Building an Awesome Conservatory the Smart Way

by Daniel Bell

Conservatories are awesome. Maybe I should choose a less informal way to say that. But it’s an appropriate word. A lot of people think they’re just fancy greenhouses, but that’s far from the truth. Most of the conservatories I’ve seen act as a great general extension of the house. They make great places to have dinner, or read, or play chess. There’s something relaxing about being surrounded by views of your garden. Unless, for whatever reason, your garden causes you some kind of stress.

They do make great greenhouses, though. Don’t think I’m trying to put you off using it as a greenhouse.

So, do you want to have a conservatory? Sure you do. But how do you go about it? Well, the first step is to make sure you can build one. If you own the property, no problem. If you have a landlord, be sure to ask them first. Conservatories add a lot of value to property, so that could swing things in your favour!
Keep in mind that having a good one built isn’t cheap. You may get a quote of anywhere between £15,000 – £25,000 for a professionally-built conservatory. (It’s said you can get one done for about £5000, but the reviews for such jobs haven’t been positive.) This is cheaper than a brick-wall house extension, though! If you’re going to extend your house either way, a conservatory may be the best way to go.

Getting a conservatory designed and built for you is pricey. But it does ensure the job is done correctly! (Or it should, at least.) But what if you feel like getting your hands dirty? There’s no feeling quite like looking at a house addition and knowing you did it with your bare hands. As long as you know the measurements you want, getting the materials for your DIY Conservatory will be easy.
Before choosing the materials, think ahead to temperature control. A lot of people build conservatories only to neglect them most of the year. They can get too hot in summer, and too cold in winter. The materials you use will have a big effect on the temperature throughout the year. Glass is a faster conductor of heat and cold than brick or tile. This means you can feel the extremes of both if you’re not careful. Consider making your conservatory with more brick. This will help you control the temperature in your conservatory.

With this in mind, you should also ensure your conservatory is well ventilated. An open window at the top of the building is the best way to allow heat to escape. For warmth in winter, you should consider building your conservatory with a heating system. If you really want to warm and impress, try underfloor heating. This is the best way to get heat spreading and rising, which is what you want in your house of glass. If you want to keep it simpler, an electric heater will do. Either way, do not underestimate the power of blinds for temperature control!

Once you’ve got it built, you can focus on interior design. Maybe you could try being eccentric with it. Oh, and make sure your garden is looking clean and lovely. You’re going to be surrounded by a view of it, after all.

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