This is a question that my clients ask me all the time. And you will only ever find out for sure when you sell the house. Here are the general guidelines that should be considered.
Your new conservatory can add value, it can add no value, and it can also reduce the value of your home. Let me explain.
Firstly, you need to understand the classification of your conservatory. If your project is subject to building regulation control and for whatever reason it is also subject to Thermal Heat Loss calculations, then your conservatory will legally be classed as an extension.
If your project does not require any building regulation control or heat loss calculations then it will be classed as a conservatory.
What’s the difference
The construction of a conservatory – that has building regulation and heat calculation approval – is supervised by independent inspectors who will make sure the construction is in line with minimum building standards.
Once the approval certificate is authorised (at the end of construction) there is a record or proof of the standard of construction. The conservatory in this case will now be considered a permanent fixture to the property – a glass extension.
With no building control involvement, there is no record of the quality of the build and the structure is considered temporary, and is therefore classed as a conservatory.
How does this affect the value of my home?
A permanent structure with a building certificate will show up on the property records when you sell your home. It leaves no room for doubt over the quality of build, and is no reason for the buyer to reduce an offer.
Likewise, conservatories with no record of the quality of build have no guarantee to the future buyer.
IMPORTANT: If a conservatory should have had building regulation approval and did not, this will be exposed on a simple search that will be made when the property is to be sold. This usually causes the falling through of the sale, or a greatly reduced offer. Ultimately – a financial loss for the person who bought the conservatory.
Quality of construction or rather proof of the quality of construction is one aspect of the value of a conservatory.
The other aspect that relates directly to – and is equally important to – the future value of a conservatory is the design.
When you walk into a house as a potential buyer, and as you enter the kitchen your jaw hits the floor and you gasp with delight – you have just experienced the ‘wow’ factor. Your dream kitchen sat within the most stunning conservatory you have ever seen – exactly like the one you fell in love with in ‘Hello’ magazine.
The bad news is that the previous potential buyer thought the same thing and the chances are, so will the next. The value of the property set by the Estate Agent will have taken into consideration the impact of the design and its ‘wow’ factor. This vendor will get close to the asking price and in a buoyant market, possibly over it.
A conservatory that has little aesthetic balance with the original house will often be considered for replacement by buyers. “I like the house but we’ll have to replace the conservatory” is not an uncommon phrase (I know because it’s me they often call!) and is another reason for a reduced offer.
The specification or material of the conservatory can also impact greatly on the re-sale value of a house.
A beautiful conservatory made in quality timber can be treated just before a house is put on the market, giving this conservatory a fresh look that will only enhance its appeal.
A uPVC conservatory with a few years on the clock will begin to look older than it is. Although the life expectancy of a uPVC conservatory is around twenty years (compared to a bespoke timber conservatory of up to fifty years) the uPVC will look a bit tired within as little as ten years, and there is very little you can do about it.
A scruffy looking conservatory will give potential buyers the excuse to reduce their offer, and this is one of the big downsides to uPVC.
With a conservatory that has a high specification, beautiful detailing, a stunning floor inside and whose colour and design complement the character of the house, backed up with full certification from an independent building control body, then you have a very good chance this conservatory will add to the quality of life of this home, and will unquestionably add value to it.
Whilst the conservatory is for you to enjoy, it is good to know that you will get some return on your investment when the time comes to sell your home.