Having a conservatory built is a big decision, but many people are now opting for this type of extension because a conservatory can not only increase the value of your home, but will add on an extra room for relatively little cost.

Conservatories have actually been around for several hundred years. Early conservatories first appeared during the Victorian era, when they were used to conserve botanical treasures, which had been obtained from around the world and, as such, provided a method of displaying social status. As glass became cheaper, conservatories gradually became more accessible to those who weren’t quite so wealthy, and, while their popularity declined in the early twentieth century, the development of uPVC and double glazing in the Sixties saw them evolve into the style of sunroom that we know today.

If you’re considering having a conservatory added to your home, the first thing you need to consider is whether your house is actually suitable for a conservatory and, for this, you need to contact reputable conservatory companies.

The idea of usage also has to be considered. What do you actually need to use a conservatory for?

Sunroom? Many people relish the idea of having a room, which is light-oriented and designed to admit sunlight. If you plan add on a room that is primarily designed to attract the sun, then the following needs to be considered:

North facing: You will receive no direct sunlight in the winter months, so efficient heating during this period may be needed. However, it can be warm and bright during the summer.

South facing: With sun all year round, good ventilation will be needed and also some shading from the summer sun.

East facing: The early morning sun will make this an ideal breakfast room.

West facing: This brings good sunlight, particularly on summer afternoons and evenings, but there may be increased costs for a west-facing conservatory as sun blinds, climate control, heating or extra lighting may all be required.

Dining room? A conservatory gives you the opportunity to create a dining room in charming surroundings. It also makes a wonderful room for alfresco dining indoors, particularly with the doors left open into the garden on warmer days.

Extra living/family room? A conservatory can provide space for your children to play in and, when they are outside in the garden, you can relax, safe in the knowledge that you can see them playing. French doors to the outside from the conservatory will also provide kids with direct access to the garden.

Above all else, when you’re planning a conservatory, you need to be sensible with your expectations. If you live in a semi-detached house in a development, for example, there’s no point in flicking through glossy images of conservatories and orangeries attached to large, detached homes in sprawling grounds. Your conservatory will simply look out of place, so be practical!


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