In this article, we are going to outline everything you need to know about lean-to conservatories. You will be able to go ahead and choose the best type of lean-to conservatory to go for with the lowest cost structure so that your wallet isn’t too taxed! A lean-to conservatory has many benefits to alternate conservatories: Victorian, Edwardian, L-shaped, P-shaped, and T-shaped conservatories.
How much does a lean-to conservatory cost (average)?
A lean-to conservatory’s average cost will change according to where you live. For example, a lean-to conservatory for a house in a metropolitan area will have a moderately different pricing structure than one that is built in a suburb. The pricing will fluctuate depending on the conservatory installer and the logistics costs of the material, even though the result might look identical.
The average price for a lean-to conservatory will come to around £7,500. This average cost is across all the different types of conservatory designs that you can have.
Lean-to conservatory prices
While the pricing structure will be broken down categorically further along in the article, you should expect to spend around £5,000 to £10,000 for a lean-to conservatory with a dwarf wall (we will expand on that later). If you are looking for a fully glazed one, the cost can be narrowed down to £7,000 to £9,000, since fewer variables are involved.
Types of lean-to conservatories
There are two main types of lean-to conservatories. The first is with a dwarf wall, which adds a lot of sturdiness to the structure and provides additional protection in at-risk areas against burglaries. The second type of lean-to conservatory is the fully glazed version, allowing you to have the best visuals of your backyard and nature.
Factors affecting lean-to conservatory prices
Foundations or base
Generally, any structure that is built to join into the main house requires a foundation. A lean-to conservatory would fall into this category of housing extensions. Without a proper foundation, your new conservatory might start sinking, creating significant issues for your main house as well as the conservatory. The ground needs to be correctly prepared before the placement of the required footing. The depth of the base will depend on the size of your lean-to conservatory as well as the consistency of the soil it’s built on. It’s also important to remember that the foundation of your new conservatory should be able to withstand a few future alterations, such as a solid roof (if you are currently going for a glass one). It’s always better to be safe than sorry!
Material choice for frames and profile type
The primary materials available for your lean-to conservatory are wood, polycarbonate and aluminium. Wood allows you to go for far more intricate detailing. It’s currently possible to do interesting extrusions with aluminium as well, though it might be more expensive and time-consuming to do so. Polycarbonate is great for saving on material costs and having low maintenance costs. The overall look of a conservatory will also inevitably look far more luxurious with a hardwood structure than aluminium or polycarbonate on average.
Solid glass walling or brickwork
The main objective of having a lean-to conservatory is that you get to enjoy a view of nature that is unparalleled by any of the other rooms of your house. This view is only accomplished by using a lot of see-through material on the walls of the conservatory. However, there are advantages to building part of the sides with bricks to provide a sturdier structure for the extension. This also allows you to have better protection against uninvited guests as pure glass walls, no matter how expensively made, are still weaker than brick walls. The use of solid glass versus part-brick walling will significantly affect the end cost of the project.
The pricing of your lean-to conservatory will also be affected by your choice of doors. Popular options for doors include french doors and aluminium bi-folding doors. It all depends on the overall look you are going for. French doors add elegance and might suit the overall housing structure a little more. Aluminium doors can be pretty easy to maintain while being a bit more light on your wallet.
The main types of glazing used for the windows of a lean-to conservatory are double glazing and triple glazing. The type of glazed windows used will determine the amount of light you have coming into your conservatory and the amount of heat that is lost through the windows. Generally, the gas that is used for glazed windows is argon, which acts as quite a good insulator as far as gases go. Double-glazed windows have two panes of glass with gas trapped between the two panes. A triple-glazed window has three panes of glass with gas trapped between the three panes. What type of glazed windows you go for would have to depend on where you live (extremely cold or moderately cold during winter) and what your natural lighting preferences are. An advantage of having triple-glazed windows is that harmful sun rays won’t damage your expensive furniture during the summer.
If you are opting for a glass roof for stargazing as well as a better-lit atmosphere, then you will have to consider going for double-glazed or triple-glazed glass for the roof. The amount of heat that is lost through the roof is more than the through the sides of any structure as warm air rises to the top. Another option that you can go for when putting your lean-to conservatory roof up is to go for tinted glass. This will significantly help in keeping the temperatures low during the summer months. Other options for roofing include tiles. You can also have a few glass (glazed or unglazed) tiles on the roof for better natural lighting and ambience. A fully tiled roof will also help with energy conservation and overall look, depending on the style of your house. One of the easiest roofing types to install and maintain are polycarbonate roofs. They are very cost-effective and have quite a clean finish.
Basic full-height lean-to conservatory price
A full-height lean-to conservatory should not be more than 4 meters in height and should not exceed the height of your house’s roof. This type of lean-to conservatory generally refers to a conservatory that doesn’t use any brick for the walls. However, conservatory roofs can either be glass, polycarbonate or tiled as has been previously stated. Also, as previously detailed, the glass roofing, the glass walls and the glass windows can either be plain glass, double-glazed or triple glazed. The main factor in pricing will, of course, be the size of the conservatory. A very compact full-height lean-to conservatory can be as small as 2.2 m x 2.3 m (5.0 m2).
Some supply-only conservatory costs for a basic full-height lean-to conservatory are given below:
Cost of base – £1,000 to £2,000
Size Main Features Supply Only Cost
2.2m x 2.3m uPVC. Poly-carb roof. Full glass sides £2,200 to £2,500
2.2m x 3.0m uPVC. Poly-carb roof. Full glass sides £2,400+
3.0m x 4.0m uPVC. Poly-carb roof. Full glass sides £2,500+
3.0m x 5.0m uPVC. Poly-carb roof. Full glass sides £2,700+
As there are large differences in labour costs, guarantees and warrantees between contractors, we recommend that you ask for quotations from at least 3 contractors before making your final decision for your conservatory installation.
Basic dwarf wall lean-to conservatory fully installed
A small lean-to conservatory with dwarf walls will have a short brick base to the structure while the rest of the walls can be made from glass or polycarbonate. The roof can be either glass, polycarbonate or tiles. As shown above, the glass roofing, walls and windows can be from glass, double-glazed glass or triple glazed glass. As for the full-height lean-to conservatory, the dwarf walled lean-to conservatory’s main pricing variable will be its size.
Some supply-only conservatory costs for a dwarf-walled lean-to conservatory with a simple flat sloping roof are given below:
Cost of base – £1,000 to £2,000
Size Main Features Supply Only Cost
2.5m x 3.0m uPVC. poly-carb roof. Dwarf wall £2,975+
3.0m x 3.0m uPVC. poly-carb roof. Dwarf wall £3,380+
3.0m x 4.0m uPVC. poly-carb roof. Dwarf wall £3,827+
3.0m x 5.0m uPVC. poly-carb roof. Dwarf wall £4,173+
The labour cost variability is the same for a lean-to conservatory with dwarf walls as for a full-height lean-to conservatory. There are considerable differences in labour costs, guarantees, and warranties between contractors. We recommend that you ask for quotations from at least 3 conservatory installers before making your final decision for your conservatory project.
Benefits of lean-to conservatories
Lean-to conservatories have a lot of benefits when compared to other conservatory styles. The main one, of course, is the low cost of installation and maintenance. This is true, especially if you go for the more cost-effective materials that are not too ornate. Another great advantage is that this type of lean-to-conservatories is very easily adaptable to most housing types, resulting in a very wholesome finish.
Lean-to conservatories also allow you to add space to your home in a very versatile manner. You can add extra space as a kitchen, a dining area, a sitting room, or even a verandah. This extra space can also be bathed in a lot of natural light, especially if the conservatory roofs in question are made of glass.
Adding either a dwarf wall or fully glazed conservatory to your house can substantially increase your house’s property value. The conservatory cost will be more than recovered when you sell your home and will serve as an additional selling point to get a quicker sale.
Planning permission for a lean-to conservatory
It is always recommended to get planning permission from the local building authority before starting your conservatory project. The building regulations approval process can also help you determine what conservatory styles can potentially be used. In some areas, the building authority does not require approval for a stand-alone conservatory of a certain size as long as it does not adjoin an existing property. However, it’s always more prudent to check with the authorities before embarking on any home improvement project.
Some general guidelines for building extensions without regulatory approval are given below:
- The size of the conservatory must not exceed half the size of your home’s original house.
- Your new conservatory should not have a porch or elevated platforms facing a highway.
- If your home faces a public walkway or highway, you cannot build any extensions in the front without prior permission from your local planning authority.
- On the side of a house only single-storey extensions are permitted but must not be larger than half the size of the original building.
- Extensions to a detached property can’t be wider than four metres, or three metres for a semi-detached home.
- The roof of the conservatory must not surpass the height of the existing house.
- Lastly, the eaves of the conservatory must not be higher than three metres if you are within two metres of a boundary.
Other design and cost considerations
You need to determine a few other details before you finalize your plan for your lean-to conservatory. If you plan to have internal electrical sockets in your conservatory, you need to decide whether to have hidden floor fixtures or go for a dwarf wall. You should also determine whether you are going for a heated floor option and what type of flooring you want. Additionally, it should be determined where to place the lights inside the conservatory as well as where to place the light switches.
Do you need foundations for a lean-to conservatory?
Foundations for any building or extension should be present as a general rule of thumb. They help consolidate the building’s structure and increase its longevity. Since a lean-to conservatory is attached to the main house, there is no instance where a housing authority will give planning permission for building a lean-to conservatory without a foundation.
What’s the difference between a lean-to conservatory and a normal conservatory?
A lean-to conservatory is a type of normal conservatory. There are many types of conservatories, such as Victorian, Edwardian, L-shaped, P-shaped, T-shaped and verandah, in addition to lean-to conservatories.
Will a lean-to-conservatory add value to my house?
A lean-to conservatory will add value to your house as long as the extension to your house was made with proper regulatory approval. It will also count as a selling point if and when you decide to sell your house.
Are lean-to conservatories cheaper?
Lean-to conservatories are cheaper when compared to the other conservatory styles available. They also have a versatility few other types of conservatories have.