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Conservatory Or Extension – The Pros And Cons

Who doesn't crave a little extra breathing space at home? But here's the kicker: what if you could expand without even lifting a finger (well, almost)? Picture this: you're lounging in your cozy nest, pondering the age-old question of whether to extend your home or cozy up with a charming conservatory. It's a tough call, right? That's where we swoop in to make your decision a breeze.

3 August 2017
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Eugene Kim
At Extension Architecture, we’re all about crafting your dream space, tailored to fit your lifestyle like a glove. We get it – your home isn’t just a place; it’s your sanctuary, your haven. So, let’s break it down together. We’ll dive into the perks and pitfalls of both options, all while keeping your unique needs front and center. So, whether you’re dreaming of a sun-soaked conservatory retreat or craving the seamless expansion of an extension, we’ve got your back. Let’s navigate this journey together and transform your home into the ultimate haven you deserve! 

What is a Conservatory?

A conservatory is ideally a bright, relaxing space attached as an addition to a house. Since it features glass or other transparent materials as roofing and for walls, it is commonly referred to as a greenhouse or a sunroof. It is a great way to maximize the indoor-outdoor relationship and create a refreshing environment indoors without having to deal with the UK climate. Oftentimes, adding a conservatory to your house can be an in-depth planning procedure, and hence hiring somebody with the expertise makes it a lot easier!

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Pros of a Conservatory

Versatility – Conservatory designs are often quite versatile and can be designed to suit any interior style / home style. They can be used as a greenhouse or act as a living space, dining room, or any functional space in extension to the existing property. 

Add Warmth to the space – Conservatories function on the greenhouse effect and often act as a passive strategy to keep the interiors warm as they trap the heat from the external surroundings.

Less structural complexity – Conservatories often save a lot of time as they do not require an additional foundation and can be done with a depth of 300 mm. Moreover, most components are prefabricated and need to be assembled onsite, making conservatories time-efficient and less structurally complex!

Cheaper Option compared to an extension – Conservatories often tend to be cheaper than an extension.

Less stringent Planning Permissions – Sometimes, building a conservatory does not require a planning permission and can be accomplished in a smaller time frame. Also, getting a planning permit for a conservatory project is quite easier compared to a longer extension permit.


Cons of a Conservatory

    • No added value to the property – Surely, conservatories look beautiful and give you that extra room, but they do not add value to a chartered surveyor as they deem it to be a “temporary structure”. Hence it does not hold value when you are selling your property. 

    • Temperature Control – As discussed above, conservatories function on the greenhouse effect, but it comes with its disadvantages. In extreme climates, it becomes difficult to control the conservatory temperatures. It might become too cold during the winter climates and too warm in the high summer temperature. This results in relying on active strategies like air conditioners and radiators for keeping the interiors comfortable. One could also opt for special glazing that helps in temperature control, but they tend to be even more expensive.

    • Lack of Privacy – Conservatories are often totally glazed and overlooking the gardens, especially in a lot of London boroughs. This leads to quite a lack of privacy and additional costs in installing window shades. 

    How much does building a Conservatory cost?

    We are well aware that this is the part you’re most excited or nervous about, so let us get it out of the way! Conservatories, in theory, are not a very expensive project. However, the budget can vary simply depending upon your design or finishing choices. 

    Extension Architecture’s Expertise for building a Conservatory

    Extension Architecture, over its 16 years of expertise in the market have dealt with numerous conservatory projects and successfully delivered all of them. The experience has departed us with great knowledge for glazing choices, design solutions, networks with vendors and smart dealing with budget constraints. <If you’ve reached this point, it means either you have your heart set on building a conservatory or you’re confused with your options. Well, worry not, because in the latter section we will talk all about Extensions!

    What is an Extension?

    An Extension – as the word suggests – means to ‘extend’ your property. If you’re someone who has a huge family, loves the quality family-time, or is a fan of hosting parties but it often seems like your house lacks proper quality space, you’re definitely looking at opting for an extension! When it comes to home extensions, there are plenty of options to play with. Some are listed as follows – 

    1. Single Storey Rear Extension
    2. Double Storey Rear Extension
    3. Single Storey Side Extension
    4. Double Storey Side Extension
    5. Wraparound – Single -storey/ Double-storey Extensions
    6. Porch Extensions


    Simply the thought of having so many options to choose from to create the ideal space within your house, makes it a really exciting choice!

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    Pros of an Extension

    • Adds value to your home – Extensions are a great way to add value to your property and increase its value in the future years. However, one needs to ensure that it is done correctly to maximize profits. Hence, it is best to have an expert opinion and hire a professional for your journey.

    • Emotional essence – Thoroughly designed extensions hold a lot of emotional and sentimental essence. The extensions are well-crafted to meet the needs of the family. Housewives and the ladies of the house are the biggest decision-makers when purchasing a home and in our experience, the ladies love a well-designed kitchen extension! 

    • Scope for Creativity – This is one of the best advantages of extending your home – you get to bring your design to life! When opting for extensions, you are basically designing and planning your home with your own creativity and personal touch, with the space specifically tailored to you and your family’s needs. Extension Architecture can provide you the right support and knowledge about planning permissions, budget constraints and design options.

    • Saving costs of buying a new home – House-hunting and moving is an extremely difficult and emotional task! With opting for an extension, you get the same much-wanted space without the trouble of moving, saving a lot of upfront costs and time! You get rid of the commissions to real-estate agents, moving payments, mortgages and other unimaginable costs.


    Cons of an Extension

    • Additional Costs – Even though opting for an extension over a new home saves costs and time, it is always wise to plan out your budget carefully to avoid situations where there is an exceed in budget. The cost/ square meter for an extension could be anywhere around £2k – 2.5k but often clients overlook costs like Planning permission fees, building regulation checks, architect’s fee and much more. It is always advisable to research well enough and have a budget devised before jumping into an extension. 

    • Stress – For a few families, even extensions can be a cause of stress, especially when dealing with – building site, design meetings, contractor and builder meetings, and planning permissions. However, it is better to overcome the short-term upheaval and think of the great results it will help in yielding.  Extension Architecture can also help ease away your tensions with guiding you at every step of your journey. 

    How much does building an Extension cost?

    Extensions and their budget depend heavily on your brief and design choices for the space. However, it can start anywhere from £100k and go higher as per design considerations. 

    Extension Architecture’s Expertise for an Extension

    Extension Architecture, with 16 years of experience and expertise in the market have dealt with more than 300 extension projects including – double-storey + single-storey wraparound extensions, and double-storey + single-storey rear and side extensions can promise guaranteed results to our clients. 

    What will we choose – a Conservatory or an Extension?

    Being in the market for a long time, we have helped clients, completed projects, and witnessed them living in our designed projects. Through our experience, we always advise clients to opt for an EXTENSION over a conservatory, creating more room for you and your family’s needs. We often get clients who look forward at converting their conservatory into a single/ double storey extension. It is definitely an option that is going to yield more long-lasting and fruitful results. With our in-house creative architects, project managers and planning consultants, we can promise you our support from start to finish of your project. Our projects span today in various boroughs, including – Islington, Dorking, and Reigate and Banstead. No matter the project, whether you want a small porch extension or a large loft conversion we would love to speak to you. To find out more about our previous projects or perhaps you are looking for a little inspiration, then take a look at our case study page. 

    Get in Touch
    If you want to discuss gaining planning permission or have a project you’d like us on board for, get in touch with our team today. We can offer expert advice and get the ball rolling to create something your whole community will love.   Email us at or phone 0203 409 4215. On our website, you’ll also find a Request A Free Quote form, which you can send to us and we’ll get back to you right away.
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    Eugene Kim

    Eugene Kim, Founder and Managing Director of Extension Architecture, has led the firm for over 14 years, consistently delivering quality solutions. His dedication has been key to the company's growth and success.

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