When undertaking home improvements, most of us have one eye on the present, one on the future.
We want the improvement to make the property better for us to live in, whether that is providing more space, adding a wow factor or simply making the flow of the property better.
However, we also want the work to make financial sense, we want to know that if and when we sell the money spent will at least be recuperated by an enhanced selling price.
How do conservatories fare? Do they add value and if so how much and is that enough to offset the cost of the work. It’s also worth looking at how the figures compare to other potential home improvements.
First a big disclaimer. Every case is different and so we can only talk in general terms, much will depend on the quality of the work, the local housing market and more. Looking at property prices in your area can help you work out how much value any given improvement adds – are there prices for houses sold with and without conservatories? Even then it is hard to apply a definite value – after all, a house is worth what someone will pay for it…
Conservatories v Extensions
That said, let’s start with a look at conservatories.
A typical conservatory will cost around £10,000 on average, though a large, high-spec one could cost many times this. What they add in value terms is perhaps harder to gauge than any other home imporvement.
The problem is that many conservatories are flawed. A conservatory with a glass or polycarbonate roof might be virtually unusable in the summer as they are impossible to keep cool.
The look of the roof is also a huge concern, there is a danger that a conservatory looks like a bolt-on to the rest of the property.
These two issues mean that, on occasion, a conservatory will add nothing to the value, in fact a potential new owner might see the conservatory as a nuisance, something that needs removing.
A conservatory with a glass or polycarb roof that at least looks appealing and is positioned so as not to be too unusable in the summer can add value, though it might be touch and go whether this value covers the cost of the work.
A figure of 5% is given as a very rough estimate, so on a £200,000 property a conservatory might be expected to add around £10,000. The 5% estimation has, we believe, less accuracy as property prices increase – would adding a £10,000 glass roofed conservatory on to a £1,000,000 London property add £50,000? We have our doubts.
A conservatory with a solid, tiled roof? That is likely to add more, but we’ll come on to that.
An extension will add more value than a conservatory, though they cost a lot more so that doesn’t necessarily mean they are a better investment.
However, extensions do have far more potential to add significant value as they can add extra bedrooms and also expand living space – the kitchen or lounge being common contenders for extra space.
A £20,000 extension can easily add £50,000 in value in the right circumstances, similarly a much more expensive extension, perhaps a two-storey one adding bedroom and living space, might add a six-figure sum to the value.
An extension is a more sure-fire way to add value well in excess of the cost of work, however the cost of the work is often prohibitive. Raising £10,000 or £15,000 might be within the scope of many homeowners, the money being raised through a loan or added to the mortgage; finding a figure of £30,000 or £60,000 or even more for an extension might be a complete non starter.
A middle ground is to consider a conservatory with a solid, tiled roof. These have a price tag in keeping with a conservatory but have the utility of an extension, a single-storey extension to act as a new kitchen, or office, or expand the lounge that is.
At Guardian Warm Roofs, we developed this type of conservatory and so we are naturally advocates for it. However, we are not the only fans – the regulators also place great faith in our conservatory roofs, going so far as to change regulations so that conservatories could have solid, tiled roofs rather than glass or polycarbonate.
A solid, tiled, roof can be fitted as a replacement on an existing conservatory, or as the roof on a new conservatory.
The main benefit of these roofs is that they make the room usable all year round, but they also look great, blending in with the rest of the property (have a look at our gallery for details). The two great concerns about conservatories – that they are too hot in summer and that they look like a bolt-on are eradicated simply by going for our roof product.
That is why this middle ground can be the perfect compromise. For a price in keeping with a conservatory, you get a space as usable as an extension, a space that has the aesthetic appeal of an extension and the potential asking-price hike of an extension.
If seriously considering any option, do please carry out research on local house prices to get a feel for how much any work might add. If you need further details about the Guardian Warm Roof and our conservatories, please have a good look round this site and do get in touch with any queries.