During the early 2000s, conservatories were big business up and down the UK, but modern property trends and environmental concerns have seen their popularity wane – just 77,000 conservatories were built in 2017 compared to half a million in 2006, and experts say numbers could have dropped even further since.
And according to Vince Courtney, chief sales officer at Purplebricks, your conservatory could actually be devaluing your home – and, if it’s so tired and dated it could lose you money and reduce your chances of getting a sale, your only option could be to get it taken down.
Here’s his seven reasons why your conservatory might be devaluing your home.
1) In a word – dated
A lot of conservatories built during their peak popularity period in the early part of the century now look quite dated to modern home buyers – think cheap-looking white plastic or dark wood (which has probably grown a layer of moss along the way) and a plastic or glass roof which isn’t as clear and shiny as it once was. It’s also possible that – as a later addition – the conservatory doesn’t necessarily fit in with the rest of the house.
It’s always possible that – as a later addition – the conservatory doesn’t necessarily fit in with the rest of the house
Unfortunately, some buyers will be turned off by this, and it could devalue your home by thousands of pounds.
2) A lack of energy efficiency is bad news for the planet – and your pocket
Perhaps the biggest issue with conservatories is that they don’t generally meet modern standards on energy efficiency. This makes them potentially quite damaging for the planet for homebuyers with a strong eco-conscience, but also make them unattractive to buyers who have a more economic focus – especially given energy bills at the moment.
They’re tricky to add energy efficiency features to without a pretty sizable investment which most people won’t see as worth it if they don’t love the conservatory anyway, and they can impact on that all important EPC rating.
3) Modern buyers like open-plan family spaces in their homes
Open-plan living is now really popular, and so having separate spaces within that living space is nowhere near as desirable as it once was.
Open-plan living is now really popular, and so having separate spaces within that living space is nowhere near as desirable as it once was
A lot of buyers favour an extended kitchen-diner which leads straight out into the garden, with huge patio doors for light, and as this is an expensive and disruptive renovation, properties which already have that set up are at a bit of a premium.
4) Taking your life (or your body temperature at least) in your own hands
Because the majority of conservatories were built (legally) without planning permission (perhaps part of the reason they were so popular), they don’t tend to have central heating as that would have required additional building permissions.
This can mean expensive bills running standalone heaters in the winter, but also means you’re going to be at the mercy of the elements all year round so could end up needing to use a fan or air-conditioning unit in the summer.
Extreme temperatures in either direction are far from ideal for buyers.
5) You’ll never fit a sofa in there – or a comfortable one at least
A lack of planning permission for many conservatories also means that they don’t provide a huge amount of space.
Modern furniture tends to be quite big, and you certainly won’t get the average family-friendly corner sofa in the average conservatory.
Rightly or wrongly, buyers tend to think about whether their existing furniture will fit into their new house (when it might be cheaper to buy a new sofa) so having a space they feel they can’t use will not help your chances of a sale.
6) Gardens are making a comeback
While gardens never really went away as a popular feature, it’s fair to say that they’re becoming even more important to buyers – especially in cities – and so anything that takes a chunk of outdoor space isn’t always going to be popular, especially for families with young children and people with pets.
A lot of conservatories built during their peak popularity period in the early part of the century now look quite dated to modern home buyers – think cheap-looking white plastic or dark wood
With the trend for new builds for gardens to get smaller and smaller, properties with good outside space are increasingly at a premium, and taking down your conservatory could be key to making your house stand out
With the trend for new builds for gardens to get smaller and smaller, properties with good outside space are increasingly at a premium, and taking down your conservatory could be key to making your house stand out.
7) And garden rooms are popular too
Making the most of your garden views in all weathers is still popular however, and garden rooms can add a great deal of value to your property – and have become even more popular over the course of the pandemic as pleasant spaces to work from home.
Property trends change, and it would be fair to say that some styles of conservatory that were popular in the past are now likely to turn off potential buyers – and might mean your property is valued at a lower price or attracts lower offers because people are factoring in the need for extensive renovations.
There are ways you can make a conservatory more liveable, such as installing underfloor heating or getting your central heating extended with the correct permissions so you can install radiators, but if it’s really tired and dated, it might be more cost-effective in the long-term (even at the cost of a couple of grand) to get it taken down.