Here is some helpful advice from the Which?
- Cheapest will be a simple style of conservatory and opt for all glass and minimal or no brickwork
- There are a lot of options when it comes to the type of conservatory you get and the materials you choose. If you want a conservatory that is more like an extension – with a fully tiled roof and partial brick walls instead of all glass – then expect to pay more. But if you’re looking to extend on a cheaper budget there are some basic types of conservatory that won’t break the bank. Simple lean-to frames can even be bought from stores such as Wickes and Argos and constructed yourself
- Decide how you’re going to use your conservatory before you start. This will help control costs from the outset. There’s no point in paying out for unnecessary features you won’t need. Think about what you’ll use it for and when you’ll be spending the most time in it. If you’ll only use it for reading in on hot sunny days you may not need many electrical sockets; if you’ll be using it for entertaining throughout the year under floor heating might end up being an essential. Bear in mind that smaller conservatories that aren’t fully integrated with your house are cheaper than those for which you need to knock through your external walls.
- Negotiate the price of your conservatory If you’ve got a few different quotes – ideally a minimum of three – you’ll have leverage to negotiate on price. Faced with a rival quote, your suppliers may be able to add in extras, such as more features or upgraded materials. If you can, it’s worth considering building your conservatory out of season. The spring months are most popular for conservatory installation, so buying off-peak in autumn or winter could mean snapping up a discount.
- Consider building your conservatory yourself or getting involved in parts of the construction. You can buy ‘off-the-shelf’ conservatories from DIY stores, that are designed to be assembled at home. Think carefully before you take the work on – it might be a bigger job than you think. You’ll need to have knowledge of building and building regulations, so it’s only really a job for DIY experts. Alternatively, you might be able to leave the building work to a professional company, but then tackle the interior decoration yourself to cut costs
- Make sure everything is in place ahead of the build. Delays and setbacks can push costs up as time ticks on. You’ll need to make sure your traders know what they are doing and how they will gain access to your house well ahead of time. Things like waiting for a skip for debris can cause hold ups if you haven’t considered them in advance
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