In this article we’ll look at conservatory extensions so that, by the time you’ve finished reading, you’ll feel able to make an informed buying decision.
Although we will look briefly in a moment at the difference between a conservatory and an extension, it’s important to point out that – due to a change in the planning regulations in October 2008 – single storey solid roof extensions, conservatories and orangeries are treated in exactly the same way.
This is the best place to start. By separately defining what the terms ‘conservatory’ and ‘extension’ mean, we can start to unpick the relative benefits of each.
Modern conservatories are usually made from glass and frames. Some brick will be involved, but not much.
Stylistically they look very different from the property they’re attached to – and there is normally some sort of separation in the form of a door that demarcates (normally the kitchen) from the conservatory.
Advances in technology have meant conservatories can be used all year round. For example, you can now buy conservatory underfloor heating that’s designed to keep you positively toasty during those colder evenings and tart winter nights.
Home extensions are different to conservatories, in that you are attempting to link together two otherwise distinct spaces with the view to opening up your property to create some much needed extra space.
In most cases, house extensions will be stylistically similar to your property. That is, it will use the same ratio and type of brick – and the same sort of windows. You will often need permission from your local planning authority to build a home extension, so speak to them before you do anything else.
Price will be one of the most important factors you’ll need to consider when thinking about whether a conservatory or extension is best. And the difference between the two is enormous. The price of a conservatory could vary anywhere between £6000 and £20000 – whereas home extensions costs could be as high as £30000.
Reverting to the point we made earlier – that home extensions, conservatories and orangeries are all treated the same way from a planning perspective – it would seem unwise to spend thousands of extra pounds to build a construction that could be built for less.
Without further ado, let’s now look at conservatory extensions ideas.
Looking for inspiration? There are plenty of interesting ways to link together your conservatory and your home without spending too much – whilst at the same time adding value to your property too.
The kitchen is arguably one of – if not the – most focal rooms in your property. By knocking down your wall to link your kitchen with your conservatory, you’ll able to create a communal living space that’s ideal for entertaining.
If a conservatory kitchen extension is right up your alley, you’ll need to think carefully about how to blend the two spaces together.
Light will help to re-enforce the idea of connectedness – so choose floor-to-ceiling glass instead of bricks.
Rather than opting for conventional French patio doors, get your installer to fit bi-folding doors that stack to the sides in a tidy concertina pattern to provide unrivalled views of your garden.
Think also about how you are going to separate the two areas. Kitchen extensions that are open plan are great – but each space should have its own identity.
You could use different colour shades to create zones and use furniture or plants to hint toward a boundary – but not too much so, else you’ll lose that all-important open-plan feel.
Would you like a conservatory kitchen extension cost? Use our online conservatory calculation tool to get some guideline prices.
A conservatory living room extension is a great way to connect the two sections of your property together. If you have a kitchen diner, you could retreat into the living space afterwards to relax and have a few drinks.
Because of the open-plan design, you’ll need to find a way to keep your conservatory living room extension warm.
Conventional wall-mounted heaters won’t be sufficient. Use underfloor conservatory heating instead, as this will ensure heat is spread evenly throughout the area.
Electric underfloor heating is cheaper to install; water is more efficient but costlier – it’s also hard to access if repairs are needed (not ideal if the pipes are hidden under those very expensive stone tiles you bought).
It’s easy to leave your conservatory blinds till last, as they are only a finishing detail. But if you decide to use a lot of glass when building your conservatory extension, you could leave yourself feeling very exposed – especially at night time when you are lit up like a veritable beacon.
Conservatory blind designs:
What are the best blinds for conservatories? Probably the Venetian – but there are other styles out there too, so make sure you shop around for the best prices.
Illumination can make or break your conservatory. If the light is too bright, too low, or wrongly directed, it can spoil the mood you are trying to create.
So what is the best lighting for conservatories? Here are a few conservatory lighting tips to consider…
You will only be able to relax if you choose conservatory furniture that is right for its surroundings. Rather than being guided by price alone, try and find products that are tonally and stylistic consistent with the flooring, blinds and other accoutrements that you have carefully selected.
If you are looking for the best conservatory furniture ideas, keep reading…
This looks not dissimilar to cane and is highly durable. Another added benefit is that it is resistant to humidity – and conservatories can get quite warm (especially if you are using a combination of thermally-efficient glass and underfloor heating.
It also doesn’t fade when exposed to sunlight and comes in a range of colours. It’s easy to see why Rattan conservatory furniture is so popular.
Although wicker furniture looks a lot like rattan, is is made from a plant-based material that is subject to fraying. This means that it can quickly look dishevelled – and will contrast poorly against your otherwise immaculate conservatory choices.
Wicker furniture for conservatories should be your second option when compared against rattan.
Rather than using bespoke conservatory furniture, you could go to a conventional shop and buy standard sofas and wooden tables. The trouble is this: they won’t necessarily fare well in the often humid climates commonly associated with conservatories.
If you buy wooden tables, keep them away from windows. Cover your sofa with some sort of throw to protect it from damage caused by sunlight. Conservatory lounge furniture can work if you place it tactically within your extension.
If your conservatory design idea is for an open-plan kitchen diner, patio furniture might look a little incongruous – especially if it is plastic (especially not a good idea if you are using lots of glass, as it will get hot quickly).
But if you want to create a segue into the garden, wooden or iron patio furniture could work well enough. Patio conservatory furniture has been designed to withstand harsh weather conditions too – so will be more durable than even rattan.
Rattan is probably cheapest. It could cost as little as £250 for a full-set – but as much as £1000 – depending on the design choices you make. Iron conservatory furniture is the most expensive. It could set you back anything up to £1750.
If you are still in the early stages of design – and have yet to decide on the best conservatory furniture – you can ask us for a free quote by entering details of your preferred style (including measurements) into our online conservatory calculator.
We can connect you with trustworthy installers too. Just let us know when we call you.
If you are thinking seriously about building a conservatory extension, you should visit the government’s online planning tool.
The 2017 planning permission guidelines and building regulations can be downloaded via the site – plus you can search for your Local Planning Authority and submit plans electronically when you are ready.
Before you ask for conservatory planning permission, read the below guidelines.They are not exhaustive but should be enough to help you get started.
A conservatory extension without planning permission can be built in some cases. If you own a property and want to add a single storey extension to it, then you may do so.
If your dwelling is either semi-detached or terraced, you can extend by up to 3m to the rear of your original wall – if is detached, you are allowed 4m.
Your conservatory extension can also be built to the side of your property; but it can only be a maximum width of 50% of the original size of your property.
The above points are not fully inclusive. Conservatory planning guidelines are extensive, so you may need to investigate further to find the answers you need. Your installer or Local Planning Authority will be able to help you.
It’s important that you keep your neighbours fully informed of your conservatory extension ideas – so that they can raise objections. If you proceed to build without consulting with them, you could be penalised. As an example, if your conservatory blocks out sunshine, they could challenge your development under the ‘right to light’ law.
As well as discussing your conservatory extension plans in person with your neighbours, you’ll need to submit an official application to them. If no one replies within 21 days, you can proceed to build.
This scheme will remain active until 30 May 2019.
New builds sometimes have their development rights removed by their local council. This means that – despite changes in October 2008 that saw conservatories classified in most cases as permissible developments – you may need to apply for conservatory extension planning permission after all.
To find out whether you need to do this, you’ll need to contact your Local Planning Authority for more information.
It doesn’t matter what size your conservatory is going to be. You can still make some sensible design choices that are guaranteed to make your extension stylish and your property more valuable.
An open-plan design that connects your conservatory to your kitchen would work well – and you could use the same tiles throughout to create a sense of continuance.
Use less brick and more light to create a positive vibe and avoid any fussy ornamentation that might look out of place – simple is best. For more conservatory design ideas, look at our conservatory style pages for inspiration.
The cost of a conservatory will be cheaper than buying an extension. But you should still budget between £6000 and £20000. How much you spend will depend in part on the style you choose.
A simple Lean-to conservatory is the least expensive, especially if you use some of your existing walls as solid sides. Edwardian or Victorian conservatory prices start at around £13000 and you will pay at least £20000 if you want to go slightly off-map and install an orangery instead.
They are cheaper than fitted conservatories but the materials aren’t always of the best quality and you’ll need to do the work yourself (including liaising with your Local Planning Authority).
We hope that you feel more confident having read our article on conservatory extension ideas and prices. Now that you’re better informed, perhaps you would like to take things a step further by requesting a free conservatory quote using our online tool?
It won’t take long to enter your details – after which, we’ll be able to provide you with some guideline prices to consider.