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Conservatories - convince me

(19 Posts)
53rdWay Thu 11-May-17 10:50:55

We're looking at houses to buy at the moment and quite a few have conservatories. I have never lived anywhere with a conservatory and can't really see what we'd use it for - surely it's either freezing or boiling most months of the year?

We did once live in a house with a sunroom (tiled roof, 2/4 walls glazed) and it was fabulous and I still miss it, but even that was too cold to use in Dec/Jan. I like the idea of more floorspace, but if the conservatory can't be a dining room or an office and we already have a living room... what would we do with it?

Do you have one? Do you use it?

Badgertastic Thu 11-May-17 12:29:47

We have just moved in to a house with a conservatory. I love it! Breakfast in the morning sun, afternoon snooze in the warmth, dried some clothes in it on an airing rack super quickly, early evening coffee in the evening sun. Ours has underfloor heating so can be used in the cooler months too. I can see the room being used a lot.

Lucisky Thu 11-May-17 12:30:52

No I don't have one, and wouldn't want one. As you say, freezing in winter, too hot in summer. All that glass to clean! They are a magnet for flying insects when the doors are open, so you end up with fly dirt in unreachable places. They can also get black mould growing in winter if they are not properly ventilated. If they are positioned at the end of a sitting room they make the room dark and gloomy. A sun room, yes! Walls up to about a metre with windows on top, a proper roof and a couple of velux windows would be a usable space most of the year. Every one I know who has a conservatory never gets their money's worth out of it, and they end up unloved and dusty, or a dumping ground.

BadTasteFlump Thu 11-May-17 12:41:47

We have one and whilst I don't think I would have had one built myself, it was there when we bought the house.

It gets used a fair bit from about March/April to October every year because it's lovely and warm and sunny. Over the winter it doesn't get used as much, mainly because it's not cosy like the sitting room is, it just feels more like a summer room But then I wonder how much any second sitting room would get used generally, whether it's a conservatory or not... When the weather is really cold it doesn't heat up as well as the rest of the house. We also have a dehumidifier running in there over the winter or the constant condensation can be a problem.

It's not too hot in summer - but we tend to have the doors open anyway when the weather is nice. Do you know which direction the conservatory faces? Ours is East facing so only gets full sun first thing - so it doesn't get overheated. I would imagine a south facing one would get much hotter.

brieandcrackers Thu 11-May-17 12:55:19

My childhood best friend's family used theirs as a playroom - it was somewhere they could store toys and crafty things without messing up the lounge, and also where they could could shut us kids if they wanted a bit of peace and quiet!!

My parents are in the process of having one put in now - their main factors are wanting to watch the birds in the garden and finally bringing an end to TV channel-based disagreements grin

53rdWay Thu 11-May-17 13:22:04

Oooh, space for toy stuff we could definitely use.

House we're considering putting in an offer on has west-facing conservatory so I'm guessing lots of afternoon/evening sun. Might be a furnace by June though. Would love to be able to convert it into a proper sunroom if we do end up with that house, but I don't think our budget will stretch that far for many many years to come.

SnowBallsAreHere Thu 11-May-17 13:26:27

We have one that previous owners installed. It looks nice. But is completely impractical. In summer it has reached 48 degrees, soft furnishings have been destroyed, kids toys bleached and brittle. In winter it costs a fortune to heat. With a proper roof it might be a nice room, but as it currently is it's just a shit plastic box.

BadTasteFlump Thu 11-May-17 13:27:01

I think as long as it's not south facing it will be fine - if it doesn't get full sun until the afternoon it shouldn't get overheated.

As long as you realise it needs a bit more care than the rest of the house - ie keeping the humidity levels good with ventilation/dehumidifiers in the winter - I wouldn't let it put me off buying a house I really loved.

Ours was a playroom when the DC were younger but then they made it redundant - so it's now my wine and chill room smile

Wecks Thu 11-May-17 13:49:53

I am sitting in the enormous conservatory we added to our house. It was the best thing we ever did and we were not short of space.
I love it. Yes it can be hot on a hot day, but this is the UK and there are very few days in the year when I deem it too hot. It is to cold to use from November to February and I shut it up then, although it has heating and we sometimes use it over Christmas.
Teenage DC use it when friends are over. I have a dining room but we also have a table in the conservatory. Comfy sofas and a TV for DH

SpringSpringSpring Thu 11-May-17 15:07:09

We have a south-west facing one and love it. It has has doors all across one side and solid walls and on nice days we just open it up. There is no such thing in this country as too hot for me though, so might depend on how warm/cold you usually feel. Doesn't really get used from November-March.

Jussayingisall Thu 11-May-17 15:11:32

Ours is used as a playroom for the kids. Heater on in winter and windows open in summer. Can store all their toys in there without cluttering the house and easy access to the garden.

ScoopyDoo Thu 11-May-17 15:17:07

Ours is north facing. It does still get hot in the summer, in fact it gets hot in this sunny May weather. We have to use a dehumidifier over winter to stop condensation and mould. It was there when we bought the house a year ago and will stay until we extend in a couple of years. I don't like it, but it didn't put me off buying an otherwise lovely house. It is really, really useful as a drying room (with dehumidifier on) in winter and as a place to leave soggy tents/outdoor gear. It's also nice to sit in for meals when it's not quite warm enough outside.
The thing I do hate about it is it covers one of the kitchen windows, which really affects ventilation in the kitchen. If the design of the one you are looking at is such that it cuts off direct access to outside for one or more rooms, by covering the only windows/doors, then do be very wary because the extreme temperature variation will really affect that room too and you can never properly air it.

Judashascomeintosomemoney Thu 11-May-17 15:21:02

I misread your title and thought oh dear god not another election thread! grin Anyway, moving on, we've got one, actually more a sunroom, but as you say still too cold in winter and as ours is South facing, too hot in summer. However, every single grandparent and elderly relative we have always make a beeline for it! They all think it's merely cosy hot enough to fry an egg and all want one! We literally never use it otherwise. As it's half brick built I've been wondering how easy it would be to make it a proper extension.

PippaFawcett Thu 11-May-17 15:27:25

I'm not sure why people don't just extend instead of putting on conservatories - surely they aren't too much more expensive? If they mean an internal room doesn't have any windows then they are a no from me. I love natural light.

Jussayingisall Thu 11-May-17 15:42:25

Was here when we bought the house already smile

m0therofdragons Thu 11-May-17 16:12:10

Ours is our permanent dining room. Never cold due to heating but hot in summer. It has massive doors so I fling them open and it cools instantly.

m0therofdragons Thu 11-May-17 16:13:04

We built ours and it's got full walls either side and just glass roof and front.

Wecks Thu 11-May-17 17:02:53

I'm not sure why people don't just extend instead of putting on conservatories
If you really need an extra room I agree. A conservatory isn't quite a substitute for a study / dining room/ living room. We already had plenty of rooms. We also had a space that was filled perfectly by the conservatory.
However if you are buying a house I see no reason to be put off.

m0therofdragons Fri 12-May-17 11:04:22

Price? Extension is much more expensive than a conservatory!

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