Planning a conservatory for your home
Ideal for adding extra space to your home without major structural work, a conservatory or sunroom offers you the chance to enjoy everything from a sunny breakfast to a star-studded nightcap – whatever the weather.
Relatively inexpensive, offering endless enjoyment and even potentially adding value to your home, conservatories have plenty of benefits – so here’s everything you need to know before you get started.
Be smart about your available space
One of the most exciting parts of planning a conservatory is working out exactly what it will look like and how it will sit in your garden. Look at all of the available options and think about how you can maximise your space to its best advantage. It’s often worth getting a few quotes from different contractors and seeing what kind of solutions they suggest for your home – what might be the perfect addition for one building could look ungainly or sit awkwardly on another.
Draw up a list of your ‘must haves’
You’ll also want to have a good think about the ways you’ll be planning to use your conservatory. Will you need electrical points to plug in TVs or computers? Would you like cosy, carpeted floors or are you going for a rustic effect suitable for hardy gardeners with muddy shoes? If you’re planning to use your conservatory for dining or entertaining, you’ll need a certain amount of space at your disposal.
Make sure your conservatory suits your needs
It’s also important to decide whether you hope to use the room all year round or whether it will be only for spring and summer months. This will help you decide whether portable heaters are sufficient or whether you should be considering under-floor heating. You might also want to think about fitting blinds that can help you trap and/or repel heat and decide whether one-way glass (that lets you see out while stopping people from seeing in) might be a worthwhile investment.
Think about your neighbours
Transforming part of your back garden into an extra room with a clever conservatory build is a personal choice – but do be mindful of your neighbours. It’s a very good idea to be conscious of how your plans may affect the people around you. Is there any chance you could obstruct someone’s view or might your neighbours have concerns about noise? Discussing your intentions and keeping your neighbours’ feedback in mind can help you plan a stress-free build.
Work out if you need planning permission
Normally, you don’t need to apply for planning permission to add a conservatory to your home but there are a few caveats to bear in mind. For example, you will need permission if your planned conservatory will be taller than the highest point of your house or if it will cover more than half of the land surrounding your home. You’ll find more details to help you work out whether you need to apply for permission or not on the Planning Portal website.
Cocktail evenings, games nights, elegant brunches – what would you use your conservatory for?
Rachel - Silversurfers Assistant Editor
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