The industry’s Twitter community is usually quiet on a Sunday afternoon, with just a few tweets going out either about football or what @NewBuildsNo1 has been cooking for dinner that day ;-)
However, debate erupted after Ultraframe tweeted some research done by a company called Zopa which claimed that the average cost of a new conservatory was £5300. Yes, you read that right guys and girls, just a tad over the £5k mark. Now, as you can imagine, many of us raised an eyebrow at such a figure.
Realistic values way over
It’s worth pointing out at this point that my last full national average prices survey results showed that the average price for an average sized new conservatory (3m x 4m) was over £11,000. This is more than DOUBLE what this Zopa market research says. The highest price quotes on that survey was over £15,500, with the lowest being £4500, though that figure is open to some doubt.
The average price being quoted by those debating this research on Twitter was around the £16-£17k mark, with things like Loggia columns, LivinRoom details etc on top of that. This average price quoted by Zopa is nowhere near what people can expect to pay for even a small conservatory. Not even the quality OMB’s or very small installation businesses could build a brand new conservatory, including basework, walls, plastering, electrics etc for that.
Realistic prices are way over what Zopa is telling homeowners and this is what is most frustrating. It is poor, undervalued figures that help to condition consumers who are always price sensitive to believe that £5300 for a new conservatory is a price to expect, when in reality it is way more than that. I am going to send this post to www.thisismoney.co.uk and Zopa and ask where they conducted their research, because I think they might need to do it again.
Does a conservatory really add value?
I have always questioned the generally assumed rule that adding a conservatory to a house deliver a return, or even increase the value of a house.
Lets take a look at this Zopa research again. They say that on average a conservatory returns an average profit of £5750. So lets say for arguments sake that £5750 is even remotely accurate, a realistic average price for a decently spec’ed 3m x 4m glazed extensions with some optional extras will be around £15k. That means the homeowners has ploughed in an extra £9250 they won’t see again.
Now there is a scenario where a glazed extension or conservatory might add value. If there is a small home that is lacking a room such as a dining room or a proper lounge or sitting room, then a decent sized glazed extension built to be used as one of those genuine extra rooms could at least see the money invested covered when the house goes up for sale.
If you’re a homeowner that has stumbled upon this article and is after a rough price for a conservatory, please do not go by the Zopa research. Please go see you local reputable installer and obtain a written quote with a proper price on it. That way you get to see what a realistic price is for your new room. If you’re from Zopa and you’re reading this, both myself and I’m sure those reading this would appreciate some context to back up the research done on the conservatory part of your findings.