Conservatories are an incredibly popular commodity to have on a property, and because of their easy installation, affordable price and adaptability, it is only getting easier to have one installed.

However, conservatories do not last forever and when you buy a new property with a pre-existing conservatory you may find that it is worse for wear; but there are ways to bring new life to your old conservatory and make it last for years longer.

Extensions can last for almost as long as your pre-existing property itself, with solid brick walls providing a sturdy structure with outstanding thermal insulation and added security. But what you may not know is that you can transform your uPVC conservatory into an extension.

single storey extension

What is the difference between a conservatory and an extension?

Both conservatories and extensions come in a range of different styles and designs, but there are a couple of important differences between them.

Conservatories

‘Conservatories’ count are any structure that is made up of more double glazing than brick, around 75% glazing for the roof and over 50% for the walls.

These walls can either be floor length windows for an unobstructed view of your garden, or they can have dwarf walls fitted to allow for more insulation as well as having plumbing and electrical wiring installed in them, as well as being able to be painted, drilled or fitted with different personalisation options.

Conservatories are the more affordable option if you don’t have much of a budget, being prefabricated and easily installed on nearly any kind of property.

They are also usually used as a relaxation room or throughway into the garden. Still, a quality conservatory can provide you with years of quality, and can also increase the value of your home should you decide to sell.

Extensions

Extensions don’t have to be bigger than a conservatory, and in fact they can often be exempt from planning permission if they do not exceed 30m2 in floor space.

Made up of more brickwork than double glazing, extensions are used as a seamless addition to a home, seeming like a natural continuation of the property and is often used by homeowners as either an expansion on pre-existing communal spaces such as kitchens and dining rooms.

However, extensions can also be separate rooms in themselves, with their brick walls allowing for plumbing and electrics to be installed so that it can be used as literally anything; from a new study or office space, living areas, dining areas, children’s playrooms or simply a nice place to relax and unwind.

The possibilities are pretty much endless. They are the more expensive option than conservatories, mainly because of the extra work needed in the construction, but they are definitely worth it in terms of longevity and usefulness, adding value to your home as well as desirability should you ever decide to sell on.

For more information on conservatories and extensions, either contact us through our online contact form or start designing through our free online double glazing cost calculator.

Extensions

How long should a conservatory last?

The lifespan of your average conservatory is typically around 25-30 years, with the advances of modern technology making uPVC a much longer lasting and durable material. In fact, conservatories need very little upkeep and maintenance over the years, not cracking, warping or losing its colour even after years of exposure to the elements.

Often the only thing you need to do is give it the occasional wipe down with a damp cloth in order to keep the windowpanes clear. Extensions on the other hand are often able to last for decades, their brickwork being able to last as long as those of your pre-existing property.

The lifespan of your conservatory can be greatly increased, however, by adding a solid roof to replace your original polycarbonate roof. These standard roofs are not very structurally or thermally sound, and with a lightweight roof their efficiency will greatly increase.

Can I change my conservatory to an extension?

To change your conservatory into an extension you can either choose to have it replaced with a brand new extension, or introduce new elements to your pre-existing structure to make it more like an extension.

Often the addition of a brand new, solid roof is a great way to transform your conservatory into a far more solid and long lasting extension.

Polycarbonate roofs are often the standard when it comes to conservatories, but they are not very well insulated and can be rather basic when it comes to appearance.

However, solid roofs can be tiled to appear identical to the main roof of your property, bringing exceptional insulation to your home; if you would like natural light to still enter your property, they can also be fitted with skylights and rooflights.

Replacing a conservatory completely is pricier, with the cost of a roof being only around £1,200 and £2,500, while a brand new extension can set you back around £20,000 at a minimum depending on the size and materials you want, not including labour costs and the price of removing and disposing of your old conservatory.

For more information on having an extension installed, don’t hesitate to give us a call through our online contact form.