Google searches for glazed extensions such as orangeries, garden rooms and conservatories doubled (an increase of 99 per cent) as homeowners started to look for ways to extend and improve their homes during the COVID-19 lockdown earlier this year, according to Westbury Garden Rooms.
The recent research compared search volumes for April to June 2020 with the same period in 2019 for a wide range of keywords relating to orangeries, garden rooms and conservatories. ‘Garden rooms’ were the most sought after extension type, with a 165 per cent increase, followed by ‘orangeries’ (89 per cent) and ‘conservatories’ (68 per cent).
This rise in searches for glazed extensions was also borne out in the number of visitors to Westbury Garden Rooms’ website and an increase in brochure requests.
Over this three month period, it was evident that the requirement for families to stay at home as much as possible put a new strain on our living spaces, and our homes had to work harder than they had ever done so before. As a result, many homeowners may have decided to research the possibility of expanding their property due to:
- An increased demand for a space to work from home – and in many cases, multiple adults working from home within one property.
- The need for a space to homeschool children – and sufficient room needed to educate children of differing ages.
- Older adult children returning home from universities or rented accommodation, putting additional pressure on family living spaces.
- An uncertainty in the housing market, meaning homeowners may have been investigating their options to ‘improve’ instead of ‘move’.
- A new appreciation of what is on their doorstep and making the most of their outdoor space (especially with foreign holidays being postponed).
Managing Director of Westbury Garden Rooms, James Upton commented: “Throughout lockdown, homeowners were using their homes in ways they may have never previously considered and our research bears out the claustrophobia that many people experienced whilst being cooped up for days on end.
“Therefore, it is perhaps of little wonder that many homeowners were not only researching ways to extend their home but that they were specifically looking for a glazed extension, which not only increases square footage but also adds unparalleled natural light and overall space too.
“A glazed extension, such as an orangery, is a striking addition to any home but homeowners should consider the practical use of the space before going ahead. A good designer will work with the family to understand their needs and create a new room that works for everyone whether that be cooking, entertaining, working, simply relaxing or all of the above.”
Another benefit of a bright and spacious glazed extension is that they allow the user to feel more connected to their outside space and it is well documented that being at one with nature is good for creativity and mental health.
Upton continued: “It’s clear that COVID-19 has led to many changes in our habits and lifestyles, the most significant of which is that increasing numbers of people will be working from home and may never return to the workplace as they knew it. As a result, there is a greater demand for multifunctional spaces in the home, a need that can be easily met with the addition of a glazed extension.”