In terms of the value adding modifications you can make to the exterior of your property, conservatories are among the most effective. First impressions count, and studies suggest that the addition of a conservatory or orangery to a home can increase the home’s value by 15%. While conventional bricks and mortar extensions are also utilised by renovation enthusiasts looking to boost the value of their properties, conservatories are far easier and quicker to install, and for the most part do not require planning permission (for more information on this, check out the government’s planning portal). Here are some of the reasons why conservatories are so helpful in boosting the value of a property.
People come to associate conservatories with luxuriousness, and if the driveway to your home is south-facing (the most popular types of conservatories are located on the south of properties to retain maximum sunlight), the conservatory is the very first thing a potential buyer will see when arriving at a property. As a word of warning however, a poorly constructed DIY conservatory made out of cheap materials will actually do more harm than good, as would an incongruous PVC conservatory attached to a period building or a rustic timber-built conservatory attached to a contemporary apartment.
Additional living space
Michael Barnes, Managing Director of state-of-the-art conservatory specialists, Apropos, states: “It’s smoke and mirrors – the property’s footprint needn’t change – but the space appears to be twice the size if you can swap brickwork or roof material for glass”. While a conservatory immediately represents additional living space, the potential utility of the space is what is most important. On being confronted with a conservatory, a potential buyer will immediately have thoughts as to what he or she would use the living space for. For instance, the conservatory could be used as a space for the children to play, a place to grow plants or even a place to sit and relax and enjoy the natural light during the summer. If a conservatory provides a utility which would not be possible with a conventional room, an increase in perceived value is the result.
Light and nature
A good conservatory should be designed to absorb as much natural light as possible. Increased exposure to the sun (in healthy moderation) has a benevolent effect on people, and is one of the main reasons why we tend to feel rejuvenated after a holiday in a hot climate. Not only is a conservatory a relaxing space which benefits from warmth and natural light, it is also essentially a part of the garden of the property, which enables us to feel as if we are in the garden but without any of the downsides, such as noisy neighbours, pesky insects and the drop in temperature as the dusk fades to night.
Things to consider
While a good conservatory can add considerable value to your property, there are some mistakes a developer can make which will have the opposite effect. While there are numerous materials which can be utilised in the construction of a conservatory, the right selection is normally made by determining the style of the building and the budget for the renovation. Conservatory glass is also a key factor, since certain glasses feature specific characteristics such as dirt repellency, which can help to keep the conservatory looking immaculate with less maintenance. In terms of positioning, south-facing conservatories are the most popular choice, since they retain more sunlight and can therefore be used even when the weather is colder. Roof vents and functioning windows are essential for ventilation, since conservatories can get very hot during the summer.
(Photo by Lars Plougmann)