A conservatory adds both light and additional space to your home, but constructing one is not really a job for an amateur DIY’er. A conservatory is in essence an extension and, like any other extension, you will need to seek planning permission. Ideally, to make the best use of the space, a conservatory should face the direction that enjoys the best possible light. Construction can sometimes be complicated – depending on the design you have selected – what type of foundations you will require and what types of services (power, light, water and drainage) you choose to have inside the conservatory. A good, reputable conservatory construction company will be able to advise you and should be able to deal with planning applications as well. Always ask for the contact details of at least three previous clients – don’t rely on the salesman’s pitch or on glossy brochures.
Find out if the company actually delivers its promises. If you have neighbours with a conservatory you like, get details from them. Get written quotes and check them carefully to see exactly what’s included. Look at your budget – size and materials such as PVC or double glazing will affect the costs – and then add on extra for a contingency fund to cover decoration. Don’t forget the floor covering for this new space and any shades or blinds to reduce the glare of the sun. A well-constructed and designed conservatory will be a joy and add significantly to the enjoyment and value of your home. A poorly constructed, leaky and sunless conservatory will not.