roomoutsideuk Room Outside Admin
24th March, 2021

Key mistakes to avoid when designing a conservatory

Planning and designing your conservatory or glass extension may feel overwhelming when you first get started.  The last thing you want to do is make the investment and then regret decisions later.  So, we have put together a quick guide to some of the key mistakes people make when buying a conservatory or orangery and what you need to consider to avoid making them.

1. Making assumptions about planning permission

While there are a lot more things you can do with your home under permitted development rights, you will still need to have a clear understanding of whether your glass extension will require planning permission as well as any specialist consent, such as for listed buildings and homes in areas of outstanding natural beauty. It will not serve you well to make assumptions about planning permission requirements and could even result in your lovely new glass space having to come back down. Make sure you choose a conservatory company that is knowledgeable in these areas and that can point you in the right direction for planning advice and professional architects and Planning Officers in your area as required.  You can also use the Planning Portal to find out more about your permitted development rights and gain planning permission if required.

2. Choosing cheaper glass without temperature control

With the British weather being so changeable, in some cases extreme, when adding a glass room, you will need to consider temperature control.  The development of specialist temperature control glass has meant that conservatories and orangeries can be enjoyed year-round, but not all glass is created equal.  Do your research and make sure that the glass that will be used offers good temperature control, with a low U-value to keep heat in during winter reducing heating costs, and that lessens the heat and sunlight coming through in summer.  It is worth the investment to use the best on offer when it comes to the glass for your roof, windows, and doors to get the most out of your new space. Going for a budget option will mean that you are less able to enjoy your new room and could even cost you more money in the future to upgrade.

3. Adding the wrong conservatory or orangery

Adding a conservatory, orangery or glass extension can increase the value of your property but like with anything it is dependent on the style you go for and the quality of the product. To maximise your investment, you need to ensure you are adding a quality, well designed, and built conservatory that is sympathetic to your current home and its surroundings. Ensuring that the new glass extension is a good size, shape, and style, and fits and flows with your home is important to make sure it provides a practical space that enhances your home and lifestyle. A good conservatory designer will have the knowledge and experience to make recommendations and ensure that you don’t risk taking away from your property value and appeal.

4. Investing more than the value gained

While investment in a glass extension is great for increasing your property value, there will be a ceiling value that your property would be able to achieve if you were to put it on the market.  It is not advised to invest in your glass room over and above the value that the glass addition will add to the overall market price of your home. It is important to strike a balance between creating the space of your dreams with what is practical and the value that can be achieved by extending.  Unless you know that you will be staying in your property for many more years, gaining a valuation of your home and understanding what it could be worth if you added a conservatory will help you under what budget to aim for to get the best outcome and maximise return on your investment.

5. Compromising on space to save money

Like with any building and renovation work, adding a glass extension can command a big investment and may require some compromises to get the conservatory that you want within your budget.  Compromising on space is not always the best option to free up the budget. Reducing the size of your conservatory may result in a room that is unusable and impractical for the intended use. Reducing the size will save cost, but keep in mind that a customer survey discovered that the number one regret of buying a conservatory, was not purchasing a larger one.

6. Not considering the landscaping

Most of your attention is bound to be focused on your new structure, but you should also consider the landscaping around it.  After the construction, there may well be a disturbance to the area around the building site that will need some attention to get it back to how it was.  You may also wish to update parts of the surrounding garden landscaping to freshen up and complete the look of the outside of your property. After all, you want to be able to enjoy the view looking out from your glass extension once construction is complete. This will of course have an impact on your budget and will need to be included in your costs.

7. Forgetting to factor in maintenance time and costs

Your structure will require some regular maintenance and cleaning to keep it looking its best. For timber-framed conservatories, you will also need to factor in re-treating or painting the wood every few years.  While you could do some or even all of this yourself, this could take up a lot of your time, as well as running the risk of damaging your conservatory or injuring yourself when trying to service the areas of your structure that are at height or hard to access.  A professional conservatory cleaning company will be able to assess your structure for maintenance and make repairs required as well as offering a deep valet cleaning service.  They will have the specialist equipment and cleaning products required to access all of your glass room and give it a professional service and deep valet clean inside and out.

8. Not considering furniture and interior design beforehand

When it comes to designing your conservatory or orangery, you will need to be clear on the requirements and usage of the space, as this is likely to affect the size, shape, and configuration of your new room.  It is important to think about what furniture you will be using in the room, such as whether you have any particularly tall furniture pieces that would need to stand against a wall, or perhaps you want to include a large dining table to seat 8 people with space to move around the outside. You can configure your glass extension to have more or less glass to allow for the wall space required to incorporate your desired furniture.  You may also want to consider things such as electricity points as well as whether you would need phone and internet sockets if you are using the room as a home office space. Don’t forget to factor into your budget any decoration, blinds, furniture or décor purchases to complete your room. 

Room outside has over 5 decades of experience and knowledge in designing and custom-building garden rooms, conservatories, orangeries and frameless glass box extensions. More recently we have also added oak framed buildings and garden rooms to our range of expertise.  We have helped clients from all over the UK to design their dream Room Outside, including properties in areas of outstanding natural beauty and grades I and II listed buildings. Our expert team will be able to offer advice and recommendations as well as help you navigate planning regulations, building control, and required consent so that you don’t have to embark on the progression of your project alone. Our passion is helping to ensure that you get a practical yet stylish addition to your home that will serve you and your family for many years to come.  We also offer specialist deep valet cleaning, maintenance and refurbishment services for existing structures, so you can protect your investment with a specialist professional service. You can find out more about us and our range in our digital product brochures.

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