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Conservatory Cost & Prices 2022

Conservatories have been around for hundreds – possibly thousands of years. 

They remain an excellent option for anyone looking to extend their home and are more cost-effective than ever.

This article will cover what you can expect to pay for a conservatory, factors that can affect the cost and other common questions around conservatories.

Average Conservatory Prices

By compiling quotes from 7 conservatory providers and 5 online sources, we found the following current average conservatory prices in the UK for conservatories of varying sizes:

UPV

Type & Conservatory SizeCost
Cheapest Conservatory (Lean-to) - 3m x 2m £4,000 - £6000
Small Conservatory - 3m x 3m£6,000 - £9,000
Average-Sized Conservatory - 4m x 4m£9,000 - £12,000
Large Conservatory (P, L or T-shaped) - 6m x 4m£14,000 - £19,000
XL Conservatory - 8m x 4/6m£22,000 - £30,000+

Aluminium

Type & Conservatory SizeCost
Cheapest Conservatory (Lean-to) - 3m x 2m £4,000 - £7000
Small Conservatory - 3m x 3m£7,000 - £12,000
Average-Sized Conservatory - 4m x 4m£10,000 - £13,000
Large Conservatory (P, L or T-shaped) - 6m x 4m£14,000 - £20,000
XL Conservatory - 8m x 4/6m£22,000 - £30,000+

Timber

Type & Conservatory SizeCost
Cheapest Conservatory (Lean-to) - 3m x 2m £4,000 - £7,000
Small Conservatory - 3m x 3m£7,000 - £12,000
Average-Sized Conservatory - 4m x 4m£10,000 - £13,500
Large Conservatory (P, L or T-shaped) - 6m x 4m£14,000 - £20,000
XL Conservatory - 8m x 4/6m£22,000 - £30,000+

Factors That Affect the Cost of a Conservatory

Conservatory prices primarily vary with size, but also the chosen materials, spec of windows (e.g. low E windows are more expensive) spec of the doors, tiling/flooring and any interior features. 

Here are some conservatory costs to take into account:

  • Size 
  • Frame material (uPVC, aluminium or timber)
  • Foundation work (e.g. more substantial piling may be needed for larger builds)
  • Flooring 
  • Window spec
  • Interior door spec
  • Exterior door spec – bifold doors, for example, can increase costs by £3,000+
  • Aesthetic design features 
  • Heating options, for example, underfloor heating could cost an additional £500 or so for a small conservatory 

Polycarbonate roofs can also reduce the overall cost of a conservatory. 

There are 3 main conservatory frame construction materials:

uPVC 

uPVC is durable and cheap. It can be coloured but is usually white. uPVC is usually guaranteed for at least 10 years and is generally robust and weatherproof, but it varies between brands and suppliers. uPVC has solid insulative properties. 

Aluminium

Aluminium is super-strong and very wear-resistant. It will usually last many decades without much maintenance. Can include special draft excluders to keep insulation high. One of the more costly options (slightly cheaper or on par with timber and 10% to 15% more expensive than uPVC.

Timber 

Timber offers the greatest potential for ornate or otherwise bespoke designs. Well-treated, high-quality timber will last many years. It can be stained and painted in almost any colour. Similarly expensive to aluminium. 

Are Conservatories Worth It Today?

Today, you might often hear that conservatories are ‘off trend’ or ‘out of fashion’. This isn’t strictly true as conservatories are still a very popular choice for both new builds and extensions, and even if it was true, trends are always subject to change anyway!

Also, putting trends aside, conservatories still definitely add value to your home. Conservatories are immediately worth some 33% more than they cost to build, (Telegraph)

This amounts to a 5% increase in the value of the average home, equalling or exceeding that of a new kitchen or other similarly priced modifications. 

One of the main motives behind building a conservatory is the extra space. There are few – if any other ways – to add a whole new room to your home for the cost of a conservatory.

The only alternatives to conservatories in terms of space are extensions or orangeries, which both cost significantly more. 

It’s also worth noting that conservatories can be cheaply converted to orangeries at a later date if required. 

Conservatories and Planning Permission 

In the majority of cases, conservatories come under ‘Permitted Development’, meaning you do not need to seek planning permission to build one. 

As always, there are many caveats when it comes to permitted development. For the purposes of planning permission, conservatories are treated the same way as any other single-storey extension, including orangeries.

However, to comply with building regulations, conservatories are regulated slightly differently from other types of single-storey extension. More on that in a moment.

Currently, you do not need to seek planning permission for a conservatory subject to the following terms:

  • Materials chose for the build must be broadly continuous with the house 
  • Cannot exceed 4m in height (for side extensions)
  • Cannot extend beyond the rear wall by more than 4m for a detached house or 3m for any other house (for rear extensions)
  • Cannot extend beyond the original height of the roof (only relevant for bungalows)
  • Can’t cover more than half the area of the area around the original house 
  • Must not be closer to a public highway than the original house (e.g. can’t be front-facing)
  • Side extensions also cannot be wider than half the width of the original house 

If you want to build a larger conservatory then this is still possible without planning permission but will instead be subject to Prior Approval via a neighbour consultation (i.e. your neighbour will have to sign off that they don’t object to your proposal).

With Prior Approval:

  • Rear orangeries can extend by 6m for a semi-detached house or 8m for a detached house
  • Full details on the Planning Portal.

Note that there are specific conditions/exemptions attached to listed buildings and homes constructed in national parks, AONBs and specific sites of scientific interest. 

Your local authority may have also placed an Article 4 development direction on your area which restricts permitted development. 

If you are concerned, talk it over with your local planning authority and builder/designer/architect. 

You may have to obtain a Lawful Development Certificate prior to work going ahead. 

Conservatories and Building Regulations

Building regulations for conservatories are the minimum standard, or spec, to obtain a substantial and secure build that is safe for general use and habitation.

Building regulations for conservatories chiefly concern heat loss from the main house. 

Building regulations do not apply to conservatories if:

  • The conservatory is built at ground level and is less than 30m2 in total floor area.
  • The conservatory is properly separated from the house by external quality walls and well-insulated doors or windows.
  • The heating system is independent of the house with on/off controls 
  • Glazing, timber and other materials are compliant with fire and security regulations

The vast majority of conservatories tick these boxes as standard, the only small gripe can be the heating system that has to be independent of the home. 

This is to prevent heat loss when the home’s central heating is turned on and the conservatory is unoccupied.

There are 3 main options for conservatory heating:

  • Electric heaters that are plugged into the mains and can be switched on and off from their own switch. The simplest but least efficient option. 
  • Underfloor heating, an excellent choice for energy-efficient, well-insulated conservatories. 
  • Isolated radiators that can be switched on/off independently. Common for conservatories built pre-90s. 

Your building firm or architect will advise you on the best course of action. 

If building regulation compliance is required then so long as your builder/architect/designer is part of the government’s Competent Person’s Scheme then they can self-certify the work as fully building regulated. 

Main Types of Conservatories

There are several types of conservatories. 

Period, rural, rustic or classically-designed houses may be best suited by an Edwardian or Victorian-style conservatory whereas city or suburban houses work well with simple and modern lean-to conservatories. These styles are obviously not the limit and if you wish to go fully bespoke and ‘Grand Designs’ with your conservatory then you can!

Lean-to Conservatories

With a flat, sloping roof and boxy sides, lean-to conservatories are minimalist and cost-effective. 

Lean-to conservatories usually feature an aluminium construction and do not always need dwarf walls – these are the cheapest type of conservatory going. 

Whilst lean-to conservatories are the cheapest, least ornate conservatories, but they look sleek and modern which makes them a very popular choice. Also ideal for when space is at a premium. 

Victorian Conservatory 

A more classic, decorative or ornate conservatory, often with 5 sides (pentagon-shaped). 

Victorian-style conservatories were the most popular option throughout the 70s, 80s and 90s and still rank as a go-to option for many. 

They usually feature timber construction with a pitched, ridged roof. 

Edwardian Conservatory 

More modern than the Victorian conservatory, typically triangular or rectangular in shape. 

They typically have an ornate ridged roof and usually feature timber construction.

Design-wise, Edwardian conservatories are somewhat of a trade-off between classic and contemporary. 

P, L and T-Shaped Conservatories

P, L and T-shaped conservatories all vary in size and style and can be either modern or classically designed in Victorian or Edwardian tradition. 

These larger conservatories can feature more than one room, or can otherwise be segregated into more than one internal space. 

These are the largest and most expensive types of conservatories and are subsequently likely to require planning permission or prior approval.

Choosing a Contractor 

Conservatory specialists are widespread throughout the UK and finding one in your local area should be relatively straightforward. 

Always exercise discretion when choosing a contractor, look for a longstanding specialist with a long trading history and portfolio of similar projects. 

Membership in the government’s Competent Person’s Scheme is a good place to start.

Membership to several regulatory organisations such as NHBC, FENSA, CERTASS and DGCOS is a further sign of trust. 

Once you contact a conservatory designer, they’ll organise a consultation of your home and survey the need for any planning permission or prior approval. 

After drawing up designs and obtaining permission/consent/Lawful Development Certificates, work can begin to take place.

How Long Does it Take to Build a Conservatory?

The average conservatory takes around 3 to 4 weeks to build. Finishing off the entire interior space may take an additional month or so. 

Once the foundations have been laid, a dwarf wall constructed and the main conservatory frame installed, the builders can start installing the windows and roof. 

Fitting out the interior space is usually pretty straightforward unless the heating system needs to be altered/tweaked. 

A pessimistic estimate for the total build time is around 2 to 3 months. Small conservatories can be erected in under a month. 

Get Prices on Conservatories Near You

We’ve done our best to give you a good idea of what you can expect to pay for a conservatory.

However, our guides are not a substitute for a fixed quote specifically for you.

We work with all the best conservatory experts ready to price your job. Get free, no-obligation quotes in your local area and compare prices using the form below.

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About the Author

Alex Johnson is a qualified quantity surveyor and writer with a passion for conducting original research and uncovering the true cost of jobs. His cost data has been referenced by EDF Energy and the Scottish Government.