Converting Your Conservatory into an Extension
Converting your conservatory into an extension
Why conservatories have lost their popularity
Conservatories became a popular addition to people’s homes in the 1980s, as they were being advertised everywhere, appealing to tens of thousands of people, saying that they were cheaper than an extension, but with the same extra space, and with a glass roof and walls that let the sunlight in. They seemed almost too good to be true, and so there was a massive rise in people buying conservatories all around the country.
After a while, people started to realise they were in fact too good to be true, when they discovered that their new conservatories were almost unusable, as they were too hot in the summer, and too cold in the winter. The materials used to build a conservatory are not very well insulated compared to the rest of the house, meaning it is not good at trapping the warm air in the winter, and in the summer the infrared rays from the sun will heat the conservatory like a greenhouse, making it unbearable to use.
Can I Convert My Conservatory into an Extension?
Converting your conservatory into an extension is definitely doable, and means that you can make the most out of the conservatory space that you have paid for. One of the most common ways people convert their conservatories is to replace the roof. This has many benefits, such as, extend the lifespan of your conservatory, increase the energy efficiency, save on bills, help to keep it at a constant temperature, and add value to your home. Some would also argue that it makes the conservatory more visually appealing, as conservatories don’t look the most aesthetic, and by replacing the roof, you can make it look a part of the rest of your house, instead of sticking out.
There is still a lot to consider, such as if converting to an extension is even possible, and starting from scratch would be a better option.
The footing needs to be over 1 meter deep at the base of your conservatory to make it suitable to be used as the base for an extension. You can test this by digging in front of the conservatory, and taking measurements. However, if your original conservatory was done properly by a professional, you should have no issue with the depth of the footing, and it should be suitable for a conversion. If you are unsure you should get a structural engineer to inspect it, and confirm that the conversion can go ahead.
The price of replacing a conservatory roof can fluctuate quite a bit, this is down to the size of the conservatory, the installer you choose, the price of materials, and what type of roof you have already. It can range anywhere between around £5,000 - £25,000 depending on these factors.
Although replacing your roof with a solid one does tend to be more on the expensive side, they’re a lot more energy efficient, which can save you a lot of money in the long run, especially with the prices of energy increasing. Solid roofs are also more thermally efficient, meaning you will be able to use your newly renovated conservatory all year round, and it will stay at a constant temperature, so it will not be too hot in the summer, or too cold in the winter.
The Benefits of Replacing a Conservatory Roof
There are many benefits of replacing your conservatory roof, such as:
- Improved thermal performance
One of the main benefits of replacing your conservatory roof is improved thermal performance. If you have a conservatory you will know that round parts of the year, it is unusable due to it either being too hot or too cold. Installing a solid roof will help the conservatory to become more thermally efficient, and stay at more of a constant temperature all year round, so you can make the most out of your conservatory space.
- Better aesthetic
Unlike plastic conservatory roofs, which sometimes might not look the most aesthetically pleasing, replacing the roof to a tiled one can change the whole look, making your conservatory blend in with the rest of the house.
- Increases house value
Studies have shown that adding a conservatory can add up to 7% of the value of a property, but if the conservatory is unusable for the majority of the year, then this will not be the case. Replacing the existing roof with a solid roof can help to bring the value back up, which will also increase the overall value of the house.
- Saving costs on energy bills
Due to the improved thermal performance of the new roof, it will save you money on your energy bills, as not as much heat is escaping. If you do have a conservatory, it could end up adding quite a bit onto your energy bills this winter, as the window panels are more likely to let the heat escape. By replacing your roof, you can save on energy bills, especially this winter with the energy prices increasing.