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How much does a conservatory cost? As you may imagine, there are a wealth of different factors to be borne in mind before you can arrive at an accurate price. Things like conservatory size and design, building work and materials, planning permission and building regulation, heating systems and floor finishes, they can all make a real difference.
If you want to be able to build a conservatory on a budget, it helps to clearly understand the difference between your needs and wants. For example, having stylish leaded glass could generally be defined as a want, but maybe it is better to use heat reflective glass to reduce the glare on bright days in your south-facing conservatory and to keep your heating bills down in depths of winter.
Size will have a significant impact on the overall cost of your new home addition. First consider the amount of space you have available and how much of it you want to use for your new room. Will the area you select be small enough to allow your garden to breath yet big enough to be genuinely useful, whilst not too expensive to heat? A great way to save space in your garden is to choose a L-shaped conservatory which can wrap around the side of the house. It’s also good to keep the size in proportion to that of you home.
Don’t forget to budget for the cost of applying for both planning permission and building regulations. Permission to erect a conservatory and the rules about how it must be build should be considered early on, as they may dictate the options open to you and significantly influence your costs. If you have any doubts over what you are planning to do, it’s wise to ask for advice from your local planning authority.
The cost of groundwork will depend on the soil conditions and the construction surface. For example, you’ll have to take excavation costs into account if your planned conservatory is on a sloping site or in close vicinity of trees and shrubs. When the ground conditions are suitable, deep strip foundations are the cheapest to build. However, if the ground conditions require deep foundations but there is no access for an excavator, then piles can be the best solution.
Trench fill foundations can be more quickly finished than deep strip foundations, but you will need to consider the greater cost of concrete required for them. More than that, with a trench foundation there is a chance you have to dig deeper than expected and spend more than planned.
Style also plays a large part in determining the price of your conservatory. The simple lean-to structure, styled in uPVC is the cheapest and easiest option. They can be build against one, two or three walls and are easy to maintain. On the other hand, an orangery is more expensive but has several advantages you may like to consider. The solid wall construction makes it easier to control the room temperature, increasing the energy efficiency and all year round comfort, no matter you chose to use it as a kitchen or a living room extension.
The number and position of window openings and doors and the quality of fittings could also make a huge difference to the cost of your conservatory.
Wood framed conservatories often look better than uPVC but generally are considerably more expensive. A variety of timber can be used but some hardwoods such as teak and oak can look particularly good as they gain a natural silvery finish over time. If the environmental aspect is important to you, when choosing a hardwood conservatory, make sure you check with your supplier that the wood is from a sustainable source.
The lowest cost option of all, uPVC also comes in a variety of colours and finishes and benefits from little external maintenance. For many people the only disadvantage of uPVC is its appearance. If this is the case with you as well and have a tight budget, you can consider having frames covered with a foil coating which gives the impression of a newly painted timber conservatory.
If the conservatory is to be used during the winter months it will require a form of heating, while in the summer months it will need blinds to help keep temperatures down. So if you go for an all year round conservatory, keep in mind central heating systems are expensive to install but more effective and cheaper to run. Electricity is about three times the price of gas per kWh. The price of the blinds will depend on the type and material you go for and the size of the windows.
Electrical installation costs will depend on how far away your electricity consumer unit is and the numbers of sockets, lights, switches you need / want. Make sure you plan well in advance as they are more expensive to fit later.
The issue of future maintenance is another important factor to consider before choosing your conservatory, because over time it can affect the overall cost. For example, if you opt for a uPVC conservatory, the maintenance costs is minimal, whereas timber requires regular care to ensure it keeps its good looks and is properly sealed against the weather elements.
While making sure you don’t pay a fortune for your new conservatory, keep in mind that if you come to sell your house in a slow market, the conservatory could be a strong selling point and speed up the offers. Secondly, it’s important not to cut corners on quality because a beautiful and practical sunroom is remembered long after the price is forgotten. And last, but not least, a conservatory is about more than money; there’s something so special about it, making you feel like you’re in the garden from the comfort of your home.