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Conservatory as an office space

Discussion in 'Home and Garden' started by smr, Jul 2, 2016.

  1. smr


    Joined: Mar 6, 2008

    Posts: 8,093

    Location: Leicestershire

    Looking at a new house with a conservatory which i would use as an office space to work from home in... never had a conservatory before. It has no fixed heating or radiators and a tiled floor. Also has a large ceiling fan.

    Will it be too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter or would one of those electric radiators warm it up enough in the winter... its a medium to largeish sized conservatory.

    Many thanks.
  2. booyaka


    Joined: Jan 19, 2006

    Posts: 12,047

    heating and lighting/sun glare etc would be the main concerns for a home office.

    In the summer I can imagine with a pc/laptop going and sun beaming in it would be unbearable for a long period of time.

    Air Con might help - also consider thing like security of having computers/office stuff on show.
  3. smr


    Joined: Mar 6, 2008

    Posts: 8,093

    Location: Leicestershire

    Thanks for the reply. Would having the large ceiling fan alleviate the heat in the Summer?

    The Conservatory does have blinds on each and every window so I guess that would solve the issue of having stuff on show and the glare.

    I think my main concern would be winter - with a cold tiled floor first thing in the morning on a frosty day and then the actual room temperature I could imagine it gets very very cold indeed - it's obviously double glazed but I'm guessing it wouldn't be that much different to actually being in a greenhouse?!
  4. Bickaxe


    Joined: Nov 8, 2013

    Posts: 7,668

    Location: Fareham

    You would need some decent heating for the winter.
    Summer will be hot and not a lot of fun to work in.
    Do you spend a lot of time on the phone? Rain is noisy.

    Underfloor heating with a back up electric heater would help. Some way of cooling the room down is useful too.
  5. Mr.Stu

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 2,255

    Absolutely no chance.

    Winter - if electric, factor in at least £30 a month just to keep it at useable temp. Even then it will feel horrible compared to the main house.

    Summer - even with windows open, it will be too hot to work

    All year - say goodbye to reading your screen unless you install blinds all round (including the ceiling)
  6. Regy53


    Joined: Jun 11, 2011

    Posts: 3,405

    Location: Leighton Buzzard

    I had a conservatory as a office kinda until recent. We do get the sun round the back for a lot of the day, in the summer it will be to hot, i had a big air con machine in there and it couldn't cope. In the winter it will be cold a few 2kw radiators and it was fine then.

    Moved to a small bedroom now
  7. smr


    Joined: Mar 6, 2008

    Posts: 8,093

    Location: Leicestershire

    would it make a difference if the conservatory was quarter brick wall like this one?

  8. Simon42


    Joined: Dec 11, 2006

    Posts: 628

    I know someone with a quarter brick wall and it seems no different which makes sense given the heat via the windows and roof is the issue. With enough heating and air conditioning (not just fans) and blinds you could probably make it work but you are fighting the core issues.

    It does also depend on how long the sun hits it - you could be lucky with a position with less direct sun per day so that's something to check.
  9. smr


    Joined: Mar 6, 2008

    Posts: 8,093

    Location: Leicestershire

    I just spoke to a conservatory place and the woman said a lot of it depends on what material the roof is - if it's pilkington glass or something better it can make a big difference with it being a reactive glass.

    It does have a glass roof but I'm not sure what type of glass it is. It is south facing though.
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2016
  10. ~Lithium~


    Joined: Jun 11, 2015

    Posts: 112

    I wouldn't even bother. Conservatories are more hassle than they're worth. In summer to make it usable you're looking at direct cooling i.e. A/C and in winter direct heating.

    You can try leaving the doors and windows open but if your're someone like me and get distracted easily by noise when working then I wouldn't bother.

    If you have the money, rip it down and build an Orangery...quarter brick walls, insulated with a tiled roof. you'll possibly already have planning for the conservatory so it shouldn't be an issue to replace.
  11. R.O.S.S.I


    Joined: Nov 16, 2002

    Posts: 10,372

    Location: The Moon

    Build an orangery? Won't it suffer the same issues as a conservatory? You might aswell just rebuild it as a proper extension if you're going to rip it down.
  12. Rroff

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 13, 2006

    Posts: 59,587

    Used to use the conservatory for workspace when doing electronics stuff, etc. but anything left in direct sunlight for too long when it was properly sunny would tend to end up damaged i.e. plastics becoming very brittle, paperwork fading, etc. something to consider as well.
  13. ~Lithium~


    Joined: Jun 11, 2015

    Posts: 112

    It shouldn't do if its done properly with the correct insulation. It should be a good deal cheaper than a full extension and not require major modification to the planning consent already in place. Conservatory < Orangery < Extension in terms of cost. Though I do see your point!
  14. Steveocee


    Joined: Nov 5, 2011

    Posts: 4,273

    Location: Derbyshire

    Looked into doing the same myself, end result was that it was going to be too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter. not nice to work from home in. Instead I built a mancave down the garden (link in sig).

    Also log cabins are quite good.
  15. flowrider99


    Joined: Dec 20, 2015

    Posts: 692

    Location: Hertfordshire

  16. chrislusty

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jul 14, 2004

    Posts: 1,455

    Location: Caerphilly - S.Wales

    My parents had a conservatory with pilkington glass, and it was still hot in the summer and cold in the winter. Whilst thereaybe a difference, it's not as great as the sales people make out.
  17. HangTime

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 25, 2002

    Posts: 27,402

    Location: Hampshire

    While I'm sure some people have made perfectly workable offices out of conservatories, I wouldn't do it myself for reasons people have already covered:

    -Large fluctuations in temperature
    -Sun glare
    -Rain noise
    -Potentially more attractive to burglars i.e. computer kit on display for a quick in-and-out snatch

    Also arguably a waste of a 'medium to largish' conservatory as I would typically expect an office to reside in a smaller room or co-habit in another room e.g. dining room.

    If I had a conservatory I could see it being nice every once in a while to use for work (you know, the old social media picture #WFH #sunnidayz #itsahardlife) but I doubt I'd set it up as a fulltime office unless there was no alternative. Currently my office setup is in the guest bedroom :eek:
  18. djcj

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Sep 20, 2005

    Posts: 1,352

    I recently started working from home about a month ago, with the conservatory as my only real option to use as an office space. It is unbearable when the sun is out. Completely unbearable!
  19. Maccapacca


    Joined: Apr 13, 2010

    Posts: 15,797

    Location: Sunny Sussex

    It'll also ruin your PC and any other electrical equipment. Hot cold damp
  20. UTmaniac


    Joined: Nov 9, 2005

    Posts: 4,565

    Location: Here

    Have an overclocked AMD system or two switched on 24/7 to keep it warm.;)