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Which is better, an extension or a conservatory?

Home > Which is better, an extension or a conservatory?

In our recent blog post on ways to add value to your home, we explored the option of building a conservatory – something that has the potential to add around 5-10% to your home valuation. 

In this article, we want to explore another avenue – extensions, which are another great way to boost the value of your property. However, many people are unclear on the difference between conservatories and extensions, specifically when it comes down to the brass tacks of things like planning permission and costs. 

Once we’ve clarified the difference between a conservatory and an extension, we’ll also share some guidance on how to decide between the two when establishing the best option for your home. 


What is the difference between an extension and a conservatory?

Where conservatories and extensions differ boils down to three main factors:

  • Cost 
  • Purpose
  • Construction 

Cost – It’s important to realise that there can be quite a significant difference in cost between a conservatory and an extension project. Conservatories are typically cheaper as they require less time and less expensive materials than an extension.

Under the umbrella of costs also comes the matter of Council Tax. This rarely applies to a conservatory but in some cases, a new extension will affect how much Council Tax you have to pay. If the new space is deemed as additional living quarters, payments will likely increase, even if the extension shares facilities with the main part of the house.

Purpose – It’s also important to consider how you want to use the space and what you want to use it for because that will largely dictate which is the best option for you. 

Due to their typical one-storey, glass construction, conservatories are great for more lightweight needs like a kids’ play area, home work area or an additional living space – things that are less permanent. Extensions, on the other hand, are better suited to more heavy duty requirements such as extra bedrooms, bathrooms or kitchens thanks to their sturdy construction and multi-storey potential.  

Construction – The purpose of the space will influence how it is constructed and this is one of the main differentiating factors between conservatories and extensions. 

As we mentioned above, conservatories are typically one-storey, glass constructions on the back of a house. Extensions can be multi-level and added onto the front, back, side or even roof of the property and will be made of more solid, sturdy stuff like brick and wood.


How to decide between a conservatory or an extension

Both conservatories and extensions are versatile additions to a home that increase space and hike up the value of the property. Both are super functional and can modernise the home through their design. 

So, how do you pick between the two?

Let’s take a look at the main benefits of each to help you decide.

The benefits of a conservatory 

A conservatory might be your best option if you’re looking for:

  • A way to blend outdoor and indoor spaces – a great feature for houses in the UK where the weather doesn’t permit enjoying our gardens as much as we’d like to.
  • A way to let a lot of natural light into the home (thanks to the glass construction). 
  • A way to avoid spending quite as much money as you would on an extension. 
  • A project that is going to require less time and disruption than an extension. 
  • Something that allows you to dodge any hurdles around planning permission and Council Tax. 


Keep reading about the pros and cons of conservatories > 


The advantages of building an extension

An extension, on the other hand, will bring these attractive benefits to the table: 

  • Adding more value to the home (around 8-15% depending on the scale of the project).
  • More security and privacy than a conservatory offers.
  • Far more flexibility around design, shape, construction and location of the space. 
  • Easier regulation of temperature during the hot and cold seasons. 

Now that we’ve given you some food for thought, the next thing to do is speak to the experts and find out what’s involved before making any final decisions. 

If you’d like to know more about our conservatory installation services across the North West, call us on 0151 638 0909.