Conservatories are great for providing some extra room and bringing in light, but if your garden doesn’t get much sun, they can be cold and dark for much of the day.
If you’ve got a conservatory you never use, you might be wondering if you could convert it into a proper room to give yourself extra living space. This would mean you’d be able to use it more in the winter months, and an extra room could increase the value of your property.
But will this be possible and will you need to seek permission before you undertake a building project of this scale? Let’s take a look at what you’ll need to consider before you upgrade your conservatory.
Permissions and regulations
Depending on the structure and foundations of your conservatory, it may be possible to convert it into an extension. This is more likely if your conservatory has a brick base and solid foundations. However, if your conservatory doesn’t have solid foundations, it might not mean you’re stuck with it as it is – there could still be an option to turn it into what’s known as an orangery, which is a cross between a conservatory and an extension.
If you’re changing the structure of your property in any way, you’ll need to apply for planning permission. You can apply for this online and if you’re not sure whether your project will need permission, it’s worth erring on the side of caution. If you decide to just go ahead and get an extension without applying for planning permission, your local planning authority could serve you with an ‘enforcement notice’. This would mean you’d have to undo the work you’d had done, which could be costly.
Paying for the work
It’s a good idea to speak to a specialist builder if you’re considering converting your conservatory into an extension, or an orangery if this isn’t possible. They’ll be able to tell you what options you have, based on the walls that connect your conservatory to your home and the foundations it’s built on. You’ll also be able to get advice about what the work will entail, such as increasing the insulation in the walls, replacing the roof and getting more secure windows and doors.
If you can’t pay for the conservatory conversion outright then you could consider a homeowner loan – and a broker such as Ocean can help you find the right one for you. You could borrow between £10,000 and £150,000, at a rate of 15.3% APR typical variable. This would mean you could spread the cost of the work on your home over a longer period which you could find easier to manage. However, it’s important that you don’t borrow any more than you think you’ll be able to repay, as if you don’t keep up with your repayments, your home could be repossessed.
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