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Conservatories in American homes have their origins in Europe, where the structures were originally built by the wealthy to cultivate fruits from warmer climates. Eventually, they began to used for entertaining guests and today, the term conservatory typically denotes a room with a glass roof and walls that serves the same function as a sunroom, although smaller garden conservatories may serve as both a greenhouse and a recreational area. To learn more about conservatories and how much a conservatory costs, continue reading this buying guide.
Types of Conservatories
Conservatories adjoin a home and typically are an extension of the living or dining room. Traditionally, a conservatory was built from wood, brick, stone, or iron with walls and roofs made of glass. While it's still possible to use these materials today, modern conservatory construction often consists of vinyl (PVC) or aluminum with polycarbonate sheeting in place of glass.
A conservatory can be custom built into any number of designs, but the following conservatory styles are very common:
- L –Shaped
- Corner Infill
- Gable Front
- Mediterranean/Lean to
In addition to the various conservatory designs, you have a plethora of options when it comes to customizing the structure, such as:
- Conservatory windows and conservatory roofing can be made from single, double, or triple paned glass, safety glass, or energy efficient Low-E and argon filled glass.
- Conservatory flooring might be hardwood, artificial wood, tile, or laminate.
- The entry doors of a conservatory could be sliding, double patio, or bi-fold.
- Choose a northern, southern, eastern, or western exposure to control the amount of sunlight the conservatory receives.
- Possible upgrades include under floor heating, electricity, central heating and cooling, a ceiling fan, blinds and curtains, and any number of aesthetic, comfort, and entertainment extras.
Benefits of a Conservatory
Some of the reasons why you should consider building a conservatory are described below.
- Enjoyment: If your home is your castle, then a conservatory is the sanctuary within it, allowing you to enjoy the outdoors year-round without being exposed to the elements and garden during the cold months. Surrounded by nature, soaking up ambient lighting, time spent in a conservatory is sure to boost your mood.
- Another Dimension: A conservatory not only technically increases the space of your home, but with its bright, open design will add roominess that exceeds its length, width, and height.
- Value: Conservatories are a good value in terms of cost per square foot compared to other home additions. Plus, if you ever decide to move, you'll appreciate the increased home value.
Conservatory Average Cost
The cost of a conservatory varies widely depending on the design, local labor and material costs, and other factors. Before you begin conservatory construction, check with the local planning department to find out what permits you may need.
- Conservatory costs start at around $7,500 to $15,000.
- The average cost of a conservatory is $10,000 to $30,000.
- A conservatory could cost as much as $40,000 to $80,000 or more.