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Proper extension or conservatory (and more holidays)?

(28 Posts)
missingthemountains Fri 05-Jun-09 17:11:41

We have planning permission etc to build an extension which will be our main lounge. Problem is all the builder quotes have come back way more than we expected. The room is supposed to be light and make use of the nice views so we are contemplating putting up a conservatory instead - obviously saving quite a bit of money which we could definitely use.

BUT...would we regret going for cheap option of conservatory? DH is worried it'll be too cold and too hot. We will be putting in radiators and a wood burning stove to help with the heat..Also considering blinds and solid roof panels rather than plastic or glass to minimise heat in the summer

what are your experiences? can conservatories work or will we always regret not spending more??

lalalonglegs Fri 05-Jun-09 17:53:17

You would regret it - conservatories are ugly and not that useful, they very, very rarely integrate with the rest of the house as well as a properly thought out extension. Tighten your belts and get the real thing.

llareggub Fri 05-Jun-09 18:11:40

We went for an ugly conservatory. smile

We put it right the way across the back of the house, with walls at either end and floor to ceiling glass along the longer wall. We had a glass roof instead of funny plastic stuff. There are two walkways into our conservatory, through the kitchen and through our playroom. This effectively has transformed our house from having 3 poky little rooms to a fairly spacious open plan layout which works well for us. An extension would have done the same thing.

We've survived the winter; on sunny days the sun warmed the entire downstairs and during the evening the heater warmed the conservatory fairly well. The heat from the kitchen also helped. Over the last few weeks during the hot weather, the conservatory hasn't been unbearably hot and I've really enjoyed sitting in there with our double doors open and DS playing in the garden. Our glass roof is tinted and that is supposed to help heat-wise. I do keep the windows open during the day but then I'm the sort of person that keeps windows open during the winter too.

We use our conservatory as a dining room and family room and we use it all year round. I love having such a warm, light and sunny room and am pleased we went for the conservatory rather than the extension.

wombleprincess Fri 05-Jun-09 18:50:31

extension if you can afford it. conservatories are shite.

slackrunner Sat 06-Jun-09 11:21:50

I'm not a conservatory fan either (unless it's been beautifullly crafted from wood, costs in the region of £50K and would be described by an EA as an orangery wink). My heart sinks when I see house details and one of the features is a conservatory.

I think it's worth running to the extension if you can.

trixymalixy Sat 06-Jun-09 11:29:16

No to conservatory, you will always regret not doing it properly.

HeadFairy Sat 06-Jun-09 11:29:22

I would agree with slackrunner, don't bother unless you are going to put in a nice proper wooden one don't bother putting in those nasty plastic conservatories they actually devalue a property. If you do decide to go ahead, please put something that suits your property, don't put a pseudo Victorian conservatory on a house built in the 1960s, if your house is modern, put a modern conservatory on it I quite like the top one here.

MumHadEnough Sat 06-Jun-09 11:34:02

Plus please take into consideration that conservatories have a limited lifespan, whereas an extension won't.

We had the same decision to make. We went for the extension. I love it!!!!

Fizzylemonade Sat 06-Jun-09 17:14:21

We bought a house with a conservatory already on, we HATE it.

It faces East (we live in Yorkshire so not a hot place) it is way too hot in summer despite putting foil strips in the roof, we have to have a heater in it in winter despite having a whopping double radiator in it and it is only 10' sqaure.

Think of all that glass you have to clean inside with sticky fingerprints, the sealant starts to go on the joints after a few years and goes off colour, I have just had my conservatory cleaned as the upvc was looking horridly grey.

I would much rather have an extension. A conservatory usually looks like an add on rather than part of the house.

Conservatories are cheaper for a reason grin

Swedes Sat 06-Jun-09 17:28:46

There are conservatories and there are conservatories. We have a triple glazed Marston & Langinger painted hardwood conservatory with air conditioning and underfloor heating. We absolutely use it all year round.

Just like there are extensions and extensions.

How much is the original quote? What is the size of the room. Which way does the room face?

brimfull Sat 06-Jun-09 17:32:48

cheapo conservatories are not worth it

only really good quality ones are worht doing and then you might as well spend the £££ on an extension if it's going to be south facing

missingthemountains Sat 06-Jun-09 19:09:44

quotes are £40 - £55k including some internal work

room is 4m x 6m and is west facing

beginning to be won round to extension as we would go for fairly cheapo conservatory so as to reduce costs. sounds like it may be a false economy in the long run tho?

slackrunner Sat 06-Jun-09 19:56:37

If you're undecided maybe you could talk through your plans with an EA - after all you are entitled to a free valuation? Or ask a surveyor? Worth asking what the value add to the property would be (although I personally would opt for the extension unless you're planning a conservatory like Swede's).

Swedes Sat 06-Jun-09 21:43:58

£55K for a single storey extension for one room? shock that sounds high to me.

Get two more quotes and make the windows and construction really tip top but pare back expenditure on interior fittings. Shopping wisely can save you a lot of money on things like doors.

Pannacotta Sat 06-Jun-09 21:55:17

As Swedes says, it does depend on the conservatory.
If you were to get a decent hardwood design with proper heating and ventilation then it could be great. West facing is the best aspect - neither too cold (North facing) nor too hot early on or during the day (East or South) but sunny and warm in the afternoon and evening and also in winter.

We had a wooden conservatory in our previous house with proper insulation, tinted film on the glass roof and two double radiators and we used it all year round and miss it now.

jeanjeannie Sat 06-Jun-09 21:56:11

Yep, unless you're getting a conservatory like Swedes envy then I wouldn't bother!

So you're looking at quotes coming in at about £2k per Sqm...MMmm, steepish but I suppose it depends on your groundworks - does it slope where you're looking to extend as that can add to the cost? Are the quotes written down so that you can you see where the bulk of the money is going and see if there is any room for manoeuvre.

biffandchip Sat 06-Jun-09 23:54:02

Blimey, I guess no one likes conservatories. I am in the middle of building one like llareggub's - solid walls at either side with a door leading from the kitchen into it. We have extended the garage and created a utility room and downstairs wc which will be access via the 'solid wall' side of the conservatory. We will have a radiator, will plaster the walls and use it as another room. We have gone for the glass roof and low dwarf wall at the front as it will let much needed light into the kitchen at the back of the house which we wouldn't get with an extension and a few velux windows in the roof.

missingthemountains Sun 07-Jun-09 11:59:26

yes there is sloping ground nearby so we'll need piles not just normal foundations

TDiddy Sat 01-Aug-09 08:45:21

looking at scrapping conservatory built by previous owner for an extension. conservatory temperature is only right in the autumn and the spring. In particular cold in winter; sometimes too hot in summer but easier to deal with by opening doors.

Jojay Sat 01-Aug-09 09:19:23

We have a conservatory as a playroom - a fairly bog standard plastic one on the back of our bog standard ex council house - no hardwood beauties here! It serves it's purpose brilliantly, but I wouldn't want it as my main living room.

It's warm enough to use all year round as we have a decent heater and it has to be very hot outside for it to get too hot, as it's north facing. On those days we're usually outside anyway.

But the reason I wouldn't want it as my main living room is the noise the rain makes on the roof. Even light rain makes a noticeable noise and if it's hammering it down it's deafening.

So I'm not anti conservatories per se, as for us as a playroom it's been great, but not as a main living room. smile

TDiddy Sat 01-Aug-09 09:25:24

yes, our conservatory is a dedicated is Scaletrix den where scores are settled.

having spent so much time in the tropics, I like to hear hard rain fall on the roof so that wouldn't bother me. smile

cece Sun 02-Aug-09 16:59:21

We've just pulled down the conservatory that came with our house and have built an extension.

We never used it as mainly either too hot or too cold. A few odd weeks each year when it was fine but otherwise awful.

TDiddy Sun 02-Aug-09 18:43:08

I think they are not to be relied on as extra reception space but more of an add-on if you already have lots of other reception space. Ours will be taken down at some point.

BigGobMum Sun 02-Aug-09 18:53:12

Conservatories really are shite! Blimmin useless monstrous carbuncles stuck on the back of every house! Really hate ours (it came with the house) and would never have another although it is very useful as a posh home for our guinea pigs! Get the proper extension.

TDiddy Sun 02-Aug-09 18:58:56

You telling it as it is BigGobMum. I feel slightly mugged in treating it as another room when we bought the house.

I should say that a properly integrated, insulated orangery can look nice and be useful. I think we will go for extension that looks a bit like an orangery if planners allow i.e. lots of roof lighting and windows

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