Considering a New Glass Conservatory or Conservatory Extension?

Eight Key Things to Consider When Planning a New Glass Conservatory or Conservatory Extension

Buying a conservatory is a major decision in terms of time, money and don’t forget the emotional investment you will be making in the project too! So imagine how awful it would be living with a bad decision. A 2015 Which? survey* questioned almost 1,000 people and a surprising 44% of them said that they would do things differently if they were choosing their new conservatory again.

So we have put together this short guide on some key things to consider when you are buying a conservatory.

  1. Calculate your budget accurately. – Spend time working out what you can realistically afford to spend on your new conservatory project. Bear in mind that it isn’t just the cost of having the conservatory designed and built. There will be other costs too – such as;
    • Decorating costs once the conservatory has been built
    • Furnishing costs – you may well wish to spend money on conservatory blinds for privacy and furniture of course
    • Landscaping – once the conservatory has been built you may have some tidying up to do in the garden – often people spend money in ‘upgrading’ their gardens at the same time.
    • Allow for “quote creep”! The Which? survey found that 1 in every 10 conservatory buyers paid more than the initial quoted price. Often this is because they choose to add extra elements during the design and build process such as more fancy fittings or extra opening windows etc. Nevertheless it would be prudent to add a 10% contingency to your budget calculations. If you don’t use it you can always spend it on your conservatory opening party!
  2. Take time to really consider what your conservatory requirements are. – Why do you want a conservatory? Who will be using it? Is it going to be a relaxing ‘garden viewing’ room, will you be using it as extra family living space, or for entertaining, or is it to be used as a home office or home working space?
    Correctly specifying all your needs and requirements will really help you to plan out what form your new conservatory should take e.g. the size and layout and the materials to be used, such as the quantity of brickwork vs. glass and the whether it should be a tiled roof or a glass roof or some other type of material.
    There is a lot to consider here but at KM Windows we always take the time and make the effort to fully understand what you are looking to achieve from your conservatory project and to help and guide you where appropriate.
  3. conservatory swindonAdding Value to your Property – If you ask most people planning on buying a conservatory their belief is that it will add value to their property. This is not an unreasonable expectation.
  4. Match It Up – Staying with adding value to your home – consider carefully what style of conservatory will best complement your property. Ideally you want to match your conservatory seamlessly to your home in terms of brickwork, colours and design style. Rest assured that at KM Windows we will have a conservatory design and colour style that will work for you.
  5. Where is your conservatory going to be? – This again is worthy of careful consideration before signing on the dotted line. Mark out in your garden where you want the new conservatory to go. Take a look at how much of the garden is going to be taken up by the conservatory, sacrificing almost the entire garden to the conservatory may not be the best thing in terms of adding value to your home especially if all you see through the conservatory windows is boundary fences and walls. Also check with your conservatory installer what the internal dimensions of the building will be and mark them out too to get the best view of the finished design.
    You should also be aware of where the sun rises and sets in your garden. This could have a significant impact on the design of your conservatory, for example if your conservatory is going to be in sunlight for most of the day you will likely need to design in extra ventilation.
    At KM Windows we are highly experienced in evaluating these types of factors and discussing them with you in order to get the design of the new conservatory exactly right first time. As the Which? survey results showed – almost half of those questioned said that they would do things differently if they went through the process again.
  6. Will your Conservatory require Planning Permission? – This is something that your chosen Conservatory supplier/installer should be prepared to help you with. Planning permission may not be necessary if your conservatory fits within certain criteria; size, positioning etc. However if you live in a conservation area then you will definitely require the necessary approvals. At KM Windows we are only too happy to help our customers with this sort of detail.
  7. glass conservatory SwindonBe A Good Neighbour – This can be a very important point to bear in mind. In all the excitement of planning your new conservatory please don’t forget to consider your neighbours. How might your conservatory impact on their use and enjoyment of their own garden? Will your planned conservatory block out their light or impede their view? If so you may want to look at possible alternatives to mitigate their concerns and maintain friendly relations.
  8. Finally, Ensure you get real Value for Money. – It sound obvious but it may not be as easy as that. There are a lot of companies only too ready to sell you a conservatory. That is good for you because it puts you in the driving seat. However, if your decision making process is based purely on price you may end up very dissatisfied and frustrated. There is probably a very good reason they were the cheapest.

The quotations should specify clearly what the quoted price covers and do make sure you check the terms and conditions which should stipulate payment schedules, guarantees expectations and liabilities on both sides. When comparing quotes make sure you are comparing like with like.  Company A may look significantly cheaper than Company B – but if A expects you to dig all the foundations and do the brickwork then B might suddenly look a lot more appealing!

Also do a bit of homework on the company that you are favouring. Check out their reviews and testimonials and especially look at work completed by them. This will give you a really good understanding of their capabilities.

Also check out the company’s history and financial position. (There are a number of ways to do this easily on line – this is a good starting point The Conservatory business is sadly notorious for rogue traders and unscrupulous companies so make sure that your chosen company is a reputable established business capable of delivering the type of quality conservatory projects that you are looking at. It was interesting to learn that, according to Which? – only 10% of people said they bought their Conservatory from a national brand. The majority of people – 70% – bought from a local conservatory supplier, with most opting to go with a local conservatory company as opposed to a builder.

At KM Windows we do not fear competition or company checks – we are an established and trusted local Orangery and Conservatory company, financially stable and secure. We know that our track record in designing and installing conservatories of all sizes will easily bear scrutiny and our impressive number of customer testimonials back that up. Also we are proud of our company wide commitment to ensuring customer satisfaction and we are fully confident that you will see and experience this whenever we speak to you or meet with you. We also know that our pricing structure means that we will be very competitive when compared like for like with our conservatory companies – sometimes we might even be the cheapest too – but don’t hold that against us!

So, if you are considering a new conservatory now, or for the future, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We would be happy to have a friendly initial chat or provide you with a comprehensive ‘no obligation, no pressure’ quotation.


* The Which? survey was conducted in June/July 2015 and surveyed 893 Which? members about their experiences of buying a conservatory in the past five years. View the Which? Survey here

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