory, as sunny weather boasts the best conditions for installation. With this glorious weather on the horizon, you can instantly make the most of your new living space.
But is this really the best use of your hard-earned cash?
The Which? guide to buying a conservatory proves that this home investment isn’t as straightforward as it appears. Its survey on the matter revealed some insightful consumer statistics, including that 44% of conservatory owners admitted they’d do something different if they went through the process again.
In this post, we address the most frequently asked questions when it comes to conservatory installation to help you decide whether this is the right renovation route for you.
How Much Does a Conservatory Installation Cost?
Quite rightly, when a consumer begins considering any type of home renovation — be it a solar panelled roof or a full-blown home extension — their first concern is always cost. As such, the most frequently asked question we hear is “how much does a conservatory installation cost?”
The answer to this question remains unclear.
Although any reputable installation provider should offer a free quote upon request, it’s known that a conservatory installation quote should be taken with a grain of salt.
The base cost of installing a conservatory can be categorised as a relatively low spend, especially when compared with more serious property alterations like a brick extension. At first glance, committing to a conservatory renovation seems like a no-brainer. Where you might end up forking out well over £30,000 for a run-of-the-mill home extension, the same square foot addition in conservatory terms will cost you around £15,000 on average.
But buyers should be aware that this is only the foundational cost for the conservatory structure, and self-cleaning glass, guttering work and repairs down the line aren’t factored into this price.
If you’re wondering whether repairs are necessary when it comes to conservatories, we’ll be the first to tell you — they’re a given.
As British weather is unpredictable, and prone to rain and extreme temperatures at times, the chances that your conservatory roof will last a lifetime are slim to none.
Where you initially thought you might have been saving some dough by opting for a conservatory over an extension, the maintenance costs associated with conservatories could prove otherwise. It’s true that a solid brick extension is more durable and hard-wearing.
So Why Do People Still Buy Conservatories?
Despite the uncertainty about the cost of a conservatory installation, it’s undeniable that the glass structure still holds a certain appeal to homeowners across the country, with approximately 18% of households having one.
Our desire to sit in our very own sun room on the rare occasion that we have good weather means that our love affair with conservatories continues to live on. Brits are even thought to associate the idea of conservatories with royal status, and so they have become a symbol of a lavish lifestyle and wealth.
The connotation of wealth may actually live up to its reputation, as conservatories have been proven to be a valuable asset to one’s home. Named as one of the top smart renovations that actually adds value to your home, the conservatory is thought to increase the sale price of a property by five per cent, on average.
Whenever homeowners can squeeze added living space into their abode, there is an opportunity to scale up its sale price to potential buyers. Although a conservatory doesn’t allow you to claim an extra bedroom, it still adds to the perceived value of your property.
Not only are conservatories favoured over extensions because of their ability to let in light and provide a place where you can enjoy the sunshine, but they also create an excellent additional space for a family.
Although investment is traditionally about financial return and the potential to make a profit, it’s worth noting that investing in a conservatory can deliver value to your lifestyle in a number of different ways.
Here is a list of buyer types who will find significant value in a conservatory:
• A family who feels cramped and cluttered in their current living space — If you feel like your living area is being taken over by toys, a conservatory can offer an excellent space for play or a room for relaxation and escape.
• Avid gardeners who want to take care of indoor plants — As conservatories are light-filled and airy, they create a safe haven for indoor plants. If you’ve got green fingers or if you like to be surrounded by life, a conservatory is a sanctuary for plants and pets alike.
• Happy hosts who like to throw regular dinner parties — If having friends over is your thing, having an additional space for dinner and drinks is always a good idea. It’s also great to have a dedicated space to retire to once the wining and dining is over, especially in the summer months, when your conservatory can open up to outside space.
• Elderly people who aren’t as mobile but still want to enjoy the weather — If getting outside is tricky, having a conservatory allows you to enjoy some rays from the comfort of your own home. From bird watching to book reading, a conservatory is a wonderful environment to get lost in.
Knowing what function your conservatory will serve will determine the style you go for and the materials you need to make it happen. In true Ideal Home style, the online magazine shows that conservatory options are endless, with approaches ranging from traditional to contemporary.
How Much Does It Cost to Maintain a Conservatory?
If you’ve considered the above and have come to the conclusion that a conservatory installation will add value to your life and your home, you next need to figure out how much you’ll need to set aside to maintain your conservatory for the future.
Has the steep cost to maintain a conservatory discouraged us from thinking of this renovation as an integral part of a Brit’s dream home? Loft conversions and basement renovations are slowly taking over the market as a more practical investment, and while these renovations do provide homeowners with extra space, their lack of light and often sloped roof structures leave much to be desired from the finished product.
The bad news is that the likelihood you’ll need to fork out for a conservatory roof replacement when the surface becomes weather-damaged is high. This repair will set you back about £6,000 and take six days to complete.
However, less common conservatory types that could solve this issue are rarely talked about, and suitable alternatives like tiled conservatory roofs often remain under the radar.
Is a tiled conservatory roof the answer? Not only are glass conservatory roofs a nightmare when it comes to cleaning, but they also fall victim to weather damage and make your additional living space redundant in colder months, as they allow cold, noise and extreme weather to seep in.
Tiled roofs, on the other hand, don’t block out all sunlight, as panoramic windows can still be installed in the structure. This type of roof will allow you to enjoy your investment all year round, while providing the level of protection your home needs from blistering cold weather.
Our Key Takeaways
While conservatories appear to be a solid investment on paper, your decision should be based on a few lesser-known factors, including the cost to maintain it, its weather suitability and intended function.
It’s safe to say that conservatories don’t make the most financial sense, even if they do offer a small percentage of added value. If your aim is to make big bucks in return, you’d be better off creating an extra bedroom by having a brick home extension, loft conversion or basement renovation. On the other hand, if the motivation to add a conservatory to your property comes from a place of longing for an enhanced lifestyle, the initial payout is often justified.
If you decide to invest in a conservatory this spring, make sure you don’t dismiss the lesser-known options like tiled roofing. If you haven’t quite made your mind up yet, there’s plenty of extra advice floating around on the web, such as the first-hand opinions of conservatory owners, which have been compiled by the Guardian to create a simple summary of the nation’s favourite — the glass house.