Conservatory vs Extension: Which Comes Out on Top?

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If you’re looking to upgrade or improve your home, then it’s safe to say you have a lot of different options standing by. Do you want to extend your kitchen, or maybe set up a garden office? What about creating a whole new space, such as a conservatory, where you can sit and enjoy the sunshine as spring starts to drift back in? When it comes to conservatory vs extension choices, however, things aren’t always so simple.

In this quick guide, we’ll take a look at what you need to know when choosing between conservatory or extension upgrades. Which option is likely to work best for you? What can you expect from conservatory vs extension cost margins? Let’s dive in and take a closer look around.


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What is the Difference Between Conservatory and Extension Installations?

Good question – surely a conservatory is a type of extension, right? Not necessarily. A conservatory actually has a few differences that sets it apart from the over-arching term ‘extension’. There actually used to be a series of different hallmarks that a conservatory would need to meet to achieve its true definition!

Nowadays, however, the lines are a little blurrier. That said, it’s important to recognise the differences. Conservatories tend to be on the smaller side – this used to fall within the legal definition – and, more often than not, they are made largely from glass. An extension may be just that – a bricks and mortar extension that backs onto the property, that acts as an extra room. A conservatory is more likely to be a separate building.

As such, regulations tend to differ, too. This means that, with an extension, you are more likely to need to seek full planning permission. In any case of you planning for a conservatory, it is likely a good idea to speak to professionals before you go ahead.

What you may also find is that conservatories have closed doors, whereas extensions actually back onto and into the property. It’s another clear distinction to help you make that all-important decision!


Conservatory foundations builder brickwork


What About Prices?

Conservatories tend to come out on top when it comes to pricing, though of course, it all depends on the size of your installation and the material you use! Extensions come in all kinds of shapes and sizes and don’t often come fit to order, which means you’re likely looking at unlimited cost potential, depending on what you actually want or need from the extension itself.

Conservatories, meanwhile, are much easier to budget for. While they may not come in exact sizes, they are very simple to plan for based on materials such as uPVC, and standard lengths, widths, and heights. They are very popular with homeowners who may not be looking for large extensions, but rather separate rooms they don’t have to pay over the odds for.

Extensions are normally chargeable by square metre, meaning you can expect to pay exponentially more in the long run. For that reason alone, conservatories are inarguably the better economic choice.


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Which Looks Better: Conservatory vs Extension?


This is a tricky one. Many people like setting up extensions by way of blending a new room onto the end of their building. However, there is plenty to be said for the aesthetic of a well-made conservatory.

Conservatories are brilliant options if you want somewhere to sit in and look at your garden from without bricks and mortar getting in the way. With top quality glazing, you can expect a conservatory to offer you a stunning panorama of your outside space – ideal if you don’t necessarily want to go outside – i.e. during the winter!

So – decisions are split here, but conservatories do edge this side of the battle when it comes to sheer visibility as well as overall look. We think you cannot beat the look and design of a conservatory, on the whole, if you want to make the most of your outdoor space.


new conservatory inside


What’s Right for Me?

Of course, your own needs and wants will ultimately tip you towards either a conservatory or extension setup. What are you looking for from your add-on? If you’re looking to extend your home on the basis that you are adding an extra room that really blends in, an extension will be your natural first choice.

To create a fantastic glass look that gives you wonderful views over the garden, then a conservatory is ideal. Both have their strengths, but for timeless appeal and a room that’s just a bit extra special, a conservatory is always going to be a great pick.

Now you know more about conservatory vs extension differences you are ready to find yourself a great deal on conservatories. Check out our online comparison guide now to learn more about setting up your own.


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