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AIBU to think that conservatories are a total waste of time?

(113 Posts)
RosaPfirsich Tue 12-Mar-19 09:22:41

Misread my own title then as 'Conservatives' then... they are a waste of space too tbf but my AIBU is about the uselessness of conservatories of the glass room variety.

Went to view a house yesterday. It's perfect except for the fact that it has a conservatory. The sellers had the standard wicker type furniture in there and it looked nice enough but in my experience the space is only ever fleetingly useful in maybe spring and autumn.

My experiences of having a conservatory previously have been that it's either so hot in them that you can't sit for longer than 5 minutes without feeling like you are going to pass out, OR they are absolutely bloody freezing and any efforts to warm them with additional heating are completely fruitless as the warmth wastes zero time escaping through the glass.

What is the point?! Have I just been stuck with really shit conservatories and other people don't have these problems?

We'd like to put an offer on the house but the conservatory is bugging me already!

What do you do with yours? Do you actually use it all year?

I think I'm kind of wanting someone to tell me IABU and sell the idea that they aren't a waste of space as I really love this house!

birdonawire1 Tue 12-Mar-19 09:24:39

You can get the roof changed to a solid roof and better insulated so it's much more usable. Do agree they are otherwise useless.

HarrysOwl Tue 12-Mar-19 09:25:53

I hate them! Too cold in winter and too hot in summer. An extension is a much better idea!

recrudescence Tue 12-Mar-19 09:26:38

Mine serves as a very useful holding area for a wet dog.

FamilyReferee Tue 12-Mar-19 09:31:52

I love mine! We use it all year round - it has a radiator in it for winter (you need one of sufficient size for the room), spring and autumn it's perfect. In summer, because ours is North facing, it's usable for most of the day, especially with the windows open giving a light breeze. It's large, light & bright and overlooks our lovely garden. It's probably my favourite room in the house.

ifoundthebread Tue 12-Mar-19 09:32:04

Our house had one already when we moved in, it's used as the children's toy room. We bought an electric radiator off amazon (cost about £100) it has a built in thermostat, it doesn't get too burny hot to touch (😂 - don't know how else to word it) and we put that on to take the chill off in the winter and just open all the windows and door in the summer.

Shelbybear Tue 12-Mar-19 09:32:58

I don't like them either. Puts me off buying a house if they have one. Better to do a proper extension and not have a glass room that is either boiling hot or Baltic!

YetAnotherUser Tue 12-Mar-19 09:33:31

I have an ancient, crappy one that was there when I bought the house. I'm poor so I bought a 2nd hand kitchen on Ebay and put loads of cupboards in it.

It is now used for storing bikes, junk, laundry room, and has a lemon tree in it.

It's pretty useless in the summer as it's hotter than the surface of Venus (good fro drying laundry though), and in the winter it's useful only as a buffer between the rest of the house and the freezing outdoors.

UtterlyUnimaginativeUsername Tue 12-Mar-19 09:34:58

I've lived with two south facing ones and while they were completely useless for humans, they were great for drying washing all year round.

VelvetPineapple Tue 12-Mar-19 09:35:11

Too cold in winter. Too hot in summer. Needs to be closed off by a door otherwise it gets condensation streaming down the glass when it’s cold outside. Why would you basically want to stick a greenhouse on the side of your house? Just build a proper usable extension!

Farmerswifey12 Tue 12-Mar-19 09:35:22

We use ours all year round! Maybe been a handful of mornings where it has just been too cold, but generally even in winter it is warm enough as we have a long radiator which goes right along the length of one wall. We use it mainly as a playroom and keeps all the toys etc out if living room

badlydrawnperson Tue 12-Mar-19 09:37:07

YANBU ours is want

wendywoopywoo222 Tue 12-Mar-19 09:37:08

Love mine. Have heating for when it needs it. We use it as a dining room in the winter and I sleep in there in the summer with the doors open to the garden.

Atchiclees Tue 12-Mar-19 09:37:25

We have had two at two previous houses. One was south and the other north west, and they were both great. The south backing one had doors at either side to let the air flow through in summer. Both were fine in winter with a radiator, and on those in between spring and autumn seasons where the sun through glass is lovely and warm. Didn’t have wicker furniture as too uncomfortable on the arms, just got a small sofa from ikea. Had some great post work naps on that sofa in the warm sunshine.

thecatsthecats Tue 12-Mar-19 09:37:27

Honest question - do the people who find them too hot in summer not... open the doors? Seems to solve that problem in five minutes for mine, and I like to have the doors open to the garden.

Ours also works as a bit of a heat bank in summer, because the rear of the house is north facing, so stays a little too cool, without the warm air moving through from the back.

In winter, it managed to get warm enough with the heater that even MIL agreed to open the door (and her thermostat is set to 28!). We use it as a dining room/seating near the garden so don't often put the heating on in there in winter.

badlydrawnperson Tue 12-Mar-19 09:37:27

wank

MargoLovebutter Tue 12-Mar-19 09:38:18

They can be made really usable rooms. Firstly, you can get much more effective glazing these days, so that far less heat radiates out in the winter months, plus you can get really good blinds too, which will both prevent heat loss and reduce heat build up in the summer.

That coupled with good ventilation in the summer, should mean that it isn't like the Gobi Dessert!

I've had them and found them really useful rooms, as long as they were decent quality and were properly kitted out, so that they weren't the equivalent of glass lean tos, just thrown up cheaply.

I would want to find out more about the conservatory. When was it built and ideally what company built it. What kind of glazing is it fitted with? Does it currently have any blinds - if yes, will they be included in the sale? What kind of windows does it have & are there ceiling vents or windows - these are really important but again cheap ones often aren't fitted with any roof venting.

badlydrawnperson Tue 12-Mar-19 09:38:35

Honest question - do the people who find them too hot in summer not... open the doors?

Yes, doesn't help. Also not always possible eg if have been out.

Weetabixandshreddies Tue 12-Mar-19 09:39:21

We use ours all year. Again ours is East facing though so doesn't get much hot sun. We have an radiator in there and it's lovely and warm in the winter and our favourite room in the summer because there are so many windows to let the breeze in and you can sit looking at the garden.

MollyHuaCha Tue 12-Mar-19 09:42:51

My gripe is that a conservatory tends to block off the light from the room to which it is attached.

Oh, and where we live, they are called orangeries now. hmm

Babyfoal Tue 12-Mar-19 09:43:34

We had a house with a lovely one. It was unuseable in summer because when the doors or windows were open flies, bees and wasps would come in, dozens of them, and go up high and not be able to get out,

MulderitsmeX Tue 12-Mar-19 09:47:42

My DPS have an east facing one and it's ace.
Their house is bloody freezing but the conservatory is nice all year round. Insulated floors and a fan to blow the warm air into the house help. We spend all day in it! It's a bit cold at night but fine in the day, we eat christmas dinner out there smile

MereDintofPandiculation Tue 12-Mar-19 09:48:59

Ours is actually a large porch over the back door, big enough for a table and a couple of chairs (4 at a pinch), and wide windowsills for books and flowering and scented plants. Unheated - couldn't justify on ecological grounds the use of energy to heat a poorly insulated space. It's wonderful from Feb onwards - those sunny days when it's not warm enough to sit outside, but really uplifting to the spirits to have lunch in the sunshine. Summer we use it for breakfast and late evening, then autumn is back to having all meals in there. In winter, it is a useful space to take off waterproofs and muddy boots.

In addition, we've fitted a thermostatically controlled fan so when it's sunny it blows warm air from the conservatory to heat the house.

I think one reason it is useful is that it opens off the kitchen, so it's a natural thing to have the doors open on a sunny day and just carry a cup of coffee into there. A friend's conservatory you'd have to carry your coffee across the hall and through the sitting room - it's much more of an "event" to use it. Another friend has just had hers rebuilt, with a solid roof and partial walls, and window blinds, so it's reasonable to heat it and it has become a second living room.

Keeprisinghigher Tue 12-Mar-19 09:49:08

I have a proper roof on mine and it’s still freezing in the winter

LakieLady Tue 12-Mar-19 09:49:45

When I visited a friend just before Christmas one year, I was impressed to see that her conservatory had been repurposed as an overspill fridge.

It kept white wine and beer perfectly chilled and her fruit and veg kept really well without taking up most of the real fridge. She even had her turkey out there, in a zip-up cool bag.

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