Despite being one of the most expensive home improvements on the market, the popularity of conservatories never really wanes among British homeowners. But if you’re on a budget, how do you go about finding a great-quality, durable but cheap conservatory? What’s on the market and what can you do that’ll bring the cost of your new conservatory down?
We thought we’d start our piece on cheap conservatories by looking at six of the most popular types of conservatory installation in the UK.
What can you buy with your conservatory budget? The lower quotes are for the smallest and most basic types of conservatories within a particular range and the higher quotes are for when expense is no object.
Cheapest lean-to conservatory prices
Lean-to conservatories are the most popular type of cheap conservatory installations in the UK. A lean-to conservatory has three walls (either panel only or part panel/part brick wall) and the roof slopes from the back of your house to the end of the conservatory.
|Lean-to conservatory||Frames made from||Cheapest quote we found||Most expensive quote we found|
|With a dwarf wall||uPVC||£4,900||£10,750|
|New build, no dwarf wall||uPVC||£6,900||£9,250|
Cheapest Victorian conservatory prices
When you think of Victorian conservatories, it’s hard not to think of that era of history. Victorian conservatories have 3- or 5-panel bay window-type fronts and are characterised by a steep-sloped roof and detailing on the ridges.
|Victorian conservatory||Frames made from||Cheapest quote we found||Most expensive quote we found|
|With a dwarf wall||uPVC||£10,760||£15,750|
|New build, no dwarf wall||uPVC||£9,250||£13,750|
Cheapest Edwardian conservatory prices
Edwardian conservatories are large - they’re often constructed in a way that makes them feel more like an additional room in your home rather than a new addition.
|Edwardian conservatory||Frames made from||Cheapest quote we found||Most expensive quote we found|
|With a dwarf wall||uPVC||£8,750||£16,250|
|New build, no dwarf wall||uPVC||£7,750||£14,250|
Cheapest gable fronted conservatory prices
Characterised by their triangle end with a pitched roof sloping in opposite directions and at right angles, gable fronted conservatories are stylish and elegant additions to your home.
|Gable fronted conservatory||Frames made from||Cheapest quote we found||Most expensive quote we found|
|New build, no dwarf wall||uPVC||£11,250||£16,250|
Cheapest P-shaped conservatory prices
One of the largest types of popular conservatories and ideally suited for large and detached homes, they’re similar to a lean-to conservatory blended with a Victorian conservatory. Its P-shaped configuration makes this type of conservatory feel like there are two additional rooms to your home.
|P-shaped conservatory||Frames made from||Cheapest quote we found||Most expensive quote we found|
|New build, no dwarf wall||uPVC||£12,250||£16,750|
Top 10 tips to bring your conservatory price down
You can see from the tables above just how big a difference there is in price between choosing a beautiful but cheap conservatory and choosing a high-end conservatory with all the bells and whistles.
All good conservatory manufacturers and installers want to offer the widest possible range to fit within everyone’s budget. When we got the lowest and highest prices from our partner installers, we asked them what their top 10 tips for homeowners would be if they were speaking to someone who really wanted a conservatory but who also wanted to bring the cost down to within their budgets. And here’s what they told us:
1. Have a brick dwarf wall
The dwarf wall on a conservatory is the wall (normally two or three feet high) that rises from the foundations and on top of which the glazing panels are placed. Homeowners like dwarf walls because of their appearance and the feeling of continuity that the bricks give the conservatory as part of your overall home.
You don’t have to have a dwarf wall. You can choose to have full glass sides to your conservatory or you can choose more ornate walls - the choice is yours. However, in most cases, not having a brick dwarf wall is going to push the price of your conservatory up.
2. Choose white uPVC
All of the quotes our partner installers sent us for this article assumed that the conservatory frames would be made out of white uPVC. You can buy uPVC in a wide variety of colours for your conservatory however, because they’re harder to make and there’s less demand for them, you’ll be surprised at the premium non-white uPVC fetches.
3. Reduce the number of opening windows
The number of opening windows you have on your conservatory will be make a difference to the overall price. Most homeowners select having two frames which open to the side and one to the front.
4. Split the work
There are two parts to a conservatory installation. The first part is the base work needed to create the foundation for your conservatory together with alterations to the outside of your house. If the layout of the pipes and cables under the ground in your back garden requires some or all of the connections to be moved, this will add to the cost of your installation. Depending on what’s actually under your lawn and your patio, planning permission may be needed (more on that later).
You might want to use a builder for the first part of your conservatory project and then use your conservatory installer after that for the second part. This may save you money although it will require organisation and management on your part to make sure that the right people are there doing the right job at the right time.
5. Conservatory style
As you saw from our list, the difference in price between a lean-to conservatory and a P-shaped conservatory is considerable. Generally, the more ornate the style, the more expensive the conservatory.
If you want your conservatory to feel more like an extra room in your home, the style of the conservatory will have to be more elaborate to achieve that effect and the way it connects to the rest of your house will need to be really thought through. Conservatories are meant to be occasional rooms rather than additional rooms and the amount of work needed to make a conservatory as integral to your home layout as a kitchen for example will add significantly to the cost.
The simpler the style, the cheaper your conservatory.
6. The size of your conservatory
The smaller your conservatory, the cheaper it will be. Bear in mind that larger conservatories require more maintenance, they take longer to build, and they’re more difficult to maintain temperature and moisture. For larger conservatories, you might want to ask your installer about low-E glass and insulation.
7. What your conservatory is made from
uPVC is the cheapest material to choose for your conservatory. You can also choose from aluminium and wood - both are significantly more expensive than uPVC.
8. The type of glass you choose
Polycarbonate is cheaper than glass. It’s also a lot lighter meaning that, for your installer, it’s quicker and easier to handle and fit. However, it is less durable than glass and it requires a lot more looking after post-installation.
9. Is underfloor heating necessary?
Many conservatory installers offer underfloor heating to the homeowners they give quotes to. Underfloor heating is a really enjoyable luxury but it’s really not a necessity. Because of the way conservatories are constructed, they’re cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
A much cheaper option to go for than underfloor heating is to ask your installer to insulate your conservatory and ask for glass which lets the light through that you want inside but doesn’t hold onto the heat.
10. Make installers compete for your business
There’s always healthy competition between conservatory installers and there’s nothing conservatory installers like more than beating their local and national rivals. It may sound strange but every company in your local area wants to be the number one conservatory installer and they’ll not like to see any of their competitors fitting your conservatory when it should be them.
When you have a conservatory installer around quoting you for the business, let them know that you’re getting 3-4 quotes from other suppliers before you make your decision. Competition means that the price you pay for your conservatory will fall while the quality will remain just the same.
Cheap conservatory FAQ
In addition to our top 10 tips to make your new conservatory a cheap conservatory, we’ve also included some of the other more important things you need to know when finding the right installer for you.
Do I need planning permission for a cheap conservatory?
Generally you don’t. The exceptions to the rules are if:
- your conservatory stretches back more than three metres from the wall it’s connected to. If you live in a detached home, you’re allowed four meters
- the height of your conservatory is more than four metres
- you live in a listed building
- your home is within a conservation area.
Your installer will be able to give you guidance on whether your conservatory will need planning permission. However, they will also always advise you to check with the local council before committing to any work.
What should I ask a potential installer before getting my conservatory fitted?
On any major works on your home, it’s important that you feel that your installer fully understands what you want and that you feel confidence in their ability to deliver what you want. If you’re not sure about something and then, during or after installation, it’s not the way you want it to be, then the whole experience will take longer than it needs to and it will cause you stress - it’s your home, after all.
Remember that you’re in control and you have the right to ask any questions you want at any time, before, during, and after the installation.
Make sure you discuss with your installer every aspect of your conservatory - materials, dimensions, the type of glass used, the number of openings you want, insulation, how your conservatory will connect to your home, and so on. Leave nothing out because anything you don’t tell the installer is something that they won’t know about.
One big area of concern for homeowners wanting a cheap conservatory is the build time. There is always disruption to a home when the conservatory is installed so make sure that you get a good idea of timescales required from your chosen installer.
Should the installer I choose be a member of any trade body?
There are a number of different bodies and schemes to which an installer can belong that will give you additional peace of mind about the stability of your installer’s business and the quality of their work. Memberships and accreditations you should look out for include:
- Glass & Glazing Federation (GGF),
- The Fenestration Self-Assessment Scheme (FENSA),
- Certification and Self-Assessment (CERTASS)
- or FairTrades / TrustMark accreditation
What should my cheap conservatory quote include?
First and foremost, your quote should show the absolute final price, including installation and VAT, of your cheap conservatory. If you want reassurance that the quote you’ve received is the price you’ll pay, make sure that you get your installer to confirm that in writing.
Your quote should contain all the materials being used in the construction of your cheap conservatory, the labour costs, the hire of any machinery used during installation, and, most importantly, the VAT.
If you can, ask your installer to provide a drawing (CAD or otherwise) of your cheap conservatory so that you can properly see what it is you’re getting for your money.
Quotes for a cheap conservatory
Earlier in this article, we mentioned that there is healthy competition between the best cheap conservatory installers to be the number one in your area.
But what makes a cheap conservatory installer the number one? In addition to the number of customers they have, it’s the quality of their work, it’s the glowing reviews customers write for them on the internet, it’s the number of new customers they win by word of mouth, and it’s about having a local reputation for excellence and reliability.
We have vetted, checked, and we now work with hundreds of quality and accredited conservatory installers across the UK. By filling in the form on this page, we’ll connect you with 3 or 4 of them, find out what you want, and tell you what they think is possible for your budget. Many of them will be able to help you spread the cost over a number of years too with competitive and sometimes interest-free finance options.
There’s no charge to our service. There’s also no charge for our installers to visit you and there’s no obligation on you to accept any of their quotes.
To get started, please fill out the form on this page.