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    Conservatory Extensions

    Conservatory Extensions

    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.

    gable conservatory

    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.

    How Are Modern Conservatories &  House Extensions Different?

    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.

    Conservatory Extension

    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.

    Conservatory Extension Cost

    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.

    Conservatory or Extension?

    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.

    Conservatory Extensions

    Conservatory Extension 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.

    Kitchen Extensions

    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.

    conservatory extensions

    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.

    Formal Open-Plan Living Room

    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.

    conservatory exntensions

    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).

    Best Blinds for Conservatory Extensions

    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:

    • Roller blinds are added to individual sections and then, as their name suggests, controlled using a rolling mechanism. This allows you to control how much light is let into your conservatory at various points throughout the day. They are lightweight and easy to clean, but their colours fade across time and insects get caught in them far too easily.
    • Roman blinds are expensive to but provide better insulation than roller blinds. As before, they can also be customised to tie in with the colour scheme of your conservatory. Unfortunately, they are dust magnets and, even when contracted fully, obscure your line of sight.
    • Venetian blinds are ideal choices for conservatories if you buy them in aluminium. Their colour doesn’t fade and they provide plenty of privacy and great insulation too.

    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.

    Best Lighting for Conservatory Extensions

    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…

    • Use a light with a dimmer switch, so that you can control the brightness as and when required. That way you can have soft mood lighting for a dinner party – or something less subdued if you are using the room for study.
    • Use recessed directional spotlights to focus on certain areas of the room. This breaks up the conservatory space, rather than drowning it in a single hue of pale light.
    • Light something beyond the conservatory space. You could illuminate some plantage for example – but the reason you are doing this is to distract attention from the glass and minimise reflections.

    Best Furniture for Conservatory Extensions

    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.

    conservatory extension

    If you are looking for the best conservatory furniture ideas, keep reading…

    Rattan Furniture

    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.

    Wicker Furniture

    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.

    Use Lounge Furniture

    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.

    Consider Patio Furniture

    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).

    conservatory extensions

    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.

    How Much Does Conservatory Furniture Cost?

    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.

    Conservatory Extension Planning Permission

    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 Permitted Development

    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.

    Neighbour Consultation

    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.

    Planning Permission for New Builds

    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.

    Can I Extend My Conservatory if it is Small?

    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.

    How Much Does a Conservatory Cost?

    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.

    Should I Buy a DIY Conservatory?

    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).

    Conservatory Extension Costs

    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.

    Instant Online Conservatory Extension Cost

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    Frequently Asked Conservatory Questions

    In most instances the council tax will not increase on a property unless the additions another living quarter or self-contained annex. This means the addition of a conservatory should not increase the council tax payable on a property. To be absolutely certain you can always check the government's website which gives advice on council tax.
    The main difference between a conservatory and an orangery is how the roof is constructed. A conservatory roof is over 75% glazed whereas an orangery roof has less than this amount. A conservatory also has over half of its wall space glazed whereas an orangery can include more brickwork than this.
    Yes, you can put a conservatory on the front of your house. This is because conservatories come under the category of a permitted development. As such in most instances you do not need planning permission. This applies if the area surrounding the original house is not more than 50% covered by other buildings or additions.
    There are many ways of gaining temperature control. Conservatory blinds, ventilating windows, cooling film and air conditioning to name a few. You might also want to consider replacing your conservatory roof with a tiled or solid design.
    There are many ways of keeping your conservatory warm in the Winter. If you have a small conservatory then an electric heater will suffice but those with bigger conservatories may want to look into installing underfloor heating.
    Glazing is also very important in a conservatory. Most heat can be lost through glass so ensure your conservatory glazing is thermally efficient. You can also tackle draughts or cold spots by installing conservatory blinds.
    This will largely depend on your location. You will find that certain areas have different setbacks based on the use of the building. We recommend that you check with your local council or take a look at the Goverment's Planning Portal.

    You must notify your neighbour if you want to:

    - Build on or at the boundary of your 2 properties - Work on an existing party wall or party structure - Dig below and near to the foundation level of their property
    Replacing your conservatory roof can indeed make your conservatory warmer however, this will depend on the type of roof you choose. A solid or tiled conservatory roof will offer greater insulation than a plastic or glazed roof.
    A solid roof can be put on a conservatory. There are many solid conservatory roof designs available - just ask your chosen installer for a recommendation. The majority of new-build conservatories with a solid, tiled or glazed roof will not require planning permission. They are covered under what is known as 'permitted development'. However, building regulations will apply if you want to build an extension.
    When it comes to your home improvement, it's important to have all the necessary legal documentation. The installation of a conservatory, orangery or porch does not require a FENSA registration form.
    The average life span of a uPVC conservatory is largely dependent on the quality of materials and build. Typically, a uPVC frame can last up to 25 years but some can last for decades ensuring they are well maintained.
    Planning permissions used to say that a certain percentage of roofing must be translucent in order for a conservatory to be exempt from planning permission. Changes to building regulations however, now means that you may not require planning permission for roof replacement.
    Swapping your existing conservarory roof for a tiled or solid roof replacement can be done without needing to file for planning permission. Planning permission may be required however, if the height of your extension is changed following completion.
    A conservatory is defined as a 'building that has no less than 75% of its roof area made of translucent material and no less than 50% of its total wall area made of glass.
    It is possible to convert a conservatory to an orangery but it isn't a simple process. A surveyor will need to come out and assess your property and conservatory to see if it is at first , feasible.
    Both extensions and orangeries often require planning permission and in order to satisfy requirements, a new structure will have to be built.
    If a conservatory is within two metres of a boundary, a conservatory should not be higher than three metres. It must also not extend beyond the rear wall of the original house by more than 3m if an attached house or by 4m if a detached house.
    For construction work to begin a trench will need to be excavated to a minimum depth of 600mm. A conservatory needs footings just as much as any extension does.
    Solid ground will need to found first and needs to be accepted by Building Control as being a minimum of 1 metre in standard conditions.
    Foundations will need to be dug and because conservatories are lightweight in structure, their foundation loads are usually quite low. This can often lead to the notion that shallow foundations are satisfactory however, shallow foundations are more susceptible to subsidence.

    Conservatories that are built with foundations shallower than the Building Regulations advise, are likely to encounter problems.

    Building Regulations state:

    A2. The building shall be constructed so that ground movement caused by :-
    (a) swelling, shrinkage or freezing of the subsoil; or
    (b) land-slip or subsidence (other than subsidence arising from shrinkage), in so far as the risk can be reasonably foreseen, will not impair the stability of any part of the building
    Usually, there are no planning requirements when it comes to building a conservatory to a bungalow. However, the conservatory will be subject to certain conditions so be sure to check with your local building authority or with the Government's Planning Portal to ensure your conservatory remains within these guidelines.
    On average, an orangery can cost anything from £10,000 to £20,000. It is likely to cost double the amount of a conservatory, however it's important to note that an orangery provides more functionality and home value when compared to standard glazed conservatory.
    An orangery allows you to benefit from both conservatory and extension, being a combination of the two.
    When is a conservatory not a conservatory? In order for a structure to remain a permitted development (a conservatory), the build needs to comply with a number of rules. A conservatory must be ground level, must not be more than 30m2, must be thermally separated from the original building, have its own heating and have glazing in critical zones that meet Part Nof the building regulations.
    An extension refers to an additional structure that is anatomically in-keeping with your main property. An extension often requires planning permission unless it is classified as permitted development and is built with opaque cavity walls and brick-based foundations. Extensions are a big home improvement and investment, needing the work of an architect.
    Conservatories or glazed extensions are perfect for those looking to add extra space on a budget. Typically, they are less of a logistical strain and in most cases do not require planning permission,
    A conservatory can be built under permitted development rights, not needing an application for planning permission. A conservatory however is subject to the limits and conditions listed here. Building a conservatory onto an extension however, will be subject to different conditions. In some cases and under the permitted development regulations, you cannot attach an extension to an already extended part of a dwelling. It has to be attached to the original walls of the dwelling house.
    Conservatories are generally much cheaper than a single-storey extension of the same size. The price difference will largely depend on size and how complex the structure is to build, as well as the quality of materials.
    The cost of a conservatory extension can range from £6,000 to £20,000. Compared to a full on extension, it is a much more affordable way of increasing space within your property. A full blown extension can cost up to £30,000. An extension is priced on average, per square metre.
    A conservatory or single-story extension can be built without planning permission if: It's a maximum of 4 metres high or 3 metres high, within 2 metres of a boundary and the conservatory or extension does not cover more than half of the garden.
    From now until 2019, you can extend outwards by up to 8 metres for detached homes and 6 metres for other property types. For this, instead of applying for planning permission you will need to undergo a Neighbour Consultation Scheme.
    In most circumstances, building regulations tend to apply when you build a new extension or a very large structure to your property. However, most of the time, conservatories are exempt from building regulations when they are erected at ground level and the floor surface areas is less than 30 square metres.
    The average life expectancy of a conservatory depends on the quality of materials used as well as the installer. Generally speaking a conservatory built with uPVC window and door frames can last up to 25 - 30 years.
    Conservatory extension costs are far more affordable than a full-blown extension. A conservatory costs anything starting from £3,000 - £4,000 deadening on final styles and specifications. On the other hand, full build house extensions can cost anything from £20,000 right up to £100,000+! Generally speaking extensions are priced on average, per square metre.
    It is possible to build either a conservatory or a single-storey extension without gaining planning permission if: firstly, it has a maximum height of 4 metres or 3 metres high if situated within 2 metres of an existing boundary. The conservatory itself does not exceed over half the size of the garden.
    Yes you can! Whatever the shape of your existing conservatory, you can be sure that there is a solid roof equivalent to meet your exacting requirements.
    Changing roofs from a polycarbonate to a solid roof means that building regulations will apply. Your chosen installer will be able to answer any questions you have and help with any red tape such as contacting local authorities to resolve building regulations compliance.
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