Buy a Consevatory

Helpful tips When Buying Conservatories

This section is provided in association with the editorial team at - who have provided this content. Our thanks to them. This article contains many hints and tips on getting the best of of your conservatory, both before buying and once you have it installed.

In this section some tips for conservatory buyers are presented- we hope you find these bits of advice helpful in your conservatory search.

We have put an (***) beside any particularly important tips.

Conservatory Floor Area ***

Always work out your internal floor area when ordering a conservatory. Most suppliers will quote sizes based on external sizes. Typically your internal depth (projection) is 10.5 inches (275 mm) less than external depth while internal width is 21 inches (550 mm) less than external width if you use a cavity wall construction. This is a BIG DIFFERENCE! It's the internal floor area that most people are actually concerned about.

Always manually mark out the area of a new conservatory when designing and getting quotes. Do this as carefully as possible. A few bits of wood and string will do workk well. You could even get a potential supplier to mark out the area.

Conservatory Quotations

Unless you feel really confident - do not go for the lowest priced quotation. This could be a bit of cliche we know - but rarely in our experience do the cheapest supplier also supply the best products or the best services.

Negotiating Conservatory Prices

When obtaining new conservatory quotations you should not try and "beat every supplier in to the ground". The more superior companies will not wish to do trade in this way - only the less professional will usually have the flexibility. These less professional companies will often "agree" to your request but end up ripping you off later. We are not saying that you shouldn't negotiate. What we are suggesting is that you negotiate fairly. Make a complete list of the features "you must have" and ask each company to give their best quote. Don't expect to get a conservatory with a glass roof, Pilkington "K" glass and Argon filled units for the price of a standard double glazed conservatory with 16 mm polycarbonate in the roofing.

Contingency Pricing

It is always good practice to allow a little extra (say 10%) for "extras" or additions you may make to the order after you place your initial order. Builders can have unseen work or you may decide to make some alterations as work commences. There may be some landscaping or similar.

Make a Time Capsule in Your Conservatory

This is one of our favourites - especially if you have children. It's the TIME CAPSULE tip. Simply put some current newspaper clippings plus a brief description of yourself and family in a waterproof/rot-proof container. A 2 litre plastic carton with screw cap is perfect. Children love to include some "original artwork" and written descriptions of themselves. The fun and sense of occasion is amazing. Perhaps someday somebody else will share in this. You can "hide" the time capsule almost anywhere - but the favourite is within the cavity walls or under the floor if you have a suspended floor.

Get the Best Conservatory Possible***

Buy the best possible conservatory you can afford. For a relatively small additional sum spent now you can have a conservatory which will give you many years of satisfaction. Of course you want value for money - but don't try doing it too cheaply. Consider glass roofs, Pilkington "K" glass (Low E) etc.

Conservatory Plants

When you go on holiday - please make sure you have adequate shading and ventilation for your conservatory. You don't want to come home to a conservatory full of dead plants!

Decorating your Conservatory

Candles and such things are greatl in a conservatory - especially in the evening. However do remember that these candles couldl melt/bend in the daytime heat!

House Insurance

You must remember to tell your insurance company of your new conservatory / sunroom addition. Adequate cover for complete re-building should be arranged as soon as the conservatory is built.

Conservatory Doors

Unless there is no alternative do not place doors in the front of the conservatory. This creates a "corridor" effect and limits the useful space free for chairs etc. It is a much better idea to position the doors on the side - ideally as close to the rest of your house wall as possible so as to minimise the change in your "flow" and useful space.

Creating the Right Look

A conservatory should not be a "bolt on" to your property. Always endeavour to match your new addition into your home. Match brick work and render details. Make it feel and look as though it's always been there.

Dial a Conservatory are proud to be ConservatoriesOnline Associates.

About the authors:

M Taylor T/AS Dial A Conservatory, Unit 2 Angmering Station, Station Road, East Preston, West Sussex, BN16 3RE

FREEPHONE: 0800 833309

tel: 01903 850093, fax: 01903 859866
Outside UK tel: +44 1903 850093

"Very useful pointers here. This has helped us in our design - we are now moving the doors to the side. We hadn't thought of this before. Thank you."

Mrs Bereford