House extension vs conservatory

House Extension vs Conservatory
Which One Suits You Best?

Posted by Craig | Updated May, 2024 | 8 Min Read Time

At a glance 

  • The pros and cons of house extensions and conservatories


In this article, you’ll find the following:

    • An explanation of specific factors to consider when making your decision 

We’ve all been there, haven’t we? You’re sitting in your home, dreaming of a bit more space—perhaps a sun-filled room to read in, or maybe a larger kitchen.

It’s a conundrum many homeowners face: to extend the house or to add a conservatory? While both options promise additional space, they serve different purposes and come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages. 

Let’s delve into the heart of the matter and help you understand the benefits of a conservatory vs extension, for your family home. Make an informed choice for your home.

Front garden landscaped with rear ground floor extension

Your decision should lean on the purpose of the space, your budgetary constraints, and your personal preferences.

Want to know which is more popular in St Albans?

What's the Intended Use?

Before diving into the pros and cons, let’s address the primary factor: the purpose of the space.

Main Factor To Consider

Whether you opt for an extension or conservatory hinges on numerous considerations. The intention behind the new space, your budget, your home’s architectural style, and the amount of space you’re aiming for are paramount. Deciding between a conservatory or extension also requires consideration of how the change will impact the overall property value and usability.

If you’re dreaming of a new bedroom, study, or kitchen, then an extension seems the logical choice. They are more integrated with the rest of the house and provide a sturdier structure for such purposes. On the other hand, if it’s a space you’re after to enjoy your garden views, perhaps an area to entertain guests in a light-filled room, a conservatory might be the ticket.

A Deeper Dive: Extensions

Extensions, undeniably, bring about a sense of permanence. They can be tailored to your exact requirements and are often seen as a continuation of the existing home.

Pros of Extensions:

Size and Design Flexibility: From an artistic viewpoint, extensions offer almost boundless possibilities. The size is only limited by your budget and potential planning restrictions. You can opt for a design that matches your existing property or dare to contrast.

Added Value: A well-executed extension can increase the value of your home. It’s seen as an integral part of the property and can be a lucrative investment in the long run.

Insulation and Comfort: Extensions are constructed with insulation in mind, ensuring a comfortable temperature throughout the year.

Versatility: Whether it’s an ensuite bedroom, a spacious kitchen, or a home office, extensions can accommodate various needs.

modern living room st albans

Cons of Extensions:

Cost: Generally, they are more expensive than conservatories. While they might offer a greater uplift in your home’s value, the initial outlay is considerable.

Duration and Disruption: Extensions take longer to build. You might need to adjust your living arrangements during the construction phase.

Regulations: More often than not, you’ll require planning permission. Additionally, Building Regulations approval is mandatory, ensuring the new structure’s safety and energy efficiency.

Shining the Spotlight on Conservatories

Often seen as the bridge between your home and garden, conservatories provide an abundance of natural light and can be a delightful addition.

Pros of Conservatories:

Quick Construction: One of the main attractions of conservatories for St Albans residents is their relatively short erection time. In many cases, you can have your new space ready in two to three weeks.

Budget Friendly: They are generally more cost-effective than extensions. Furthermore, you often receive a fixed price, eliminating the fear of unexpected costs.

Regulatory Ease: Conservatories usually skirt around the edges of planning permissions and Building Regulations, especially if they’re under 30m² and meet specific other criteria.

Garden Views: They offer unparalleled views of your garden, allowing you to enjoy nature from the comfort of your home.

Cons of Conservatories:

Temperature Fluctuations: Glass walls and roofs can make conservatories too hot in summer and too cold in winter. Although modern glazing solutions have mitigated this to some extent, it’s a point worth considering.

Design Limitations: There might be less room for creativity in terms of design, especially if you’re selecting from pre-defined models.

Value Addition: While they do increase your home’s value, it’s generally not as much as a solid extension.

Conclusion: Making Your Choice

Both extensions and conservatories have their merits. Your decision should lean on the purpose of the space, your budgetary constraints, and your personal preferences.

Discuss with family members, consult with architects or designers, and weigh out the pros and cons. Whether it’s the robustness and versatility of an extension or the light-filled charm of a conservatory, ensure it aligns with your vision for your home.

Remember, this new space is an investment, not just in your property, but in the quality of your life. So, choose wisely, and here’s to a brighter, more spacious future for your home!

If you are still interested in finding out more about house extensions consider reading our blog on >> How much does a house extension cost 


Craig Smith

The founder of CJ Smiths Construction Company for over 14+ years and a proud citizen of St Albans City.

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