All you need to know about building a conservatory including costs of materials, labour and time frames.
A conservatory is simply a room with a glass roof and walls, attached to a house at one side, but there are many types of conservatory and the design you choose will often depend on how you intend to use it. The most basic conservatory type is the "Lean to" or "Dwarf wall" Conservatory. This is a very basic three-sided design which is the perfect for those with small homes that are looking to add some extra space for relaxation to their home. The Victorian Conservatory type resembles an extended bay window, with usually 5 windows in total giving a great view of the garden. Despite the name, the Victorian conservatory is a timeless design that can complement a home of almost any age or type. The P-Shaped Conservatory is a combination of both the lean-to and Victorian designs, combining a long room with a second, shorter round addition. This type of conservatory is only really suited to large detached properties as the design requires a large amount of space. Other popular conservatory types include the Edwardian or Georgian Conservatory, T-shaped Conservatory, Lantern Roof Conservatory, Gable Conservatory, plus of course an unlimited range of bespoke designs to suit individual requirements.
The cost of installing a uPVC conservatory will vary tremendously on a number of factors, mostly to do with the size and style required. Quite simply, as you would expect, the bigger & more fancy a conservatory is, the higher the conservatory cost! Factors influencing the cost of a conservatory include the overall size, type of roofing (for example do you want polycarbonate or glass roof panels?), type of finish (white or wood effect), type and number of doors, foundations or brickwork required, type of glass (i.e. tinted or plain, solar glass, the width of the thermal gap in the sealed units), plus other added design elements such as a veranda or a raised patio area. But as a general rule, the cheaper lean-to type conservatories will start from around £4,000 for the smallest, rising up to £10,000 and more for Victorian and P-Shaped designs. But the sky is the limit with conservatories, with many costing upwards of £40,000!
When it comes to building conservatories the design, planning and build are all things that must be taken into account if you want to get the perfect conservatory for your property. Conservatories generally do not require planning permission, being usually considered a permitted development. But there are limitations on the size and height. You should always check with your local planning department, but in general, conservatories must be no more than half the size of your existing property and not be wider or higher than the original property. To avoid planning permission you must have no fronting highway with verandas, balconies or raised platforms. If the conservatory is within two metres of a property boundary, in addition the eaves must be no higher than three metres. If your home is detached or semi-detached, you are often granted a little more leeway and can extend your property by 70m3 or 15% of the volume of the original house, capped at 115m3, without the need for planning permission.
The average material cost of a conservatory will depend on factors, such as size, type, finish, number of doors, glass type & more. On average, material costs for smaller type consevatories such as lean-to's will start from £2500-£4000. Bigger Victorian and P-shaped conservatories can range from £8,000-£10,000. Additional costs, such as, skip hire & foundation work will be factored into the overall price.
The average rate a conservatory specialist will charge is typically around £150-£200 per day in labour. Typically, builders will work in a team of 2-3 people with the overall labour cost being factored into the overall price of the quoted job. We estimate on average a small conservatory can take from 2-3 weeks of labour to build, whereas a Victorian or P-shaped conservatory can take 3-6 weeks. Please note that the actual duration of erecting a conservatory will usually take around 3 months as there is quite a bit of waiting time between the building stages.
Below are some estimated costs of hiring specialists to build a conservatory:
|Type of Conservatory||Avg. Cost||Duration|
|Lean-to conservatory||£6,000-£10,000||2-3 weeks|
|Victorian or P shaped conservatory full build||£10,000-£15,000||3-4 weeks|
|Premium conservatory build||£15,000-£20,000||4-6 weeks|
|Conservatory refurbishment||£5,000-£10,000||2-3 weeks|
Individual Costs to Build a 3.5m x 3.5m Lean-to Conservatory - Total Cost: £8000