January 9, 2016

Adding a Conservatory to Your House

Summer seems to be lasting longer and longer every year, and it is still only natural that we would want to make the summer heat last as long as possible. You might be considering having a conservatory added to your house to create a space that catches the sun and keeps summer stretching out into September, October and maybe even further. If you’re thinking about adding a conservatory to your home, what are the important things to bear in mind?

Permissions, Permissions!

You must always make sure that you have planning permission from your local government – and from neighbouring properties if you are tampering with a party wall – before starting any building works. The local council will want to have an idea of what you plan to build and how long it will take. If you start building without planning permission and they decide that what you are building is not permitted, you will have to tear it down and you may also have to pay a fine. 
Unfortunately the decision largely rests with the council as to whether or not you will be allowed your conservatory, but they have to take into account the potential ramifications of a conservatory in your local area as well as items of concern such as visual pollution, encroachment on neighbour boundaries etc. If your conservatory is not ridiculously large or a strangely shape structure, you shouldn’t have much trouble in getting planning permission. 

Are you able to have a conservatory built?

Once you have planning permission from your local council, you need to make sure your property is structurally sound and will be able to support the extra room. Find a building surveyor who will come and check out your home to ensure it will be safe to add the conservatory. They might also be able to offer advice which you can pass onto the builder, and they will know about similar projects in the area so might be able to offer extra suggestions.

When you’re choosing a builder to carry out the building work, make sure that you go for an insurance approved builder to protect you and your property in the unlikely event that something goes wrong. Ask neighbours with conservatories who carried out the work, and ask if you can come take a look at it to see if it is up to your standards. Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions to make sure the builder is the right one for you.

Keeping the style simple and similar

Take a look at the style of your existing property and try to go for a style that will blend in well with the design scheme. If you are in a period property, a white plastic conservatory structure will look strange and could actually bring down the value of the property, so spend some time researching the types of conservatory available to get the most appropriate style for you and your home. The better it fits in, the easier it will be to sell your house in the future, as buyers will see it as an asset.

Another aspect to remember is that neighbours can and most likely will complain if the conservatory seems to be visually unappealing or otherwise intrusive on the neighbourhood. It is important to make sure that it is in keeping with the style of the surrounding houses, otherwise you may find it harder to sell on, or even harder for the building to receive planning permission in the first place. 

Conservatories can get extremely hot in the summer, so consider how the room will be ventilated. This might be through large windows to create a through breeze or the installation of some shutters to keep out the sun in the hottest part of the day. Likewise, in winter it can get very cold, so think about how you will insulate it. Make sure windows and doors are properly sealed and consider extending your home central heating system into the conservatory to keep you snug in the colder months.

Window shutters are great for preventing the conservatory from getting too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter, and while large radiators are great, they can cause a lot of condensation so you need to be aware that your new conservatory might need regular cleaning. A conservatory is a beautiful addition to any home, but you have to be willing to put the effort in to keep it in good condition. If you live in a humid area, you will need to take extra measures to prevent against mould in your conservatory, so take this into account. 

At the end of the day, a conservatory makes a fantastic addition to any home and is currently still a very big selling point when it comes to moving on. A conservatory can be representative of wealth and riches and can be used as a dining room, a second living room or just as an open spaced room for entertaining guests. Best used in the summer, why not get ahead of next year by seeing whether or not your property would benefit from a new conservatory? 

Article provided by Mike James, an independent content writer in the property industry – working alongside a selection of companies including Surrey-based property insurance claim professionals Apex Building Solutions, who were consulted over the information in this piece.