Adding a conservatory is one of the most popular forms of home improvements in New Zealand. Not only will a conservatory improve the aesthetics of your NZ home, it will also increase its value, so that should you ever decide to sell, your house will not spend too long in the market, and will also attract a high price.
Whether you are adding a conservatory because you want to just create a restful space in your home, or to add value to your property, it is important that you go about it the right way. So here are our top 10 tips for adding a conservatory to your New Zealand home.
- Get the necessary planning permission
Depending on where in New Zealand your property is, you may be required to apply for and receive planning permission before carrying out modifications on your property. Known as planning permission or approval, this is typically needed for external modifications and home improvement projects that will affect the original structure of your house.
Not every home improvement work will require planning permission, so it is important you confirm first before proceeding. If you are working with a reliable conservatory company, they can tell you if your location requires permission and help you do the necessary paperwork.
- Find out the value of your investment
If the main objective of your conservatory is to add value to your property, you should consider first finding out just how much value you can expect to add before investing in such a huge financial undertaking.
The best way to do this is to consult with local property agents on the estimated prices of houses with conservatories in your area. Research suggests that you should expect between 5 to 15% increase in value but it never hurts to be sure. Property estates have a wealth of information in this area as they will likely have sold houses with conservatories in the past.
- Get quotes from multiple companies
Whenever you need any work done, it pays to get quotes from multiple companies. The same thing applies to when you want to build a conservatory. When you get quotes from multiple companies, you stand a better chance of getting a better deal as you will have different companies to compare against each other.
Of course, price alone should not be your deciding factor, as the best price does not necessarily mean the best company, instead, also request to see a portfolio of their past jobs, as well as reviews and recommendations from past customers.
- Don’t be cheap
The truth of the matter is that building a conservatory is an expensive home improvement project. If you insist on searching out the cheapest company to build your conservatory, it may end up making your property worth less instead of more. In fact, a cheap project will probably be characterised by shoddy workmanship and low grade materials, which will result in wear and tear in very little time.
- Build something the complements your house
A conservatory is meant to blend in with the rest of the property and complement your house. In fact, it should look like part of the original design rather than like an afterthought. If it is too big, it can dwarf your house, too small, and you may not have as much usable space as you require.
Also, it is important that the materials match the ones on your windows and doors. If you currently have aluminium windows, then it makes sense that your conservatory should be aluminium also. This way, you can avoid bad contrast that could throw off potential buyers.
- Pay attention to orientation
Conservatories are meant to provide direct natural light and uninterrupted view for the people inside. This is why it is one of the warmest and most energy efficient parts of the house. To enjoy this level of energy efficiency, you have to get the orientation of your conservatory just right.
For example, a south-facing conservatory will attract more natural light, making it the ideal place for the cold months.
- Consider energy efficiency
That your conservatory is facing the right way is not enough to guarantee energy efficiency throughout the season. You should also take practical steps to retain heat during the cold months. For example, you can also invest in quality blinds and thick carpets. This will make your conservatory warm and friendly, so much so that people will want to spend lots of time there.
Apart from the economic advantage of adding a conservatory to your house, this home improvement project is also meant to be more aesthetic than practical. In fact, they are designed to be spaces where family and friends can hang out on a free day. Therefore, when planning for your conservatory, the most important consideration is that it must be a place where people will enjoy hanging out, whether there are house plants there or not.
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