If you're planning on extending your home with a new conservatory, you're probably wondering how big of an investment this project is going to be. Now is the time to get clued up and learn how much does a conservatory cost, so you can set a realistic budget and start planning your dream extension.
Conservatory ideas have been around for a long time, and they don't seem to be going anywhere. These glass extensions are cropping up at the rear of more houses across the country, and it's not hard to see why; aside from creating more space in the home, a conservatory is a wonderful way to admire the garden from a comfortable indoor setting.
'Conservatories are great for adding natural light into your home and increasing your property's value,' says Ryan Schofield, Managing Director, Thames Valley Window Company. 'There are several different styles of conservatories to choose from in a variety of materials to suit varying tastes, property styles and budgets.'
So the question is, how much does a conservatory cost? Being aware of this from the get-go will put you in good stead for learning how to plan a conservatory, so you know where your money will be going. Our guide will tell you everything you need to know about the current cost of a conservatory, so you can get the ball rolling with your latest home project.
How much does a conservatory cost?
'The cost of a new conservatory will typically vary depending on the size and style of the building and what materials you use,' says Fiona Davies, Research Director, Kosy Co Living. 'As a rough guide, a small, basic conservatory might range from anywhere between £5,000 - £10,000, while larger and more complex designs can cost over £30,000.'
To understand exactly how much a conservatory costs, and where the high price tag comes from, it's helpful to break down the figure into its separate components.
The foundation materials for building the base of the conservatory might be bricks, concrete, steel, or paving slabs. 'Foundation materials shouldn't set you back a significant amount, but the specific cost will depend on the depth and complexity of the foundation you build,' Fiona explains.
Steel conservatory bases are the quickest to build and usually the most cost-effective. As an example, ConservaBase from ConservatoryLand is a steel base that can be laid in two days, and costs approximately £520 per square metre.
Obviously, larger conservatories will cost more. Most companies offer quotations based on price per square metre, so it's helpful to know exactly how much space you'd like your conservatory to take up. As an example, conservatories at Thames Valley Windows start at £2,400 per square metre.
A conservatory frame can be made from a range of materials, including uPVC, timber, and aluminium. Depending on the material you opt for, the answer to how much does a conservatory cost will fluctuate.
'uPVC is the least durable, but cheapest material for your framing. Timber can be quite cost-effective but requires more craftsmanship to shape - more complex structures will push prices up,' says Fiona. 'Aluminium is easily the most expensive framing material but will likely require the least maintenance further down the line.'
Choosing your material frame will come down to your budget and your personal preference. Timber frames have become increasingly popular because of their natural, more rustic aesthetic. 'A timber conservatory is a more luxurious extension which will add value to any home and can be designed and manufactured to meet almost any design specification,' says Karen Bell, Creative Director, David Salisbury.
Most conservatory roofs are made from glass, but you can also opt for polycarbonate or tiles, depending on the style and design. Polycarbonate is the cheapest option, but it's less durable than glass and also lets less light in.
If you do choose to have a glass roof, expect to pay an extra £2,000, and even more if you go for tile.
To make a conservatory warmer, it's important that all the windows and glass panels are glazed. 'The glazing of the conservatory can be made from single, double, or triple glazed glass or polycarbonate panels,' Fiona explains. 'The cost of these materials will depend on the size and thickness of the panels, as well as any additional features such as tinting or self-cleaning coatings.'
So how much does a conservatory cost?
Taking into account all of the above factors, you could be paying anywhere between £5,000 and £30,000 for a new conservatory - perhaps even more depending on the style you go for.
ConservatoryLand has a helpful calculator where you can get an accurate quote for the cost your new conservatory. You can design your dream conservatory and input specific details into the calculator, including:
- Preferred installation type - installed vs self-build
- Base type - ConservaBase for example
- Property type - house vs bungalow vs other (for example, single story extension)
- Size - you can add exact dimensions here in mm or inches
- Preferred style from 9 different options: lean-to / edwardian / hipped-back edwardian / victorian / hipped-back victorian / gable front / hipped-back gable front / orangery / hipped-back orangery
- Preferred model (with a preview pic)
- Model variations such as walls vs frames (i.e. would like glass all the way around for example)
- Preferred colours
- Roof glazing
Using this calculator, you'll be able to work out exactly how much does a conservatory cost based on what you want your extension to look like.
Try now: ConservatoryLand calculator
What type of conservatory is cheapest?
The most cost-effective style of conservatory is a lean-to conservatory. These have simple, rectangular designs and require less materials than Victorian and Edwardian style conservatories. A lean-to conservatory can range in price from £8,000 to £17,000, depending on the size and the roofing and frame materials you opt for.
'For properties where space is limited, or where there is space under the eaves, like a bungalow, then a lean-to conservatory is a practical and stylish way to extend a property', says Ryan from Thames Valley Window Company. 'Its versatile design is ideal for matching the style and dimensions of any home.'
Victorian and Edwardian style conservatories require higher budgets. From ConservatoryLand, these types of conservatories will cost roughly:
- Victorian Style Conservatory - approx. £14,525. Based on a 3m x 3m installed conservatory with ConservaBase to a house, with Dwarf-wall, frames all around and french doors
- Edwardian Style Conservatory - approx. £17,278. Based on a 3m x 3m installed conservatory with ConservaBase to a house, with Dwarf-wall, frames all around and bi-folding doors
Is a conservatory cheaper than an extension?
'Whether an extension or conservatory will work out cheaper largely depends on the footprint and style of the extension,' says Karen, David Salisbury. 'A single-storey extension housing one room will likely be more expensive than a conservatory – but, for the latter, it depends on the style and quality of materials.'
Conservatories tend to be smaller in size than most extension projects, which is why they're usually cheaper. Extensions usually require some form of structural work as well, plus more planning permission fees than a new conservatory. A kitchen extension cost could be upwards of £30,000 for example, and take 11 months to complete.
'Conservatories are generally less expensive to build than extensions as they're usually smaller and require less labour and materials to construct,' says Fiona from Kosy Co Living. 'If you're unsure of whether you need a conservatory or extension, remember that conservatories can be less energy-efficient and not as versatile as a full extension.'
Do I need planning permission for a conservatory?
'Planning permission isn't usually required for a conservatory, as long as it meets certain criteria,' says Fiona. 'These criteria are:
- The conservatory is a single-storey structure that is not higher than the roof of the existing property.
- The conservatory does not cover more than half of the garden area.
- The conservatory does not extend beyond the rear wall of the original house by more than three meters if it is attached to a terraced or semi-detached house, or by four meters if it is attached to a detached house.
- The conservatory is not located on the side of the property that faces a public road.
- If the property is a listed building, the conservatory is higher than the roof of the existing property, or if it will be more than 4 metres in depth, you'll likely need planning permission to build your conservatory.
'Even if planning permission isn't required, it's best to check with your local planning authority to find out how to comply with building regulations on things like ventilation, insulation and glazing,' Fiona advises.
Will you be going ahead with your plans now you know how much a conservatory costs?
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Katie Sims has been writing for Ideal Homes since spring 2022. She qualified from her Master’s in Media and Journalism in 2021 and has been writing freelance since. She has worked on Ideal Home’s ecommerce team where she researched the best home products on the market, and on the news team, researching the latest trends for feature pieces.
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