The Ultimate Guide to a Replacement Conservatory

Harry Taylor September 7, 2023
replacement conservatory

If your conservatory is damaged beyond repair, outdated or no longer working property, it might be time to replace it. Sometimes, that’s the only solution. Then, you no longer have to worry about heat loss, exorbitant heating bills, condensation and those other annoying problems that usually occur when a conservatory is on its last legs.

This article is about conservatory replacement but we must mention that there are alternative solutions. A replacement conservatory is not your only option. You could also solve these problems with windows or roof replacement alone. In some cases, replacing the frame or glazing alone might be enough. Any of these alternatives will cost less money.

However, they aren’t as effective. They are also not technically conservatory replacement measures. So, let’s stay on topic and leave them to another article dedicated to conservatory refurbishment. For now, let’s talk about the whys, hows, and whats of replacement conservatories.

Why Opt for a Replacement Conservatory?

There are at least a dozen different reasons to want a replacement conservatory. However, most of them will fit into any of the following three.

Outdated Designs & Features

Conservatories become outdated at around twenty years old. By then, the technology and standards of modern conservatories would have passed them by. A modern conservatory will be better in every way imaginable. It will have superior thermal performance, security, aesthetic appeal and everything else. So, consider getting a replacement even before your conservatory crosses that twenty-year mark.

Structural Damage & Issues

It’s not just the tech you must worry about when a conservatory crosses that twenty-year mark. There is also the question of structural integrity. The frame and glazing may start wrapping, cracking and peeling. The seal also begins to leak. Therefore, condensation, draught and heat loss will become rampant. 

However, even without the age issue, it’s better to replace a conservatory with these issues or significant structural damage. A replacement conservatory is your best option if the damage is beyond repair or too expensive to fix.

Evolving Home Needs

What if you are making design changes all over the property? That’s a more than valid reason to get a replacement conservatory. In fact, maybe your decision has nothing to do with the rest of the property, and it’s just about the conservatory. For example, perhaps you want a conservatory with more space, aesthetics, design and functionality. You will find all of these qualities in a replacement conservatory.

Why Opt for a Replacement Conservatory?

Key Steps in Replacing Your Conservatory

Here is how to get the replacement conservatory you want in four steps.

Step 1: Assessing the Current Conservatory’s Condition

You don’t need to assess the entire body of the existing conservatory, just the foundation (or base). This is because you won’t and shouldn’t use the old panels (of the existing conservatory) on the replacement conservatory. They might compromise its integrity. What you can do is sell them off to an installer or a recycling centre. This way, you can make some money and protect the environment.

As for the existing foundation, there is nothing stopping you from using it for the replacement conservatory. Just make sure it’s still structurally healthy and sound. If it’s not, you will have to build a new foundation. This will also be the case if the current foundation is incompatible with the replacement conservatory. For example, maybe the replacement conservatory is bigger or structurally different.

Either way, you can only use the existing foundation if it is healthy and compatible with the replacement conservatory. If not, you must remove and replace it too. 

Step 2: Planning Your Budget

A replacement conservatory costs around £8,000 to £16,000 with the existing foundation and £10,000 to £20,000 with a new one. Of course, this will depend on the conservatory’s type, size, material and other factors. So, you can’t finalise your budget at this stage. Instead, wait until you complete the remaining steps and get a quote from a conservatory installer.

Step 3: Picking the Right Design & Materials

One of our favourite things about conservatories is the abundance of options. From the structural design to the base, building material, glazing, frame, roof and door, there are options. Even better, no matter what you choose, your replacement conservatory will be much better than the existing one. So, let’s go through each element one by one.

  • Conservatory design: The basic types are lean-to, Edwardian, Victorian, T- or P-shaped and gable-end conservatories. However, these are just the basic designs. You and your installer can create a bespoke design for your taste and needs.
  • Conservatory base: There are three types, namely traditional/concrete, steel and wood/timber. A concrete base needs more digging. Therefore, it is more disruptive and harder to construct. However, it is also better for underfloor heating. Remember that you might not need a new foundation for your replacement conservatory.
  • Glazing: To build a thermally efficient conservatory, you need glazing with a minimum energy rating of “E”. That means you must use double glazing, triple glazing or at least well-insulated polycarbonate. You can also try tempered, stained, self-cleaning or obscured glass.
  • Conservatory frame: The usual suspects are uPVC, aluminium and wood. All are great but choose uPVC for affordability, aluminium for durability and wood for aesthetic value.
  • Conservatory roof: You can choose between a glass, solid or hybrid roof. A solid conservatory roof is better in terms of insulation and durability. Meanwhile, a glass roof will allow more sunlight to enter your conservatory.
  • Conservatory door: Options include single, French, bi-folding and sliding doors.

Step 4: Engaging the Services of a Reliable Contractor

For this kind of project, either conservatory installation or replacement, it is better to hire a qualified and reputable installer. The wrong installer could use poor-quality materials or install the panels incorrectly. Then, you are right back where you started with a few thousand pounds short.

So, you need a qualified and credible conservatory installer. You can find one by checking local tradespeople or asking someone you trust for recommendations. Google also works. However, regardless of how you find the installer, you must still do some research to confirm capability and reputability. Here are some tips.

  • Checking their online presence: Most self-respecting contractors have an online presence. Even if they don’t have a personal website, there will still be some digital footprint. So, use the internet for your investigation. Check personal websites, official bodies, review sites, and social media.
  • Ask for references and proof of work: Ask for references and proofs related to conservatory replacement projects. Relevant experience is crucial.     
  • Ask about Warranty: Companies and contractors use warranties to show that they believe in the quality of their products and handiwork. So, ask about warranty plans before hiring someone to install a replacement conservatory.  
  • Ask about insurance coverage: This is just to protect you, your property and anyone working on the project. Most good conservatory companies have insurance coverage.
  • Review multiple companies before choosing one: See who has the best prices and offers. However, remember that cheap things are usually cheap for a reason.
  • Get a written quote: Get a written quote to ensure you and the installer are on the same page.

Important Considerations for Conservatory Replacement

Conservatory replacement is a big home improvement project. Sometimes, it may be bigger than a fresh installation. So, there are some things you need to consider.  

Building Regulations and Planning Permission

All conservatories, including replacement ones, are subject to building regulations and planning permission. One of those rules is that a conservatory must not be taller than four metres or the roof of the main house. There are other rules and your local council may even have some of their own.

So, check in with the authorities or have your conservatory installer do so on your behalf. Confirm the rules. Make sure your replacement conservatory isn’t breaking them. If it is, get the necessary permissions. Then, you won’t have to worry about fines and other issues later on. 

Energy Efficiency & Insulation Factors

A replacement conservatory has the edge over your old one. As stated earlier, the technology and standards for glazed buildings have greatly improved over the years. So, it is nearly impossible to build a replacement conservatory that is not better in every way. You just need to make the right decision by choosing well-insulated and thermally efficient building materials.

Project Timeline

It takes around 10 to 20 days to complete a conservatory replacement project. Installing the replacement conservatory will take 8 to 15 days, while removing the old one will take 3 to 5 days. However, this timeline heavily depends on the size and design of the replacement conservatory. There is also the possibility of complications and other issues that can disrupt the project. 

Important Considerations for Conservatory Replacement

The Benefits of a Modern Replacement Conservatory

Once again, a modern replacement conservatory is better in many ways. Here are some of those ways.

Enhanced Aesthetic Appeal

Because it’s new, the replacement conservatory will look more visually appealing than an old or damaged one. However, age is not the only factor in play. It is also about the aesthetic appeal of modern conservatory building materials. Take wood effect uPVC as an example. It wasn’t around back in the day. Now, it is. So, you don’t have to make as much compromise between affordability and aesthetic value. 

Improved Energy Efficiency

A replacement conservatory will use double glazing, triple glazing or highly insulated polycarbonate. Therefore, it is going to be more energy efficient. Your old conservatory, on the other hand, probably has single glazing and inferior polycarbonate. Conservatory tech has come a long way. So, it isn’t surprising that a modern replacement conservatory will be superior in energy efficiency.

Boosted Property Value

Conservatories can increase the value of a property by about 5% to 12%. However, this will depend on the appeal and health of the conservatory. An old and damaged one won’t add anything. It may even decrease the value of a property. In contrast, a modern replacement conservatory will undoubtedly make a property more valuable.

Benefits of a Modern Replacement Conservatory

Alternatives to Conservatory Replacement

Earlier in this article, we said refurbishment is an alternative to conservatory replacement. So, let’s talk about it. Here are the two types of conservatory refurbishments.

Conservatory Roof Replacement

If the roof is the only part that is damaged, outdated or not well-insulated, you probably just need a new one. You don’t need a replacement conservatory. However, only try this if the rest of the conservatory is in good condition.

Conservatory Windows and Doors replacement

If the windows and doors are the only things that need replacing, there is no need for a complete conservatory replacement. Sometimes, you just need to change a few panels. However, you should only do these if the remaining parts of the conservatory are still healthy and up to date. If not, a replacement conservatory is your only option.


There is little difference between a complete conservatory replacement and a new installation. So, everything you learned while building the existing conservatory will be helpful during this replacement project. However, even without the advantage of prior experience, this conversation is all the ammunition you need. 

Just remember to make the right choices to create the best possible replacement conservatory within your budget. Some of these “right choices” include picking good conservatory materials and design, hiring a qualified and reputable installer and ensuring your new replacement conservatory meets modern standards and building regulations.


Can You Replace a Conservatory With An Orangery?

Yes, these two are similar in many ways. So, the orangery will perform the same way as any replacement conservatory. The installation process is identical, too. However, there are some functional differences between them. Therefore, make sure you really want an orangery, not a conservatory with less glazing.

Do You Need Planning Permission for a Replacement Conservatory?

You don’t need planning permission unless your conservatory breaks the rules of permitted development.

How Can You Save Money When Doing a Complete Conservatory Replacement?

Here are three money-saving tips

  • Find deals
  • Recycle the old conservatory
  • Choose affordable yet standard conservatory materials
Email newsletter
Tell us about what you want to learn!
We won’t spam you, we promise!