Building your own conservatory can sound like a daunting task. You might think of it as a major construction project that’s best left to professional builders, rather than something the odd handyman might be able to finish off themselves. Nevertheless, DIY conservatory kits are proving a popular option for homeowners eager to expand their property; plus you are almost guaranteed to save money in labour charges. Building your own conservatory also allows you to add a personal touch you don’t always get when hiring a professional.
How to Build your Own Conservatory
Here is a ten-step guide to building your own conservatory:
- First of all, choose the style of conservatory you want. From simple ‘lean-to’ and ‘flat-roof’ options to the more elegant and complicated Victorian and Edwardian designs, choosing the right conservatory design is of paramount importance, as you want it to blend in with the main property without proving to difficult to construct.
- Next, check you don’t need planning permission. Since October 2008 most conservatories have been classified as ‘permitted developments’ as long as they meet the following criteria: they are no higher than 3m on an attached house, or 4m on a detached property; or the eaves and roof rise no higher than the existing building; the conservatory has a floor area of less than 30 square metres; the roof is made of at least 75% glass or polycarbonate material; and an internal door separates the conservatory from the main home.
- Obtain the necessary blueprints and plans and make sure the design is feasible for your garden space. A building surveyor or architect can help you determine whether or not your conservatory will fit in your garden and let you know if the plans need any changes or adjustments before getting started.
- Purchase all the necessary equipment and materials you and your fellow builders will need to get the job done. This might include things like skips, scaffolding or ladders that need to be temporarily hired, as well as the concrete, gravel and bricklaying equipment that is essential for your chosen conservatory frame to be built upon.
- Carry out a risk assessment on the garden and property and clear the area of any rubbish or items of furniture that might potentially obstruct your work, in both the garden and the downstairs floor of your home where equipment and materials might have to be stored.
- Mark out the shape of your new conservatory by removing the soil and squaring corners using a ‘string-line’ as you see on many building sites. Lay the cill (or basic frame) of your conservatory model over the shape to check its accuracy before you continue.
- Concrete the foundation of your new conservatory by laying it to the correct height using timber pegs as a guide. The first portion of brickwork should then be laid up to the level of the damp-proof course that separates the floor from the furthest exterior of the wall. It should then be sanded down, and the under-floor insulation should be cut and laid before a final layer of concrete is poured and levelled.
- Build up the brickwork to the desired height, whether you are using a flat or dwarf wall for your conservatory.
- Use Visqueen sheeting to cover the conservatory outline and any completed concrete or brickwork in stages of rest throughout construction – that way you’ll protect what you’ve done so far and prevent the pesky UK weather from stalling the project.
- Finally, fit your conservatory together using the necessary screws and sealant as outlined in your blueprints. Take your time to do each stage and window properly, and make sure the roof is fitted last of all.
DIY conservatory prices will depend on a number of factors, including the style of conservatory you choose and just how much of the work you get done by yourself. However, five-sided Victorian conservatories which normally cost £15,000 to £21,000 when constructed by a professional, have been listed for as little as £6,500 to £8,500 as DIY kits. So, why not look into the DIY conservatory kits and DIY conservatory roofs available and see if building your own could save you money?
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