It’s time to take the plunge and update that tired old conservatory

Published on: 17th May 2023


They were once considered a luxurious extension to your home. But that 20-year-old conservatory could now drag down the value of your property by as much as £15,000 when you come to sell it, estate agents warn.

Homeowners are removing traditional conservatories or spending thousands of pounds to convert them over fears they could damage their house price and deter buyers.

Conservatory sales soared in the early Noughties. They were sold to homeowners as a great way to add a room for a fraction of the cost of a bricks and mortar extension — and came with the added bonus of bursts of glorious sunshine streaming in through the roof.

But 20 years later, estate agents say add‑ons built during the ‘conservatory boom’ of the 2000s are now seen as dated and energy-inefficient by the majority of buyers.

The number of homes coming on to the market with conservatories plummeted by 52 per cent between 2012 and 2022, according to the property search website Rightmove.

And just 77,000 conservatories were built in 2017 compared to around half a million in 2006, the most recent official figures show — a decline of 84 per cent.

Numbers are likely to have fallen even further since, according to experts.

Chris Hodgkinson, managing director of the House Buyer Bureau, says a conservatory that’s likely to get very hot in summer and very cold in winter can devalue a home by as much as £15,000 as it is ‘effectively useless’.

‘An outdated 20-year-old conservatory can be an eyesore which will cause an immediate bad first impression, particularly with younger buyers,’ he adds.

‘If it’s not in keeping with the overall style of your home, it acts as a buying deterrent.’

He says it’s also important to consider that many buyers will have their own vision in terms of renovations and may want to remove the conservatory, adding: ‘They may see it is an expensive problem that needs fixing – demolishing a conservatory alone comes in at £2,000.

‘A buyer will ultimately factor this in when putting in an offer on your home, reducing the price you are likely to achieve.

On the assumption that a good conservatory can add 5 per cent to the value of a property, a bad one could see as much as £15,000 wiped off in the opposite direction based on average house prices, he claims.

James Powell, of the York estate agent Hunters, says homebuyers are now hunting for well-insulated extensions instead.

Growing concerns over EPC ratings and rising energy bills mean those that have not been upgraded to be more energy efficient are seen as a burden. The typical hourly cost of heating your conservatory with an oil-filled radiator is 24p, according to What Price?, which tracks living costs. This assumes a 2kW heating requirement and an average electricity tariff of 12p per hour. If you heated it for six hours a day, seven days a week, that would cost you £10.08 per week — on top of your existing heating bill.

Most conservatories cannot have radiators as part of a home’s central heating, as it would need to be classified as an extension with added building permissions. Josh Avis, of Phillip Mann estate agents in Seaford, East Sussex, says buyers are now looking at EPC ratings and building regulations more than ever.

Geraldine Joaquim, 53, spent £10,000 to upgrade the roof of the conservatory at her West Sussex home after barely using it for seven years.

The wellness coach, from Petworth, bought her home with a south-facing conservatory in November 2015, thinking it would be lovely to get the sun all day.

But she quickly realised the extreme temperatures made the space unusable most of the time.

She says: ‘I renovated my conservatory in spring 2022. I’d been thinking about knocking it down and rebuilding it as an extension, but the cost was too high.

‘In the end I opted to spend £10,000 to install insulated roof panels instead.

‘In the old conservatory the temperature was regularly over 45 degrees in summer and around 5 degrees in winter.’

This article is credited to ‘The daily mail’.