How much does a conservatory cost? Here's what to expect if you're taking the plunge

We break down what costs you're likely to expect

conservatory with white woodwork, rustic table, rattan chairs with metal legs, pretty spring table setting with flowers in basket on table, pink blanket, flowers in crates, pink cushions, wooden floor boards
(Image credit: Bridgman)

If you’ve always dreamt of adding a garden room to your home you might have wondered just how much does a conservatory cost altogether, especially when you consider the rising costs of building materials in recent years. It’s important to have an idea of what you're likely to have to invest so you can start to set up a realistic budget or begin saving for the work. 

But how much will you need to fork out to build your dream conservatory? Well, we’ve put that question to the experts who have broken down the average prices for everything you will need to consider when to comes to realising your conservatory ideas, from glazing to the framing and foundation.

‘Design will always be partnered with budgeting as it dictates what you can and cannot do, so being pragmatic is important,’ advises Gareth McCluskey, head of marketing at conservatory experts CR Smith. But thankfully ‘there are several different styles of conservatories to choose from in a variety of materials to suit varying tastes, property styles and budgets,’ according to Ryan Schofield, managing director of Thames Valley Window Company. So, there is an option for everyone.

How much does a conservatory cost?

White frame conservatory with Victorian style roof

(Image credit: Thames Valley Window Co)

But exactly 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.

We've broken down the figure by its separate components to help you understand the exact costs that go into building one of these spaces in order to help you how to plan a conservatory with all the necessary information.

Foundation materials

As you might expect, many of these costs depend on various factors such as the size and design. But you can expect to pay anywhere from ‘£500 to £5000,’ according to Joseph Holman, founder of Green Doors, for the foundation.

Steve Rawding, sales and director at SEH BAC estimates that ‘prices start from £1000 - £1500 per square metre rising depending on the ground and specification of the work required.’

You should always gather several quotes from local contractors to determine which one is the best option for you but remember to keep these numbers in mind when you speak to them.

Price per square metre

conservatory extension with exposed brick wall, white sofa and armchair, coffee table, grey tiled floor, plants, ochre cushions, large shabby chic style mirror, wall light

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Speaking of price per square metre, ‘uPVC conservatories are the most affordable, costing around £1,300-£1,500 per square metre. This price includes the foundations and base as well as the brickwork for a dwarf wall, all materials and the installation,’ says Ryan. 

And while small conservatories cost less than larger ones, the material involved clearly makes a big difference, too. ‘A high-quality, oak-framed conservatory will cost around £2,500-£3,500 per square metre excluding fitting costs. And aluminium conservatories typically cost around 25% more than uPVC, so expect to pay between £1,700 and £2,000 per square metre.’

The frame

Conservatory on rear of house with glass panels and black frame

(Image credit: ConservatoryLand)

‘If the frame is bespoke there are big ranges in price and the sky's the limit,’ Joseph admits.

‘A basic uPVC frame for a small conservatory might start around £500, while a larger or more elaborate aluminium Bi-folding door frame could cost upwards of £7000,’ adds Steve.

For those on a budget, ‘if you really want to save on this, you can do so by finding a second hand conservatory and building the foundation based on the size of the frame,’ advises Joseph.

Roofing materials

Interior of conservatory with sofa and couch, underneath glass dome roof

(Image credit: ConservatoryLand)

Again, the cost will vary depending on what material you choose, as well as the size of the roof. ‘As a budget option, a polycarbonate roof for your conservatory will cost approximately £600 per square metre,’ says Ryan. 

Whereas ‘a glazed roof on its own can range from £1350 to £2000 per metre square depending on the specification,’ explains Steve. ‘A tiled or solid roof might cost around £2,000 to £5,000, or more, depending on size.’ So, you might want to shop around and think about which option works best for you and your home.


The Cotswold Company corner sofa

(Image credit: The Cotswold Company)

Then there’s glazing to consider. ‘High quality windows can help to secure your conservatory, help it stay energy efficient, reduce condensation and stop leakages and drafts,’ explains Sean Bunyan, head of commercial operations at Eurocell.

‘Glass is 33% more expensive than polycarbonate at £900 per square metre on average,' says Ryan. 'However, there are various types of glass available for conservatories including double and triple-glazed, solar control and self-cleaning glass.'

‘Double glazing costs approximately £300 per square metre and triple glazing costs around £400 per square metre. While solar control glass will add around £100-£150 to the square metre price of double or triple glazing. And self-cleaning glass will increase the cost by £25 per square metre.’ This is one more thing to think about as you start to put together your budget for the project.

Total cost


(Image credit: Hillarys)

If you’re simply looking for a single number to work with or to base quotes and estimations on, ‘a modern conservatory costs in the region of £12,000 and prices for an orangery, which has more brickwork with a flat roof and lantern, start from £20,000,’ Sean says. 

‘A 4m x 3m traditional conservatory costs around £10,000 which works out to £833.33 per square metre. Generally, the larger your conservatory is – the higher price you will pay. Based on this figure, if your conservatory is 17-square metres, the price will be around £14,000.’

Remember that whichever style you do end up going for, there are always ways to make your conservatory look more expensive once they're built.

Thankfully ConservatoryLand has a helpful calculator where you can get an accurate quote for the cost your new conservatory without having to consult with lots of different companies. You can essentially design your dream conservatory and input all of your 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)
  • Doors
  • Preferred colours
  • Roof glazing

conservatory/garden room with yellow painted interior, painted red table, turquoise painted chairs, orange pendant light, vase of flowers, table setting

(Image credit: Annie Sloan)

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. 


How much value would a conservatory add to my house?

According to the experts, building a conservatory can increase your home’s value by around 5-7%. However, a range of factors will influence just how desirable this structure will be to potential buyers. 

‘One of the most common mistakes when adding a conservatory is not having a definite function for the new addition. Some conservatories look ‘bolted on’ to the back of the house just because it is possible and the space serves no real purpose,’ says Ryan from Thames Valley Window Company.

‘Define the function and you have a tangible selling point when your home hits the market. Whether it is an extended kitchen, dining area or home office, as long as it has a purpose it will add value.’

You also need to consider the fact that building a conservatory will mean sacrificing existing garden space. This isn’t as big an issue for those with sprawling outdoor spaces but can take away much needed space in smaller gardens. But Ryan argues that while ‘it may not be as attractive to young families, it could appeal to more mature buyers.’

Which 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

CR Smith conservatory kitchen

(Image credit: CR Smith)

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 Bell, sales director at 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.'

What adds more value, an extension or conservatory?

‘When comparing an extension or conservatory in terms of the value they add to your property, an extension is always going to be the winner,’ says Ryan. This is because ‘the space has a clear and defined function with all the necessary elements to fulfil that function.’ It can also be fully customised to your wants and needs while a conservatory does have some limitations when it comes to its type and style.

While ‘a well-built, good-quality conservatory that complements your home could add around 5% to 7% to the value of the property, the value of your property can increase by 10% to 20%, depending on size, quality, and location,’ of an extension, explains Zoe White of Ray White Builders.

There’s also the added benefit that an extension can be used all year round, whereas it can be trickier to enjoy spending time in your conservatory when it is sweltering hot in the summer or icy cold in the winter.

But it all depends which one is more attractive to you and your family. For some an extension to increase the size of the kitchen or add an additional bedroom could be much more beneficial than a conservatory. 

CR Smith extension

(Image credit: CR Smith)

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.

Does adding a conservatory increase council tax?

‘The short answer is no,’ says Mervyn Montgomery, founder of Hampton Conservatories. ‘In England and Scotland, council tax is based on the property valuation as of April 1991. Properties in Wales were revalued in 2003, so council tax here is based on a property's market value on 1 April 2003.'

'Therefore in all three regions, adding a conservatory or any other sort of extension for that matter, should not affect your council tax band while you are living in the property as, in general, councils do not want to penalise people for improving or maintaining their home.’

‘However, where major structural changes have taken place, it may be that a property needs revaluing but crucially, a new rate would only be applied when the property is sold. It's quite likely that even with a new conservatory, the increase in value is not enough to move it into a higher band,’ Mervyn concludes.

‘Property valuations in Northern Ireland are updated more regularly, so adding a conservatory here could impact your council tax whilst you still live in the property.’

Katie Sims

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.  

With contributions from