The UK has been experiencing yet another surge in house prices which, for many people, makes it much harder to upgrade for more space. However one very good answer to the space dilemma is to add on a conservatory – a lower cost alternative to an extension, but one which can offer year round additional living space for almost any home.

While a conservatory may cost less than a full extension, it is still a major investment at upwards of £10,000 and therefore requires careful thought. Before you decide to order a conservatory it is important that you think through all of your options and have the right questions to hand – before you sign on the dotted line.

1. How will you use your conservatory?

The way you use your conservatory will determine many aspects of the build. For example, if you want to use the room all year round, you should think about additional heating and possibly some kind of shading or window treatments to prevent high heat. If the room is to be a full part of the home (almost like an extension) you should also consider the building work involved to create a seamless look to the finished product – rather than your conservatory looking like an addition. Of course the simplest and cheapest option is to have a conservatory that is used just as a Summer room that is closed off in the Winter.

2. Are you traditional or modern?

The style of conservatory will impact on your budget and therefore needs careful thought. Your style of home and the available space will also impact on this choice. Traditional or pitched roof conservatories are cheaper to buy off the shelf, however a modern full glass conservatory can look fantastic on any home. Modern conservatories are more likely to be bespoke, so they may cost significantly more.

3. Speak to someone you trust

Before you go ahead and buy your conservatory, it is wise to get a second opinion and to discuss the options with people you know who already have a conservatory. It is always sensible to get a number of quotes so you can do proper comparisons, but there is also nothing quite like the advice of friends and family. They may be able to tell you what it is really like living with a conservatory on their home, the maintenance and the things they wish they had done differently.

4. What about the extras?

Your conservatory company will try and sell you lots of additional extras that you may or may not need. These could include underfloor heating, electric points, lighting, blinds and shades, tiled or wooden flooring and new house to conservatory connecting doors. Think through all of these before deciding as some may be essential to your needs, some will need to be added during construction and some could be added later if you change your mind.

5. Think through your budget

The cost of your new conservatory may be one thing, but it is not the end of what you will need to spend. The construction of the slab and possible soakaway could leave your garden in need of a makeover and of course you will need new furniture to dress your new space. This will all add to your budget and may not have been thought about before you start. And don’t forget the contingency – at least 10% is recommended.

So, these are our five most important things to think about before you decide on your new conservatory. The only thing left is to enjoy your new space.

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