Budgeting for a New Conservatory
How much does a conservatory cost? This is a akin to asking how long is a piece of string since there is such a huge array of size options, materials, fixtures and furnishings of varying styles and qualities available!
The golden rule is to research every quote and find out precisely what you are getting for your money before you make a decision. Products and installations may differ greatly even if they appear to be the same at first sight.
DIY Conservatory Prices
At an entry level, the lowest cost conservatories are most likely to be the DIY conservatories, although such an undertaking will require a range of DIY skills over various construction disciplines in order to carry out all of the work yourself. If you consider yourself to be a bit of a DIY expert and/or have suitably skilled friends or relatives who are prepared to help out then a DIY conservatory may prove to be a viable and cost-effective option for you.
A white PVCu, double-glazed, full height self-build 10’ x 8’ (approx 3200mm x 2400mm) lean-to or Edwardian conservatory with a polycarbonate roof can be purchased for around £2000 from B&Q or Wickes but this excludes the base, blinds, wiring, lighting, flooring, heating and installation which must all be allowed for and specified in order to give you an overall costing for your project. A wide range of self-build conservatories are available from a variety of retail and online conservatory outlets and you should check exactly what is included – glass or polycarbonate roof, thickness of glazing, fixings and the length of any associated guarantees.
You will also need to consider drainage arrangements for the conservatory, and whether the base will require any existing drains to be altered as this can prove expensive and may require building regulations consent or planning permission.
As a guide, the following rough costs can be used for calculation of costs for work that you feel you cannot undertake yourself:
Concrete conservatory base costs – around £100 per square metre for a base approximately 200m thick. This equates to around £750 for the example conservatory above.
Conservatory dwarf wall costs and general brickwork costs – around £90 per square metre for single skin, around £125 per square metre for cavity brickwork. Always check if the price includes all materials. A full height conservatory such as the lean-to conservatory above will not require a dwarf wall.
Drainage work would require a quotation from a suitable specialist and they would also be able to advise on planning permission or building regulations on any work requiring re-siting of existing drains.
Having found several suitable DIY conservatories should compare them to see which offers the best balance of quality, price and guarantees and always try to ensure that you are comparing ‘like for like’ – any deal that seems like a huge bargain compared with similar kits probably isn’t – there will be a reason for the difference in most cases and this may not be immediately obvious.
Internet forums can be a good source of information and recommendations as to particular suppliers or materials to use.
The conservatory business is a very competitive industry and this competition ultimately serves to benefit the consumer.
Fitted Conservatory Prices
There are many established and reputable conservatory installers out there but as with most sectors there are also a large number of cowboys and so it would be wise to look for a company that has been in business for several years and which has a good reputation. Speaking to friends, family and colleagues can be invaluable as personal recommendation is probably the best guide as to the quality and after-sales care provided by a given conservatory installer. There is little point in a 10 year guarantee being offered if the company undertaking the work wont be around in 10 months, let alone 10 years!
The best way to get started is to select around 3 different FENSA registered specialists and arrange for them to come to your home and show you the range available, and advise you on how best to make use of the space in which you are planning to erect your conservatory – they may be able to offer size or layout options that you hadn’t even considered as well as specific conservatory planning permission or building regs information relevant to your particular project.
One of the more established names, Anglian, have been making and installing high-quality products since 1966 and offer a 10 year warranty on all uPVC products and a 15 year warranty on gas-filled sealed glazing units for peace of mind with your new conservatory. You can request a free Anglian quote by clicking here.