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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!

fussychica Wed 13-Mar-19 17:41:44

I love mine. Yes I'd rather have an extension but it was there when we bought the house, it's huge and far to good to knock down. We have a radiator and good blinds and use it about 85% of the year I'd say. Sunny winter mornings in there are absolutely gorgeous, open up the blinds for all the free heat.

NotMeNoNo Wed 13-Mar-19 16:53:55

Well I try to be positive about ours as it came with the house and we can’t afford to rebuild it, it has a decent glass roof and a fan. We have put thermal blinds and roof screens in and a spare tv. It’s a bit nippy on cold evenings but we have a heater in there and a blanket. The rest of the year it’s useful space. Yes if it wasn’t there I wouldn’t build one but our downstairs is all knocked through so it’s the only place you can get some quiet.

BlitheringIdiots Wed 13-Mar-19 16:48:58

Ours incorporates our kitchen and dining room as a big space. It's fine mostly although with a plastic roof it's very loud when it rains!

Punstow61 Wed 13-Mar-19 16:33:29

Thought that said conservatives, was about to rant about how awful the very right wing are hmm

Cruddles Wed 13-Mar-19 11:50:40

I don't like them. I live at the end of a row of 4 town houses, the one at the other end was put up for sale so had a look online. The townhouses have a layout of kitchen on ground floor and living room on first floor. The house for sale had turned the living room into a bedroom and added a conservatory on the back of the kitchen, into the tiny garden. This was the designated living room! And it is one of those crappy old ones too. Just awful.

BellMcEnd Wed 13-Mar-19 11:47:13

We bought a house with a small conservatory that was either -6532653 degrees or hotter than the surface of the sun. We had a solid roof put on, heavily insulated the floor and put a v efficient heater in there. It’s lovely now but as I said, it’s a small room so it didn’t cost loads to do this. It’s now the DCs den with a sofa, tv and x box.

I’m not a massive fan of them either tbh

ArmchairTraveller Wed 13-Mar-19 11:45:58

I love mine, it’s a combination of brick, glass and wood. It has double glazing, radiators, windows that open wide onto the garden and a wooden floor. It’s also large enough to host a variety of uses from extended family Christmas dinner to workspace for crafting to interior garden in winter. Sometimes I hook up interior drapes from the ceiling if it gets too hot in summer.
But I planned before we built it, which makes a difference.

Bluntness100 Wed 13-Mar-19 11:45:12

I have a friend who has always had conservatories in her houses, and they are used all year round, heated in winter, and in the summer just fine with the windows and doors open.

Howcer I also have n elderly relative with one, and it's fucking freezing in winter as she doesn't heat it and roasting in summer as she keeps windows and Doors closed till you go in there.

I think much depends on location ie which way if faces and how you manage it, as my elderly relatives is perfectly usable in both winter and summer, when she remembers to heat it in advance or opens the windows etc to let a breeze through in summer,

Chloemol Wed 13-Mar-19 11:38:19

So put in an offer, then either put a roof on the conservatory, or save up, knock it down and replace with an extension

DaffyCactus Wed 13-Mar-19 11:32:43

Mine is a crap lean-to and when the kids were small, a dumping ground for shoes, toys and all the doggy bits and pieces. Now that dogs are gone and children are older, I've given it a good tidy up, a lick of white paint, and have created a little greenhouse atmosphere along the lines of what you see on Instagram with lots of plants who all seem to love it in there. Yes, it's too hot on summer days and a total fridge in winter, but at this time of year, when the sun comes out, it's a gorgeous place to sit and relax. It will never be a pretty building, but until I can afford a proper extension I am quite pleased to have created something out of nothing.

trancepants Wed 13-Mar-19 11:21:42

I have a conservatory porch and I love it. It's not a full conservatory as it has a low brick and plastered wall all around the bottom, brick "struts/joints" between the windows and a slate roof, insulated with a wooden ceiling. I think it's super. In late spring/summer/early autumn I leave my front door open and it makes my whole house feel bigger and brighter. In winter I do keep the door closed as it can be cold out there but I also make an excellent Christmas display in the porch.

I have a couple of nice chairs and a table out there, so it's lovely for breakfasting in. It's the best when my son is playing out as I can sit in the porch and drink tea while keeping an eye on him. It's great for him to play in with his friends if I don't really want them inside the rest of the house. It's handy if I'm looking out for a delivery or waiting for someone as I'm both inside and outside. It's also been used for all but one Easter mornings as the culmination of an egg hunt because it's been lashing rain and the porch feels like the correct place to finish up if we can't be outside.

puppymouse Wed 13-Mar-19 11:16:32

Hate them. We have one and it's good to have the extra space as we use it as a playroom. I say playroom. DD doesn't play in it because it's either hotter than the sun or like the Arctic. It's storage really.

When we have the money we'll knock it down and do a proper extension.

Boulshired Wed 13-Mar-19 11:04:19

It does depend on what you want and what you already have, mine has been converted so it is barely recognisable as a conservatory. If you want an all year round room then modification or replacements will be required. But I have friends who have a conservatory for summer use it only, they do not particularly need the square footage and are alongside their extension.

MarieIVanArkleStinks Wed 13-Mar-19 10:56:41

I didn't want a conservatory either: I thought they were light thieves. We got one with the house. I decided to use it as a proper conservatory and replaced the roof with a proper glass one (keeps cold out and heat in, and self-cleans). Filled it with plants which are thriving and now 3x the size they were when I first put them in. It's our own little indoor garden and is used all year round; easy to keep warm (less easy to keep cooler in summer) but from about April through October all our evenings are spent in there. I work in there: I find it relaxes me. It's always the setting for Christmas lunch. Great, too, to retreat to when the patio becomes too cold.

It's conservatories without plants that are travesties IMO! I wouldn't have chosen mine, but I now wouldn't want to be without it. It's my favourite room in the house.

PS. I'd love one of those open, American-style porches. Yours sounds wonderful MereDin!

Thesnobbymiddleclassone Wed 13-Mar-19 10:30:42

I know a lot of people use them as play rooms and messy rooms for children.

That's the only reason I'd buy a house with one. I like the idea that they normal have easy to clean floors and the mess children make would be contained to one areas.

DilysMoon Wed 13-Mar-19 10:29:39

We have a South facing one shock and we use it all year with an electric radiator. It's a playroom with sofa and tv so is used in the evenings too if DH wants to watch something different.

It can get very hot in summer but we open the doors and it's fine, the brightness bothers me more than the heat! I dont enjoy sunbathing but I love soaking up the warmth sitting in the conservatory. We need the heater on in winter if it's dull but if it's a sunny day it's warm enough without. A big floor sized thick rug makes a huge difference to keeping it warm. I wouldn't want a solid roof as I'm not prepared to lose the light in to the dining room so an extension wouldn't work for me.

I'm not sure how we'll use it as the kids get older and don't need a toy room, probably just as a second sitting room.

presentcontinuous Wed 13-Mar-19 10:27:17

We bought a house with one and got rid of it within months. The house is in lovely stone and the conservatory was an eyesore in ugly white uPVC. Despite double glazing and a radiator it was freezing all winter, and apparently no previous owners, not even the lady who had it built at great expense, had ever used it except for storage.

Spiritinabody Wed 13-Mar-19 10:21:52

If you look at pictures of conservatories in homes that are for sale they usually don't have a proper purpose.
e.g. May have white goods stuck in some obscure area along with seating or study area as well.

Most don't seem to have a proper plan for their use.

Spiritinabody Wed 13-Mar-19 10:17:50

IMO it's better to have an extension to the home rather than a conservatory.

thedisorganisedmum Wed 13-Mar-19 10:11:50

I hate them, they look horrendous. Most of them look filthy as well, because it's rare that people got a window cleaner to do theirs at least a couple of times a month.

I much prefer to open windows in the rooms, sit either in a room or in the garden, I cannot see the point of them.

I understand when people just need space and go for a cheaper option than an extension, because that's all they can afford. I still hate them.

TheOxymoron Wed 13-Mar-19 10:03:42

I have air conditioning in mine which makes the use of it fantastic but without it I totally agree.

HexagonalBattenburg Wed 13-Mar-19 10:02:16

Sat in mine at the moment - it's my home office/craft room/woman cave/hide from the rest of the bloody family sanctuary (although the dog's commandeered the sofa in it as her dog bed to keep me company). Can keep an eye on the kids when they're playing in the garden as well while sitting watching telly and drinking coffee and ours is used all year round - we don't tend to close the doors between it and the rest of the house so the temperature stays relatively equal and I've been out in here with snow on the roof perfectly fine. Ours is fairly new (couple of years old) so the glazing on it is pretty decent I think.

MN collectively is very anti-conservatories though. I think you have to set them up quite carefully or they can become a dumping ground - before I reclaimed this one it had been infested with about a million plastic playmobil people I had to serve eviction proceedings on and had become a bit of a no-man's ground. I love it now we've got it working as a decent room though.

soulrunner Wed 13-Mar-19 09:49:47

I was anti- them but we bought a house that has one as a kitchen extension with sofas etc. and it’s great. Actually isn’t cold ( albeit we have under floor heating) or at least no more than the standard kitchen extension with floor to ceilin bi- folds at the back. It is very sheltered I suppose so maybe that helps.

KaliforniaDreamz Tue 12-Mar-19 12:16:55

i thought this was about Conservatoires!

alwaysncxx Tue 12-Mar-19 11:42:37

@NameChangeNugget summed conservatories up very well grin

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