Conservatory planning and costs

Dreaming of a conservatory?

Well planned means already half built: The Planing of the conservatory is the be-all and end-all. Save yourself the hassle and the hidden costs, by planning in advance. The correct location, the materials, the size, shading and permits are some of the elements to be considered among other things.  

↓ to the guide ↓petWALK pet door configurator

Conservatory planning & cost

A conservatory is a one time investment. Therefore, a careful and thoughtful planning is of great significance and, in order to avoid any unpleasent surprises, few things have to be considered. When designing the conservatory alone, you can choose from countless options and possibilities. These include different shapes, sizes, varied material cuts, standard dimensions, complex construction, and angled terraces. To make it easier and simplify the process of owning and building your dream conservatory, we summarized the most important aspects here.


Good planning saves trouble

Cozy reading hours when it snows, entertaining conversations while it is raining, a light flooded and cozy atmosphere on a mild summer evening. A conservatory is a piece of nature in your home. In a conservatory you can linger, and feel like outside regardless of whether it is snowing, storming or raining. But not only that, if the winter garden is properly attached to your house, it acts like a heat buffer, and helps you save expenses.

After ensuring the right requirements, questions such as the right location, materials, lighting, and heating systems are on the agenda. The correct furnishing of the conservatory is important as well, and must also be included in the planning.

The cardinal direction influences your decision

If you are planning a new conservatory, the cardinal direction and the weather play an important role, because it affects the amount of sunlight, the temperature, and the lighting conditions. Read here to learn how you can determine the optimal conditions for your requirements

Orientation to the North

A conservatory oriented towards the North, is a well air conditioned place for living and working in the summer, and it might be possible to turn it into an office space for work. It could also be the perfect place for your four legged friend, as it does not heat up excessively, but offers a pleasent light throughout the day. Certain plants also prefer indirect light. Stronger thermal insulation is recommended for winter use such as triple thermal insulation glass.

Orientation to the East

If the conservatory faces the East, it is mostly illuminated by the sun in the morning with an inviting atmosphere to have a breakfast. The heat gained in this way can be used throughout the day with good insulation. Even on hot summer days, the conservatory remains a cool place. Therfore a heat source should be available for pleasent climate on cool winter days. Plants that cannot tolerate direct sunlight could be placed here as well.

Orientation to the South

A conservatory facing south is most exposed to sunlight, this means that it can absorb a lot of energy and save cost. Even a little sun is sufficient to achieve pleasent temperatures inside the conservatory without having to heat up to a large extend. This is very beneificial in winter, but it can get very hot in the summer. In order to avoid overheating and unpleasent temperatures, It is recommended to install either a ventilator or a shading system, taking the dimensions into consideration.

Orientation to the West 

The best thing about the West is the afternoon and the evening sun. A conservatory facing the west stays nice and cool during the day and you can still enjoy the last rays of sunshine, and family celectrations under the open sky of the conservatory and it can go until the night. 

These questions can help you further
  • Do you use the conservatory as a greenhouse for tropical plants or as a hibernation for plants ? 
  • Should it serve as an extension to the dining room or living room?
  • Do you only want to use the conservatory as an extension of summer all for all seasons
  • Should there be a chill-out corner for your four legged friend?
  • Which space is provided for the conservatory? Which directions are available to you? 

What does a conservatory cost?

As already mentioned and explained, the design of winter garden offers almost endless possiblities. Because of this diversity it is difficult to find an answer to what a conservatory costs. You find the so called “Attached greenhouses” on the internet just for few thousands. But you have to keep in mind that a winter garden is an extension to your own home, which in the best case should last for decades and offer joy.  If the conservatory is matched to the building, and offer an archtectural charm that increases the value of the building, the investment pays off, specially when you take into consideration the savings from the heating costs 😉 

The federal association of conservatories (Der Bundesverband Wintergarten E.V.) states a price of at least 1,500 to 2,000 euros per square meter of a floor space for a home conservatory made of aluminium in the simplest version

According to the rate, a conserNach dieser Rechnung würde daher ein Wintergarten mit 20 Quadratmetern Grundfläche um die 30.000 bis 40.000€ kosten, wobei nach oben hin keinerlei Grenzen gesetzt sind und man auch die Zusatzkosten nicht aus dem Auge verlieren darf.

Please note: Additional work!
  • A home conservatory needs the right foundation, it should be professionally built and insulated.
  • It should also be noted that the heated conservatory must be applied with heat. if the existing heating system is not sufficient for this it may result in a larger investment to renew the system technology.
  • The administration fees which could result from the paperwork of the new building, and the measurement of cultivation should not be underestimated.
  • Don’t forget the operating costs! Heating and ventilation require energy that should be paid for, in addition to the increased insurance fee that will occur in the future.
  • If you are already making a large investment plan, its better to incorporate things like shading, mosquito nets, Cat/Dog doors, from the begining; otherwise, adding them on seperately later will cost more.

If you are building a conservatory ensure that you have a checklist of the expected costs. You should also set a a maximum budget that you are willing to invest in the garden. The specialist company can after that tailor their offer to match your budget.


Conservatory: Oasis for well beings for animals

A conservatory is not only something special for your people, but also for your pet. If you place your conservatory to the east, west, or north your four legged friend can usually use it as a pleasent air conditioned retreat. If you place the conservatory facing west, east, or north your four legged darling can usually use it as a pleasent air conditioned retreat. You can equip the conservatory with dog baskets, cozy corners and similar stuff. There is also the option of installing a 100% airtight exit and entrance. 

The airtight petWALK petdoor in a glass

To this day many animal lovers have been forced to make a massive hole in the walls of their building just to give their four legged friends undhindered access to the garden. A conventional animal flap made of hard plastic doesnt have any insulating properties, and it just looks like a hole in your house.  The petWALK petdoor has insulating properties with a U value of less than 0.7 W/m² in the passive house variant, in this way they do not reperesent a weak spot in the thermal insulation. in a nutshell you can reduce the energy costs of your own home by installing the petWALK petdoor instead of conventional petflap by more than 500 kWh per year

To make your four legged friend happy, it is a good idea to have a petWALK petdoor installed in a glass. The petWALK petdoor is easiest to install in a double or triple insulating glass pane. All you need is an opening with the right measurement. You can get this from your window construction company or any glazing company. After that the petdoor is simply installed and is ready to use. A seal is placed on both frames that ensures and airtight and watertight connection. Its the perfect condition for a perfectly insulated conservatory

Say "Hello" to the freedom!

Never again let the dog or cat in and out countless times. You are only few clicks away from the new freedom of your four legged friend. Enjoy a previously unimagined quality of life and treat yourself to an invisible butler who recogniezes your animals and automatically opens the door for them. Configure your individual petWALK cat or dog in just a few steps!


The perfect size

In principle, of course, the size depends on the planned use. However, a minimum size of 12 bis 15m² is worthwhile. It is essential to observe the height of the conservatory. From a height of 2.5m to 3m, you can put a garden or a dining table set without any problems. In addition the size of the garden should be proportionate to the size of the rest of the house. Also note that the size depends on your planned budget, the bigger, the more expensive.

These questions can help you:
  • What area can you build in?
  • What furniture would you like to put in the conservatory?
  • How big are the plants, that you leave in the conservatory to overwinter?
  • How much space does your scratching post or dog basket need?
  • Do you have enough budget for the planned size?

Conservatory as a plant paradise

If you want to use the conservatory as a place for winter or simply want to turn it to a plant paradise, there are certain properties to consider. In addition to the materials, there are various ways in which you can build a conservatory which affects the growth of plants in very different ways. Think about your four legged too! Many plants are poisonous to dogs and cats. Tulip plants (daffodil, cork, tulip), rhododendron, monkshood, oleander, angel’s trumpet .. etc. these are just a small selection of plants that are not good for your pet. 

Plants for conservatory that can be used all year round 

Even tropical plants can find their place in a temperature controlled conservatory. Even in the winter, when the temperatures  are milder, there are some plants that thrive such as hibiscus, cacti, dracena, elephant ears and many others.

Summer gardens or cold conservatories

Summer gardens or cold conservatories are mostly used in the summer, or during the transition to winter. This type of conservatory is not heated in winter and is only made with slim non thermally seperated aluminum profiles. Glasses that are used for safety are signle glazed. Due to the rapid warming of this conservatory, the season is extended by a couple of months. Plants that dont mind climatic differences feel particularly comfortable in a conservatory.

These questions can help you :
  • Do you want to make your plants gloom in the conservatory?
  • Do you want to include plants in your planning?
  • Are you a fan of Mediterranean plant species (Oleander, Cypress, Lavender, olive trees)? Then a summer conservatory might just be the right choice for you.
  • Would you like to create a bright place for your tropical plants? then a conservatory for the whole year is the right thing for you.
  • Many plants are dangerous and poisonous for pets, so please take this into account.

The agony of choice: Conservatory materials

Wehter wood, aluminum or plastic – there are a variety of materials. it is crucial that these meet the static requirements and, the load of the snow. The most common type is a combination of Glass and Aluminium. Another popular winter conservatory is wood with an aluminum shell in the outdoor area. In a plastic conservatory the roof structure and, the corner posts are made of aluminum. The side walls are designed after that, either as plastic or as plastic-aluminum elements. The advantage of plastic elements is the good thermal insulation and also the possibility of installing highly insulated glazing.

Wood conservatory

A wooden conservatory is suitable for you, if you are looking for a naturally renewable building material. Most manufacturers use only glued laminated timber, which is glued together from thin boards. Wood also insulates heat better than any other material. Wood has a warm surface temperature and, thanks to the wood grain, is pleasent to touch. Since it is also a changeable raw material, the woods can be perfectly adapted to the desired furnishing style in the conservatory with different glazes and oils.

But a wooden conservatory also has its disadvantages, most species need new protective coating that depends on the season. For adequate protection against weather, the wooden conservatory can be clad on the outside with an aluminum shell. This keeps rain, sun and snow away from the wood and ensure that you will enjoy your conservatory for a long time. 

Furthermore, wood is not particularly suitable for a plant rich conservatory. As mentioned earlier wood creates a very homely atmosphere, but in order to achieve the same stability as steel or aluminum construction methods, you need a significantly more solid construction, even when using hard tropical wood. 


Aluminium is a robust material  and can be implemented in many different applications and aspects. This material is well suited for winter conservatories that are not thermally seperated. this enables a minimilistic conservatory with large glass surfaces, as the metal is light and stable. If you choose the aluminum, you save yourself the protective coating as it does not rust. Aluminium conservatory can be coated in different colors, just as it is possible to install highly insulating triple heat protection glazing. Most manufacturers offer prefabricated components that are quick and easy to process.

Composite constructions made of wood and aluminum have proven particularly effective. The load bearing wooden structure is covered with rear ventilated aluminum panels on the outside. It is further supported by pane holders made of aluminum. 


The glazing in the conservatory, the so called greenhouse effect. The penetrating sunlight is partly reflected again from the floor and the walls. This thermal radiation cannot penetrate the glass and as a result the interior heats up

Since glasses make up a large part of the conservatory materials, choosing the right glazing is particularly important 

Highly insulating triple heat protection glasses are used in residential conservatories all year long. This maintains the temperature of the living space 

When glazing at your conservatory, you should take safety aspects into consideration: Safety glass is mandatory in the roof area, as falling broken glass can pose a significant risk or injury. Laminated safety glass contains a film that prevents the panes from breaking apart. In contrast to wired glass with embedded metal mesh it’s completly transparent, but also considerably more expensive.

Acrylic glass also known as plexiglass is occasionally offered as an alternative to safety glass. It is not a real glass but a transparent plastic compund called  polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA). It is more translucent than real glass and only about half as heavy. Acrylic glass is tough and shatterproof as well as weather and UV resistant. So called multi wall sheets made of acrylic glass consists of two panes that are connected to one another by narrow plastic bars. This construction increases the stability and the thermal insulation without significantly impairing the view. On the other hand, a disadvantage of acrylic glass however, is that it is not scratch resistant. Dust deposits usually cause the first scratches at the latest when cleaning. Therfore despite the many favorable properties, real glass should be preferred to acrylic glass.


Roof shapes conservatory

The most popular roof shape is the monopitch roof, although the trend is now increasingly towards flat roofs. The monopitch roof has the advantage over the flat roof, however because the monopitch roof allows snow and rain to run off better due to its higher incline. In addition to that the cleaning effect is better due to an increased incline in the monopitch roof

Other popular winter garden roof shapes are: 

  • Monopitch roof winter garden with bevelled corners 
  • Gable roof winter garden 
  • Conservatory roofs with hips 
  • Conservatories with a solar bend 
  • Conservatory with a pavilion roof 
  • Conservatory with  a pyramid roof 
  • Conservatories around the corner 
  • Free standing conservatories
These questions can help you:
  • Do you want your conservatory to have the same roof shape as your main house? 
  • Would you like to set new accents with the roof shape, for example ? 
  • Are there regulations from the municipality or building authorities regarding the roof shape? 

You may also like:

30 day risk-free trial

You have the option to test the petWALK pet door with your cat or dog within 30 days before permanently installing it. We will explain how.

And who takes the dog?

Tips on how and where you can leave or take your pet wih you on holiday seasons 

Fly screen for you, petWALK door for your cat

Why install a catflap when there is a better solution for all the seasons?

Which accessories do I need?

Whether tunnel-set, cover or door contact – what is really necessary? We have summarized the products we recommend you to order depending on the installation site.