Should you opt for a traditional or steel base system for your DIY conservatory?

Now perfectly insulated all year round, conservatories have become a great asset to any home and they’re one of the most popular options for an additional room.

What’s more, it’s now possible to add such extension to your house even if you are on a budget: affordable PVC options for DIY conservatories will cost you around £2000. You’ll have to get your hands dirty, but the satisfaction of building your own conservatory and the subsequent savings will be totally worth the sweat!

DIY conservatories have many pros beside a lower price range. They’re easy to build up if you’re into DIY. All the different parts are delivered pre-cut and even pre-holed: it really is (almost) children’s play! And even if you’re not really into DIY, some conservatories companies offer to build it for you for an extra charge.

Most of them also benefit from a 10-year warranty - just check with the various constructors for more info beforehand. Lastly, DIY conservatories are super flexible in terms of design options, and you will be able to choose from many different styles, materials and colours depending on your requirements. Plenty of roof options and accessories are available too, making it one of the most easily customisable solution out on the market.

Be aware however that you will still have to do some preparatory work. On the administrative side of things, most DIY conservatories are not exempt from planning permission laws, so you should first check with your local council.

On the more practical side of things, the process of adding a DIY conservatory to your home requires taking all the necessary measurements, prepping the grounds and - most importantly - choosing between a traditional concrete base or a steel base system.

Differences between traditional and steel bases

Installing a traditional concrete base can take weeks: you will have to dig the soil in order to lay the foundations before completing the rest of the work. Costs can rise significantly if you run into issues such as having to move any underground pipe work running underneath it.

Once the concrete base is set, you can get onto any brick work that needs to get done before starting to install a final screed layer that will require one day of wait for each millimetre before laying the flooring of your own choosing (carpet, tiles, wood, etc…).

When choosing a steel-based system instead, you will be able to prepare the terrain in a matter of days. Steel-based conservatory foundations don’t require any removal and can be built directly on top of the patio, leaving the ground easily accessible in case you ever need to fix any drainage-related issues.

The steel frame can be filled with fast setting concrete and you can pretty much start building on top right away. Modular walls, unlike brick walls that will require setting time, can be erected in a few hours.

Both solutions can be adapted to your project depending on your budget and timescale, so don’t hesitate to dig deeper into the matter before rushing into it!