Can You Really Build Your Own Conservatory?

Lockdown is bringing out the creativity in all of us, whether that’s a creative way to entertain the kids, experimenting with new recipes and trying every craft under the sun. In the article below, we look at self-build conservatories, also known as a DIY conservatory, a cheaper and quicker alternative to having a conservatory built.

Others are taking it one step further and giving their homes a makeover. From a lick of paint in the bedroom to retiling the bathroom, this is the perfect opportunity to spruce up your property. 

Some are finding that they quickly run out of projects or their homes may have already been decorated and have no plans to change it. In this case, have you ever thought about extending your property?

Conservatories are a popular choice, especially as the warmer months are approaching and we want to make the most of the outdoors. These rooms provide the perfect chance to enjoy your garden with the added interior comfort. See more on Konservatory on why these rooms are a must-have in any home.

It may seem like an impossible task at the moment, especially with lockdown making it troublesome to get a contractor in, so why not do it yourself? DIY conservatories are becoming incredibly popular and they are much easier than you think to install. Here’s a guide to everything you need to know if you’re considering a new conservatory as your next DIY project.

What Is A DIY Conservatory? 

Think of a flatpack piece of furniture and that’s what a DIY conservatory is, just on a larger scale. You choose the design, size and style from the supplier and they ship everything you need to build your new extension.

There are varying kits out there, from standard, mass-produced ones to tailored, bespoke kits for those with specific requirements. It’s best to do a bit of research first to determine exactly what you are wanting, reading up on some conservatory guides in a great place to start.

What Experience Do I Need For A DIY Conservatory? 

If you have never picked up a hammer or screwdriver, you may want to call in a family member who knows a little more.

However, these kits are designed for a complete novice. If you have basic knowledge of tools and how to construct something, even if it’s just an understanding and you haven’t actually attempted it, you should be fine.

The kits come with full instructions and many suppliers have customer helplines to help you problem-solve should something not fit quite right while building.

What Do I Need To Prepare?

Check if you need planning permission. Most conservatories don’t require this but there are always exceptions. If in doubt, contact your local council.

Consider the ground in your garden, is this stable enough to withstand the structure, is it level and do any paving or patios need to be removed or repaired beforehand?

Check your toolbox,  if you aren’t an avid DIY-er, you may not have everything you need. Your supplier should be able to advise what is needed. Check the costs of these beforehand, to either buy or hire, you don’t want to end up with an unexpected cost during the construction process.

Think about the function of the room once it is completed, this will determine the size you need. You don’t want all that effort to be in vain and discover you can’t fit the right furniture in there. 

Remember to shop around for the style of furniture you want, you’ll be amazed at how the style of conservatory can impact the rest of the room and you wouldn’t want a clash with the aesthetics.

Check the exterior wall it is to sit against, are there any cracks or problems going on? These should always be rectified before building a DIY conservatory.

How Much Does A DIY Conservatory Cost?

There are many factors that determine the cost of your DIY conservatory. The supplier you use, the style you choose, the type of glass and the size. This can be from a few thousand to tens of thousands, but it certainly is cheaper than paying for contractors to build it.

It isn’t just the kit itself that will cost. You need to factor in the cost of tools, hiring specialist equipment will save you some money rather than buying.

There is also a chance that you may need some professional help at certain stages, especially if you are a complete novice. Conservatory installers usually charge by the hour so be sure you have some contingency set aside, just in case.

You will want power in your conservatory, whether it’s lighting or plug sockets or both. It is always recommended to get a professional in to do this, especially if you have never attempted it before. Poor electricals pose a fire hazard to your family and your home so get quotes from local electricians so you know what will need to be spent.

How To Avoid Problems

The most common problems new conservatory owners face is leaking roofs, faulty doors and the room can be too cold.

When fitting roof panels and doors, pay particular attention to these areas. Watch online videos, contact the supplier with queries and if all else fails, call in the professionals for this bit.

As many of us build our conservatories in the summer months, we may not notice this until it is too late, so better to get it the right first time.

Conservatories are notoriously colder than the rest of our homes so if you aren’t installing underfloor heating, make sure you have enough plug sockets for a storage heater. You can also look into DIY insulation, such as aluminium foil or thermal wadding. There may not be the prettiest fix but they can easily be removed in the warmer months so you don’t disrupt the beauty of the room most of the year.

It may be difficult to envision yourself taking on such a task in your own home, but with the right planning and careful selection of your kit, even a beginner can complete this task. Not only can it save thousands, but there is nothing more satisfying than building an extension yourself.