Are Conservatories Still Popular?

Posted January 28, 2019

Conservatories might have first come existence in the 1600s, but they didn’t become a hugely popular addition to houses until the 1980s.

However, was that the peak period and do they still remain popular? Is a conservatory still a good investment for any homeowner wanting to add space and value to their house?

To answer that question we need a very quick journey through conservatory history before returning to the present.

In the 1980s, adverts for conservatories were ubiquitous in Britain and these cheap extensions popped up in great numbers. 

They seemed almost too good to be true – the extra space of an extension, but at a fraction of the cost and with that glass roof that kets the sun stream in.

Unfortunately they were too good to be true. As tens of thousands of homeowners found to their cost, the roofs also created a huge problem, they left the conservatory too hot to use in summer and too cold in winter. Conservatories up and down the country became expensive extra storage.

This flaw led to an inevitable drop in demand and sales fell off, conservatories became less popular, the people who did buy new ones were simply unaware of the flaws until it was too late.

This trend would have continued but for a modern development. This one development has helped rekindle interest in conservatories.

Conservatories – A Key Moment

In 2010, our work at Guardian Roof in developing a lightweight, tiled roof that could be fitted to any conservatory saw regulations changed. Conservatories could now have these roofs rather than being limited to glass or polycarbonate; demand in conservatories started to grow once more.

We will expand on this lower down, but the short version is that these lightweight, tiled roofs made conservatories desirable once more. They turned conservatories into what they were always meant to be – a room with the use of an extension, but at a fraction of the cost.

Of course, it is easy to make grand claims and say that our roofs have made a difference. The proof we believe lies in the fact that regulations were changed because of the roof’s effectiveness, this only done because they were shown to achieve their aims. They make conservatories usable and they can be fitted to any conservatory, either as a new build, or replacement for the flawed glass or polycarb roof.

It is this change that has seen conservatories see a return in popularity, even if the remarkable rate of conservatory sales in the 1980s might never be matched agin (sadly!).

Perhaps more importantly, they are finally of value to the homeowner. 

Conservatories were popular in the 1980s but they were of little use, they left the homeowner with a useless space when they would have been better off just keeping their garden as was.

The new conservatories with solid, tiled roofs are usable spaces and they also make financial sense. 

Independent research has shown that they lead to a £200 energy bill saving per year compared to a glass or polycarb roof. Longer term, should the homeowner ever look to sell the work is likely to have paid for itself and more besides. Any would-be buyer is getting what is effectively a superb extension rather than a flawed conservatory.

Such is the quality of these conservatories you might have seen some without realising they are conservatories. The range of roof styles and colours mean the roofs blend in with the rest of the property, rather than looking like the bolt-on conservatories of years past.

You can see examples by looking at the range of styles. 

Conservatories are increasing in popularity now but they have not hit the sales surge of the 1980s. However, conservatories are at last a good addition to a house, one that adds usable space and money. 

Finally, they are popular AND desirable.