Conservatories were hugely popular in the 1980s but then suffered a dip in popularity and demand.
Increasingly, home owners turned to other options - loft and cellar conversions became ever-more common, so too extensions utilising affordable flat roofing options.
The trend might have been expected to continue, the conservatory market ever dwindling and yet, in recent years, quite the opposite has happened.
Conservatories are back in favour despite all the competition. What has sparked the change? We take a look.
The rise in popularity of conservatories could be down to a number of factors. The alternatives could have become less appealing. Alternatively, maybe conservatories have new features. Or could it be that old issues that put people off conservatories have been corrected?
The answer is a combination of the final two - as for the first one, the alternatives have not got worse, they simply have greater competition from conservatories.
Why People Stopped Loving Conservatories
The initial decline in conservatory popularity came about as people realised that they were inherently flawed. There was a huge number of initial sales and this quickly tailed off as would be potential buyers discovered the issues via word of mouth.
The problems stemmed from the roofs - early conservatories had either glass or polycarbonate roofs, both materials wholly inappropriate for the job in hand. The roof’s inability to regulate temperature in any way meant the conservatory because uncomfortably hot in the summer and ice cold in the winter.
Essentially, what people ended up with was extra space that was largely unusable for much of the year, not least during the summer, the time it was specifically designed for.
Homeowners, or those aware of the issues at least, were left with a choice of either doing without extra space or finding the money to pay for an extension or conversion.
The pattern remained in place then for more than 20 years and with the arrival of the internet the problems became more widely circulated. Anyone taking even a few minutes to Google about the suitability of conservatories would run into numerous posts outlining the problems.
Something had to change else conservatories would eventually all be consigned to recycling centres.
Regulatory Change To The Rescue
The change came in 2010 with regulation change that allowed conservatories to have lightweight, solid, tiled roofs. These roofs were every bit as effective as the roof on any part of the house, keeping the temperature within a pleasant range. Conservatories remained light and airy but they also became that year-round space in which the homeowner could unwind.
The regulatory change was thanks to our work at Guardian Warm Roof. We had to show that the roofs we had developed delivered on their key promises - namely that they could be fitted to existing conservatoires and also new builds, and that they did solve the issues of glass and polycarbonate roofs.
There had to be proof that the roofs were worth paying for, after all the homeowner would be horrified to find out that they had paid for a replacement roof only to find that the problems remained.
It was the Guardian Roof that gained this approval and Guardian Roofs that became the industry leading product, breathing life back into conservatories. It is worth noting that it is the Guardian Roofs that has full Local Area Building Control (LABC) approval.
With flat roof extensions becoming more affordable there had to be other benefits too - homeowners were demanding conservatories that had the price of a conservatory, the benefits of an extension. Guardian delivered here too.
Our roofs come in a range of styles and thousands of subtle colours - this means there is a roof to blend in with every type of property. No longer does a conservatory look like a bolt-on, instead it looks like that sympathetic extension. You can see examples by looking at our range of styles and also the picture gallery on site.
A modern conservatory is also an investment - would-be buyers value the extra space rather than looking at a glass or polycarb-roofed conservatory and mentally calculating the cost of having it removed.
Conservatories had looked set to fade into obscurity, instead the new, modern style of conservatory offers the homeowner usable extra space for a fraction of the cost of any other option.
To find out more, please have a browse of this site and call us on 0800 0665832.