We’ve spoken to experts and conservatory owners so you can find out how much a conservatory will cost, how you can save money and what costly pitfalls to avoid
Buying a conservatory is a major financial decision. But it’s not just price that’s important – value for money is key. You don’t want to cut corners on price, then discover that spending slightly more could have saved you extra expense and hassle in the long run.
Here, we show you how much you can expect to pay for a conservatory, where you can save money and what features are worth splashing out on. You have access to this research because you’re a Which? member.
Average conservatory price
Conservatory prices vary considerably, and it can be hard to know whether you are getting a good deal. That’s why we’ve worked with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), which publishes average building work and repair costs, to bring you the average price of a conservatory*.
The costs below are based on a standard conservatory with a glass roof and 600mm-high (dwarf) brick walls on all three sides. The costs include the conservatory itself and installation.
You can also see average costs for three different room sizes. To give you a real idea of the different options available, we have costs for two different types of structure:
conservatories that are fitted to the back of a house and accessed through an existing door conservatories with a new opening that are integrated into your home through a pair of glazed doors.
The prices show a range of costs – from using basic, simple materials and finishes, up to more expensive and bespoke materials.
You can use the results of our research to give you an idea of what your budget can buy, and to make sure you don’t pay over the odds for a conservatory.
Different types of conservatory
There are a lot of options for the type of conservatory you get and materials you can use. If you want a conservatory that is more like an extension with a solid roof, then you can expect to pay more.
A 3×3-metre garden room with an opening made into your home and double doors would cost from £29,400 to £39,700.
You can also get more basic types of conservatory, which are all glass, without any brickwork. This type of conservatory is typically cheaper than the prices in our table, depending on what other options you go for.
To help you decide which type of conservatory is best for you and your budget, take a look at our guide to conservatory types.
Extra conservatory costs
Be aware that your initial quote may not be the final amount you pay, as there may be other costs added on as the project progresses.
Experts told us that, in general, things that may increase the cost of your conservatory include: Bigger floorplan – the larger the footprint of your conservatory, the more it is likely to cost, particularly if you need planning permission. If it does need planning permission, you’ll need to allow extra time and money.
More complex foundations – the height of your conservatory and whether any drains or trees/roots need to be moved will increase the cost.
Opening up existing walls – as you can see from the RICS figures in our table at the top of this page, whether you have your conservatory simply added to the back of your home or have it integrated with a new opening can make a big difference to how much you pay.
Better-quality materials – high-spec building materials, such as specialist glass, will increase costs.
Doors and windows – the number of opening windows and doors you choose and the way they open will affect the cost.
Fixtures, fittings and furniture – electrical sockets, TV aerial points, blinds, flooring, furniture and heating will all push costs up.
Top tip: It’s important to make sure you check exactly what’s included in your quote when you shop around. Once you are keen to go with a company, ask for a written breakdown of the costs so you know exactly what you’re getting for your money.
In some cases, you may end up paying less than the original quote, so it’s possible to keep costs down and even save. However, don’t rely on this being the case.
Use our downloadable conservatory checklist to help you be clear on what you need to consider when buying a conservatory – and what might cost extra.
How to keep the price of your conservatory down
Here are our best tips on how to keep costs down without sacrificing on quality.
Size is a major factor. A smaller conservatory will keep costs down, but many people we asked said they regretted not buying a bigger conservatory.
It’s worth thinking about the materials you choose too. Building from more substantial materials, such as more bricks or a solid roof, can make a conservatory a more comfortable temperature.
Visit our page on common conservatory pitfalls to avoid making mistakes that other people have made.
Think about how you’ll use your conservatory
The best way to control costs is to be clear on what you want to use the conservatory for – after all, there’s no point in paying out for unnecessary features you don’t need.
Extras like electrical sockets, roof vents and underfloor heating are likely to add to the cost, so think carefully about whether you’ll need these.
Try negotiating with the conservatory company
See if you can negotiate on price. We’ve heard from people who managed to more than halve costs by haggling with the salesperson.
One said: ‘The salesman started at a cost of £85,000, and over three to four hours we got it down to £35,000 with various discounts.’
Also, try shopping out of season. Spring is the most popular month for people to buy conservatories, so see if you can go off-peak to get a discount.
Not all firms offer this, but it’s definitely worth asking.
A smaller conservatory will keep costs down, but many people we asked regret not buying a bigger conservatory
Conservatory extras worth the price
Keeping costs down is great, but you don’t want to make any false economies you may later regret. If you want to make the most of your conservatory, it’s worth paying more to make your new room more comfortable.
Heating and cooling your conservatory
Temperature plays a key role in how useable and comfortable your conservatory will be. So the materials your conservatory is made of, as well as any heating or cooling systems you install, are crucial. One conservatory owner warned: ‘
As I decided not to have heating or air conditioning due to the extra expense, I am not surprised that there are issues with my conservatory overheating or being too cold.’ When it comes to heating your conservatory, there are a lot of options to consider.
You’ll have to choose whether to extend the pipework of your central heating, install independent underfloor heating or just rely on vents, fans and portable electric heaters or air conditioning units. Find out more about the options in our conservatory interiors guide.
Glass vs polycarbonate conservatory roofs
A polycarbonate plastic roof is likely to be cheaper than a glass roof. But the experts we spoke to warned this could be a false economy, as they can be less efficient at keeping the room at a consistent temperature, let less light in and can be noisier.
Some of the people we spoke to also recommended solid roofs to help control extreme temperatures – although these can make the rest of your home feel darker.
Top tip: Splashing out on specialist glass can be worthwhile. Glass technology has evolved considerably over the past few years and now includes thermally efficient and self-cleaning types of glass.
Tinted glass can also make a difference when it comes to glare. Although, depending on what blinds you plan to use and the direction your conservatory faces, it may not be necessary.
our guide on conservatory pitfalls to find out more about the benefits of specialist glass.
Keeping conservatory construction costs down
The construction process can be a big part of the final price, but there are ways of keeping costs down.
Conservatory site access
The access to the site of your new conservatory will substantially affect the cost. If your builders can get a small digger into your garden, it will save time – and therefore money – when digging the foundations.
For example, a small digger could handle the foundations of a regular conservatory in a day, whereas dug by hand it could take about three days.
Top tip: There are ways to improve your access – you may be able to take side gates off their hinges or ask whether a neighbour would be happy to allow access over their property.
To help you avoid other issues with your build, our home improvements checklist will help you to make sure that you’ve done all you can to stick to time and budget.