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What’s a Conservatory Worth?

Tuesday, 24th July 2012

Categories: Sales Selling Tips

Author: Peter Barry

With our unpredictable weather and no guarantee of a long, sultry summer, many people choose to add a conservatory to the back of their house. That way, even on chilly summer evenings there’s at least the pretence that you’re relaxing in balmy climes, cocktail in hand, looking out over the garden. A conservatory can be a relatively inexpensive and practical way to add an extra room to your house. But if you’re thinking of building one purely to add value to your property, there are a few things to consider before you go ahead and book the builders.

Planning permission

If your conservatory is quite literary a glass conservatory then you probably won’t need any planning permission. However, if you’re considering a brick extension that just happens to have a glass roof then planning rules will apply and you’ll need to check with your local planning office and go through the right channels to get approval. This will add time and money to the build but it’s better to get the room you want, even if that means a bit of red tape.

Added value

Estate agents generally agree that a well-built conservatory that’s in keeping with the rest of the house will add value to your property. But – and here’s the key – that doesn’t mean you can buy a do-it-yourself prefab kit, nail it to the back wall and bump up your sale price by 10%. A badly built or cheap looking conservatory will put buyers off, rather than turning them on: instead of seeing an extra sitting room, they’ll see an eyesore that will have to be pulled down, at some expense.

Define the space

A lot of people make the mistake of building a conservatory and then never really defining the space. With doors from the kitchen or living room, plus doors out onto the garden, a small or narrow conservatory can become little more than a thoroughfare, a clothes-drying area or toy dumping ground. If you don’t know how to use the space, buyers won’t know either. A clearly defined seating or dining area will help to show off the conservatory as a valuable extra room, and lots of well-fitting storage will keep errant toys at bay.

Don’t forget the garden

If you have a big garden then space taken up by a conservatory won’t be an issue. However, if you’re using up a big chunk of an already small garden, your conservatory might look out of proportion to the rest of the property. A lot of buyers will prefer a bigger garden than a conservatory, especially if they have children, so think about your market before you go ahead.


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