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turning conservatory into a garden room - help!

(15 Posts)
Heated Sat 22-Aug-09 15:02:43

Anyone know how much they cost?
And would I need to apply for planning permission to turn an existing conservatory into one?

Was looking into replacing the god awful conservatory we inherited with the house. Will cost 15k to replace and upgrade to a better quality conservatory but I'm really drawn to the idea of a garden room, with a proper roof, as will be able to use it year round and I've been reading that conservatories are considered a bit naff.

We also have room to do a 2 storey extension on the other side of the house, so would building a garden room affect planning permission-wise our ability to extend elsewhere?

Any input or thoughts warmly welcomed.

MamaG Sat 22-Aug-09 15:17:46

Think a garden room wouldbe lovely, I'd much prefer that to a conservatory. 15k is a helluva lot of money! Local builders will be happy to give you an estimate.

I owuld recomend you ring local council planners: IME they are pretty helpful and I THINK (may be wrong) that you might be ok, given that you won't be making anything bigger.

Heated Sat 22-Aug-09 16:31:33

Thanks MamaG, very good idea about ringing the local council planners for advice which I'll do Monday.

Have arranged the conservatory chap to come and see us Sunday (tomorrow) but will talk to him about changing the roof, if he's up to doing it of course. Or will have to try finding a garden room/sunroom specialist somewhere in the midlands.

Poor Dh hates my chopping and changing my mind since it took long enough to convince him the conservatory was a liability, not an asset.

Heated Sat 22-Aug-09 19:29:38

Any idea about how much more expensive they are than conservatories? Or could recommend a company that do them?

TheProfiteroleThief Sat 22-Aug-09 19:34:22

I think it must relate to the quality of the conservatory - we had ours built about 5y ago for about £13k and whilst not the prettiest thing (white upvc type thing) it is fab. We use it all year round and I love the light in there.

Is a garden room basically an extension though - as that must be better presumably? How light is the room you would add on ot?

Heated Sat 22-Aug-09 20:40:13

At present we have a 30 sq ft conservatory that's almost all totally glass, apart from the leaking roof which is some cheap plastic horror, so it's basically a greenhouse in summer and icehouse in winter. We wouldn't have chosen it, but it is useful for housing some crap like the kids play stuff, a snooker table and gym. The only thing I like about it is the size, it wraps around half the back and the side of the house.

Because we have to do something with it before it falls down around our ears, we were planning to replace it with a decent upvc conservatory, build up 2 high walls and take the other two walls to dwarf wall height; plus put in a heat retaining/sun reflecting roof, underfloor heating, plaster walls, new flooring etc - costing 15k as the ground work is already there.

But garden/sunrooms with tiled roofs look so lovely and if they came in at about 10k more (25k total) it would be worth it - but if they're in the sphere of 40k plus then we can't afford it and would prefer to put it towards out long term goal of a two storey extension on the other side of the house.

wonderingwondering Sat 22-Aug-09 20:47:00

We had a conservatory/garden room added for about £20k - solid walls on the sides, part glass (about two-thirds of the roof), part tiled roof, with two big french doors and a window looking over the garden. It was built with thermal blocks so is good all year round except when very, very hot day (although we don't have blinds on the roof, so that might help - but I like seeing the sky for the rest of the year).

An extension would have been £40k, but a conservatory co did ours for us. It is very usable, and not 'greenhousey' like some fully glass conservatories. And the glass, rather than plastic roof, means it isn't noisy when raining.

Heated Sat 22-Aug-09 20:52:17

Wonderingx2 that sounds fab, exactly what we would like. Can I ask who did it for you and did you need planning consent?

llareggub Sat 22-Aug-09 20:56:14

We've got a conservatory with 2 full height walls either end and fully plastered walls. We have the sun reflecting roof and we're able to use it all year round.

We're very pleased with it.

It does need heating now and again in the winter but generally it is heated very well by the winter sun, and retains heat well.

I do like the idea of a garden room though.

Heated Sat 22-Aug-09 21:18:50

llareggub, yours sounds similar to what we thought we wanted and we may still go ahead with it - chap coming round tomorrow! It's reassuring to hear you like it so much.

Am off to try googling some more garden rooms - can find a few home counties companies who do them (none with any prices though) but none located in the midlands.

Dh also points out that the conservatory is actually 30 sq m, not 30 sq foot (apparently that's quite a big differencegrin) which is why it will cost an arm and a leg.

wonderingwondering Sat 22-Aug-09 21:19:14

We didn't need planning consent as it was within our permitted development limits (70 cubic metres for a semi or detached house, I recall - but you have to take into account any other extensions in calculating that). And there are building regs requirements I think if it is part of the main house: our has the old kitchen door leading in to it, so it is an add-on to the house, rather than, say, an archway into it, which I think might alter the permission/building regs situation.

We used a local conservatory co but I think most co's can arrange the flooring, brickwork etc, then fit the glass. The main difference is that it is not dwarf walls. And you might need low-pitch roof tiles, as most roofs have to be at a certain angle, though the tiles we had allow a pitch of about 15 degrees, I think (quite flat). They can be found if you google for them.

llareggub Sat 22-Aug-09 21:30:43

Heated, we are also in the midlands, if you want to email me on llareggubmn at gmail dot com I'll give you more details if you like?

Heated Sat 22-Aug-09 21:58:29

Thank you both so much - I might take you up on the offer later llareggub smile

Have now actually managed to find a couple of companies now that do garden rooms in the midlands area, although they look top end budget wise. Am also going to talk it over with the conservatory guy tomorrow - he's owns the co and prides himself on turning his hand to anything, so will see.

Heated Sun 23-Aug-09 15:14:50

Had a discussion with our conservatory chap and have decided a proper garden room is not going to happen because a) will need to reduce existing base in order to get guttering and pipework within legal limits (& will rack up the cost) but b)most importantly, it will impinge on our ability with the planning people to do a 2 storey extension on other side of the house.

He has mentioned a sort of fake tiling for conservatory roofs but have a feeling that will look naff but he's off to get a sample and pictures for me.

Have also discussed changing the roof style and off to see a house he's working on tomorrow for ideas.

Anyway reinforcing the foundations start in 2 weeks. Thanks very much for the v useful input ladies.

llareggub Sun 23-Aug-09 16:46:51

How exciting!

We had ours done during days of torrential rain; I hope the sun shines on your conservatory.

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