You’ve decided you want a conservatory. You’re even ready to start planning – now what? To help you get started on your journey, we’ve rounded up our top 10 tips for buying a conservatory, featuring helpful information on things to consider when gearing up for your next big home improvement project.
1. Consider how you’ll use your conservatory
How we decorate and arrange a room tends to either encourage or discourage certain activities – the same goes for conservatories. How you plan to use your conservatory will dictate what materials you use, as well as the roof – lounges will likely require different configurations to dining rooms, playrooms and so on.
2. Have an idea of what the interior will look like
Once you’ve nailed down the use of your conservatory, consider what furniture you’ll place inside. For instance, furniture with finnicky fabrics or ones you want to ensure won’t fade from the sun will need special roof panels installed in your conservatory roof to manage the sunlight.
3. Have someone value your home ahead of time
One of the biggest bonuses of adding a conservatory to your home is that it can add value to your property as well as extra living space. Bring in a few estate agents to value your home ahead of time and discuss how much a conservatory will add – you might even decide an orangery or extension is the better way to go.
4. Figure out if you’ll need planning permission
Unless your home is listed or in a preservation area, you oftentimes won’t require planning permission to add a conservatory that’s up to a certain size. It’s a good idea regardless to ensure you won’t need planning permission for your conservatory of choice – as it’ll add on cost if you do – or that the company you choose to install your conservatory can take care of this for you.
5. Know what you want and expect from your conservatory installers
Are you looking for a hands-off process, in which you sign off the design and sit back? Or do you want to be more involved, consulting architects to create the exact conservatory of your dreams? Knowing the answer to these questions will help guide you towards the right company to install your conservatory, as each will offer different services. Regardless, you should ensure each company has the proper accreditations and guarantees to give you peace of mind.
6. Make sure the design fits with your home first
Though conservatories add value to your home, this can be less so if the conservatory doesn’t match. It’s important to try different conservatories on your property so you can be exactly sure how it’ll look on your home. Tools like our Conservatory Designer App will allow you to design your conservatory of choice, then upload it onto a picture of your home so you can have a clear image of the final product.
7. Think about conservatory maintenance
How much time and effort you’re willing to put into maintaining your conservatory once it’s built will also factor into what material you choose. uPVC conservatories require little maintenance to stay looking clean and new over the years, while wooden conservatories take more care but offer a classic appearance.
8. Consider your area’s climate
Your area’s climate will impact just about every facet of your conservatory’s design – colder climates will require more insulation and can potentially factor into whether or not you opt for brickwork or a solid roof design, as they’re more thermal efficient, while sunnier climates will call for roof panels that can manage the sun’s rays. These weather-types fluctuate throughout the year, so this goes back to how you’re going to use your conservatory – if you want to use it all year round, you’ll want to make sure that your conservatory’s design allows for this in your area.
9. Carefully consider how your conservatory will connect to the rest of your house
Whether or not your conservatory connects seamlessly to your existing property will be decided by the doors you choose to link the two. The design of bi-fold doors will allow your conservatory and its joining room to blend into one, while French doors ensure the rooms have the possibility to be separate when necessary.
10. Don’t just go for the cheapest option!
There are no two ways about it – conservatories are a big purchase worth serious consideration. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you choose the exact right conservatory design and installer for you. Once you’ve done your research, choose a company that can give you not only the service you desire, but the product you want, and one that’s built with great, long-lasting quality.
Once you’ve taken these tips into consideration, you’re ready to start the fun part – designing your conservatory! Check out our conservatories, orangeries and extensions board on Pinterest for ideas on how to use your brand new living space.