Building a Conservatory Cost
Would you like to have a conservatory built on your property? In this guide, we look at how much it costs to construct different types of conservatory.
Introduction to Building a Conservatory
We’ll also look at topics such as how long this would take, what building a conservatory involves and whether or not you can undertake this work by yourself. If you plan to have a new conservatory installed or would like to weigh up the costs for future consideration, the following article will prove very useful!
A conservatory is a property extension with at least 75% of the roof consisting of a translucent material like glass. Because of this, conservatories are often used as a sun lounge or for growing plants. The aforementioned reasons have contributed greatly to the popularity of conservatories.
Conservatories are the perfect conduit that sits right between the interior of a home and a garden. Many people use these extensions for relaxing, reading, star gazing, hosting get togethers and more.
How Much Does Building a Conservatory Cost?
So how much does it cost to have one built? Well, it really depends on the size and type of the conservatory in question. There are various designs and materials used and we’ll start with uPVC, one of the most common materials used in the construction of conservatories.
As for uPVC constructions, on average, the lean to conservatory cost is about £5800 to £7600 if you’d like to have one constructed. The cost estimate rises to between £8000 and £10,000 for a Victorian conservatory and the same applies in the case of an Edwardian conservatory.
If you want a P-shaped design, expect a total bill of approximately £8500 to £10,500 while for a T-shaped or L-shaped conservatory, it will probably set you back around £11,000 to £13,000.
Lastly, the total installation cost of an Orangery can be anywhere from £14,000 to £50,000. The average cost of a conservatory that has a gable front may end up between £11,500 and £13,000, on the other hand.
|Size of Conservatory||Type of Conservatory||Average Cost|
|3.5m x 2.5m||Wooden Victorian||£12,500 to £14,500|
|3.5m x 2.5m||uPVC Victorian||£8000 to £12,500|
|3.5m x 2.5m||Wooden Edwardian||£8500 to £11,000|
|3.5m x 2.5m||uPVC Edwardian||£5500 to £9000|
|3.5m x 2.5m||Wooden Lean To||£7000 to £9000|
|3.5m x 2.5m||uPVC Lean To||£6800 to £9000|
|4m x 2.5m||Dwarf Wall Lean To||£8000 to £10000|
|3.5m x 2.5m||Gable Fronted||£11500 to £14000|
|4m x 4m||Gable Fronted||£14000 to £16000|
|3m x 3m||P-Shaped||£8500 to £10500|
|3m x 3m||T-Shaped||£11000 to £13000|
|3m x 3m||L-Shaped||£11000 to £13000|
|3m x 3m||Orangery||£14000 to £50000|
|25m2||Hardwood||£45000 to £55000|
|40m2||Hardwood||£70000 to £90000|
|65m2||Hardwood||£90000 to £110000|
Labour and Supply Costs
You’re looking at paying around £4000 to £4800 in labour costs alone for a 3.5m x 3.5m conservatory build or about 55% of the total bill. Of course that price could be significantly higher for a larger and more expensive conservatory. Conservatory specialists tend to charge £150 to £200 daily while two to three contractors are generally needed to build a conservatory.
As for the supply cost of conservatory, with a 3.5m x 3.5m design, you’re looking at the materials costing around £2800 to £3600 or approximately 40% of the overall cost. The final 5% (or about £400) is allocated to waste disposal.
The overall costs can vary depending on the type and size of the conservatory as the small conservatory cost is significantly less than larger or/and more premium structures, the material used for the frame, the material employed for the roof, where in the UK you live and ease of access to the construction area.
In regards to location, the reason for this being a cost affecting factor is that labourers charge different rates throughout the country. For instance, you can expect the highest labour costs in the southeast of the country and particularly in London, while in the north of England, for example, contractors tend to charge lower rates than the country’s average.
Types of Conservatory
In this section, we’ll review several different types of conservatory. For each, we’ll look at details such as their pros and cons and the cost of building one.
This period style of conservatory gets its name from the fact it first appeared during the corresponding era. They are defined by their faceted or rounded visuals and high ornate roofs. The additional sides of Victorian conservatories let more light enter and be reflected which gives this type of conservatory better illumination than most.
This type of conservatory also tends to have a Gothic shaped window. Most Victorian conservatories are made of upVC. A 3.5m x 2.5m Victorian conservatory can cost anywhere from £8000 to £14,500.
✔ One of the most popular conservatory styles.
✔ Extravagant visuals.
✔ Great for illumination.
✔ Traditional and popular.
✔ Not usually overly expensive.
✖ More expensive than a lean to conservatory.
As with a Victorian conservatory, Edwardian also offers an extravagant aesthetic that isn’t possible with say a lean-to conservatory. It too has a rectangular or square shape. Unlike a Victorian conservatory, however, an Edwardian design comes with a flat front and tends to have minimal details on the glass walls and windows.
If any details are present on the walls, it tends to be limited only to the dwarf wall. The flat front of an Edwardian conservatory contrasts the three to five facets that appear at the front of its Victorian counterpart. Edwardian conservatories are also great for making the most out of the available space.
Its pitched glass roof and vaulted ceiling allow plenty of light in too which in turn helps give the illusion of even more space. A 3.5m x 2.5m Edwardian conservatory could cost between £5500 and £11,000 depending on the material used.
✔ Let’s in light for plenty of illumination.
✔ Minimal details on the windows and walls.
✔ Fancy aesthetic.
✖ Can be more expensive than a Victorian conservatory.
This alternative to an ordinary Edwardian conservatory features a gable front. It features a high roof slope. The panel which stands at the front of the roof maintains an upright position instead of sloping back to the middle. An Edwardian gable conservatory is perfect for creating a warm, bright and spacious environment.
✔ Gable-fronted roof.
✔ Creates a great environment for relaxing.
✖ Providers may be more difficult to find.
The least expensive style of conservatory is a lean-to design. It’s a particular famous conservatory style which offers plenty of room as well as a modern look. Its roof slopes upwards from its front directly to the wall of the property.
Lean-to conservatories are perfect for small spaces or if you’d like to avoid using up too much space as you would prefer to maintain a reasonably sizeable garden. Lean-to conservatories could cost somewhere in the range of £6800 to £9000, assuming a size of 3.5m x 2.5m.
✔ Least expensive.
✔ Ideal for a small space.
✔ Modern look.
✔ Simple and flexible.
✖ Not as fancy as Victorian or Edwardian conservatories.
✖ Unsuitable for the addition of roof accessories.
Next, let’s take a look at P-shaped conservatories. Seen as merging the design of the lean-to and Victorian conservatory, this option is a popular choice among many consumers since it can maximise space.
A P-shaped conservatory is perfect if you intend on combining two rooms while using just one space of your household. Generally, these conservatories cost about £8500 to £10,500.
✔ Wide capacity with many aspects of a Victorian design.
✔ Beautiful and popular design.
✔ Great for using two different sides of conservatory separately.
✖ Not well suited to small garden areas.
The name of this type of conservatory comes from the fact it is, for the most part, a long conservatory while it also has a small section diverging from the centre. It is a combination design for which the long section is either Georgian or Victorian while the small section is one of the aforementioned styles or a Gable design.
Since it generally runs the entire length of a property, a T-shaped conservatory is most suited to a large house. Like with a P-shaped conservatory, you can join two rooms with its installation. The cost of a conservatory that is a 3m x 3m T-shaped design usually costs between £11,000 and £13,000.
✔ Creates more space without being a full extension.
✔ Aesthetic mixture of modern and period designs.
✔ You can join 2 rooms.
✖ Not ideal for small spaces.
U-shaped and L-Shaped
Next, we have U-shaped and L-shaped conservatories. Once more, these types combine styles both old and new although both are relatively rare.
U-shaped conservatories are among, if not the least popular type of conservatory. You can expect a cost of around £11,000 to £13,000 for either of these types.
✔ Intelligent blend of different designs.
✔ L-shaped are simple to install.
✖ Limited information on prices online, particularly for U-shaped conservatories.
What Does Building a Conservatory Involve?
We’ll now lay out the steps involved in constructing a conservatory from scratch.
Surveying & Preparations
Before any working can start, precise drawings/plans will be needed based on the area where the conservatory will be built. Once this is done, on the day that building gets underway, the contractors will need to prepare the area by bringing in the materials, tools and equipment.
Building the Base
The first stage of construction involves the base being created. It’s essential that the dimensions and measurements are all perfect for the conservatory base. The groundwork can begin with the conservatory foundation being dug.
This will also allow the contractors to get rid of any unnecessary soil. Next, they’ll need to create a flat surface before adding the base, which will usually be concrete. Then, the labourers will wash the area that surrounds the base in preparation for the next step.
Constructing the Walls
Once the base has been laid, it’s time to start building up the walls. First, the dwarf-wall can be added. Once the bricks have been placed, it’s crucial to allow the cement to dry first. Next up, the external sills will need to be placed down before all frames can be secured.
Then, the doors may be added. The exact nature of this phase will depend heavily on the type of conservatory that is being built as the number of walls and the width and height of each wall will depend on the shape of the structure. This will all be worked out in advance with the construction plans.
Adding the Roof
The final building stage begins with the roof ridge being placed on the top of the conservatory’s frames. That is before roof rafters may be added. Next, the guttering should be added. Just as with a house, a conservatory needs guttering to prevent water damage. Guttering, as with a house, can help a conservatory to last longer.
Once this is done, if applicable, any preferred decorations can be added. You may wish to hire a professional painter and decorator to perform this work on a separate day. It might also interest you to have conservatory furniture and conservatory blinds added.
After the construction work has been complete, any debris and rubbish will need to be removed. This may be performed by the contractors but generally you’ll have to request this in advance. Otherwise, you may need to hire a skip or a man and van service, for example.
You may build a conservatory by yourself or/and with others as a DIY project if you wish. However, there are cases in which you’d need planning permission.
In the following circumstances, you’d need to apply for planning approval:
- More than half of the land area surrounding the original property will be covered by the conservatory.
- The conservatory is constructed beyond the principle elevation or the side elevation in the case that there is a highway in front of it.
- Your conservatory extends beyond the rear wall by a distance greater than four metres in the case of a detached house or three meters if you have any other type of house.
- The conservatory is higher than the tallest part of the existing roof or taller at its eaves than the property’s current eaves.
- The work involves a microwave antenna, raised platform or alteration of the house’s roof.
- You live on article 2(3) designated land and intend for cladding to be included on the exterior.
Conservatories which are made of uPVC should include frames which feature British Standard Marks (BS7412 or/and BSEN 126908). This ensures that they have sufficient strength to support the roof load. A conservatory is exempt from the need to receive building regulations approval under certain circumstances.
They are as follows:
- The conservatory will be less than 30 square metres.
- It will be made from non-combustible material.
- Separated from nearby land or buildings and does not feature any sleeping accommodation.
Undertaking this work DIY can come with risks and hazards. For example, there is a risk of falling objects and straining when carrying heavy objects. You should ensure that you employ the necessary safety equipment when undertaking this work (e.g. helmet, gloves, safety goggles and protective shoes).
Potential Problems and Pitfalls
There are possible issues which could arise in the construction of a conservatory. As some examples, the plans could be off, the materials could be added incorrectly or heavy rain may delay the build. As for the disadvantages with conservatories, there’s a danger of choosing the wrong type and their temperatures can be inconsistent.
If you experience issues with your conservatory once it’s built, thankfully there are many common solutions. If it has a leaky roof, you should seek a professional’s help. More than likely perished seals or an issue with ventilation vents or both will be the problem.
Alternatively, if your conservatory is getting too hot in the summer, the installation of ventilation can help fix this. On the other hand, if your conservatory is too cold, radiators and insulation are the best solutions. It’s also essential that you maintain your conservatory.
For example, it’s vital that you keep on top of any leaks or damage, regularly check any windows and keep the guttering clear. It will cost between £150 and £300 to have your conservatory cleaned by a professional. Conservatories usually last for 25 years before they’ll need to be replaced.
Here is a list of commonly asked questions regarding building conservatories:
QWhat is the difference between a conservatory and an orangery?
An orangery is constructed with brick-made pillars and is generally made to come with a raised glass roof structure. Unlike an orangery, a conservatory tends to be made from polycarbonate plates or glass.
QWhy can I not install a radiator in a conservatory?
Having a radiator fitted to a conservatory may be subject to building regulations if the radiator is going to be connected with the house’s main central heating.
QWhat is the best conservatory roof system?
Glass roofs are arguably the best type.
QHow much do conservatory blinds cost?
While they generally start at about £300, conservatory blinds can run cost several thousand pounds depending on the scale of the structure in question.