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Your Complete Conservatory Addition Guide: Costs, Styles, Value

Last Updated: October 04, 2023

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.

How Much Does a Conservatory Cost? #

Conservatory Frame

  • Aluminum - $12-25 per sq ft
  • Wood - $25-60 per sq ft

Glass Panels

  • Single pane - $8-15 per sq ft
  • Double pane - $12-22 per sq ft
  • Low-E coatings - $3-8 per sq ft extra

Other Materials

  • Roofing - $5-15 per sq ft
  • Flooring - $4-12 per sq ft
  • Electrical, lighting - $3-8 per sq ft


  • Installation - $15-25 per sq ft
  • Finishing - $5-12 per sq ft

Total Conservatory Cost

  • Small (100 sq ft) - $15,000-35,000
  • Medium (200 sq ft) - $25,000-55,000
  • Large (300+ sq ft) - $40,000-100,000+

Key Factors

  • Framing and glass types
  • Overall size
  • Level of customization
  • Local construction costs

In summary, expect to pay $30,000 to $70,000+ to add a professionally installed conservatory depending on the size, features and materials used.

Luxury conservatories can cost over $100,000.

Modern Conservatory

Real-Life Conservatory Cost Examples #

Here are several real-world examples of how much homeowners paid for conservatory additions:

DIY Polycarbonate Conservatory

  • 12' x 16' size
  • Polycarbonate panels & vinyl framing
  • DIY installation
  • Total cost $18,500

Medium Wood & Glass Conservatory

  • 16' x 20' cedar wood & glass conservatory
  • Double pane argon windows
  • Professionally installed
  • Total price $42,000

Large Custom Conservatory

  • 500 sq ft grand conservatory
  • Hardwood framing & curved glass roof
  • Tile flooring, ceiling fan
  • Built-in seating & heat/AC
  • Total cost $115,000

Small Aluminum Conservatory Kit

  • 140 sq ft aluminum kit
  • Self-installed by homeowner
  • Total project cost $21,000

Renovated Patio Conservatory

  • Converted patio into conservatory
  • Used existing roof & foundation
  • Added windows & lighting
  • Total reno cost $30,000

Conservatory costs range widely based on size, materials and features. But typical new conservatories often cost $30,000 to $60,000 installed.

Small Conservatory

Conservatory Styles #

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:

Lean-to Conservatory

  • Attached to one side of the home
  • Simplest and most affordable style
  • Pitched roof slopes down from the house wall

Edwardian Conservatory

  • Classic style with flat front and pitched roof
  • Rectangular footprint
  • Large windows make it light and airy

Victorian Conservatory

  • Elaborate curved glass roof
  • Ornate custom design
  • Octagonal or faceted footprint

P-Shaped Conservatory

  • Combination of lean-to and Victorian styles
  • Larger than a lean-to, with a curved front

Gable Conservatory

  • Triangular conservatory with gable roof
  • Walls slope down from a central ridge
  • Offers excellent views

Lantern Conservatory

  • Also called "Mediterranean" style
  • Central glass lantern roof with flat sides
  • Provides shelter while minimizing glare

Lean-to and Edwardian styles are most popular and affordable, while Victorian and P-shaped designs offer more elaborate curved glass roofs.

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 #

  • 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.

Frequently Asked Questions About Conservatories #

How much does a conservatory cost?

Conservatories range from $15,000 for a small DIY polycarbonate style to over $100,000 for a large, customized wood and glass conservatory. The average cost is $30,000 to $70,000.

What factors affect conservatory prices?

The main factors are size, framing material (wood vs aluminum), glass type, custom features, and professional vs DIY installation. High-end custom builds cost more.

How much value does a conservatory add to a home?

A conservatory can increase a home's value by 50-80% of the project cost. A $30,000 conservatory may add $15,000 - $24,000 in resale value.

Are conservatories energy efficient?

It depends on the glass. Double or triple pane glass with Low-E coatings and argon gas greatly improves efficiency. So do features like blinds, ventilation, and heating.

Can a conservatory be used year-round?

With proper glass and supplemental heating and cooling, a conservatory can be comfortably used most of the year. Proper ventilation is key during hotter months.

What maintenance is required?

Regular cleaning of glass. Checking caulking and seals. Repainting wood frames as needed. Checking the roof. And removing plants/furniture before extreme weather.

What permits are needed?

Building permits are typically required. Some areas may require additional zoning approval or HOA approval for a home addition.


Use Our Free Service and Compare Conservatory Companies Near You #

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