Make room with a conservatory

As the weight of the credit crunch and energy prices and all the other financial woes of this year take effect on young families, many will find they require extra space in the home for new arrivals or growing kids but just cant afford to move.

A home improvement such as adding a conservatory can add space, giving the option of using it as a family room while converting other rooms to bedrooms.

A conservatory can also be a better solution financially and it should be much easier to obtain finance for a major home improvement than to get a mortgage for a new home. researcher Michelle Slade advised that an unsecured loan would always be preferable on improvements costing less than £25,000.

"First and foremost, it is not secured on your home," she told The Independent.

"Second, unlike secured loans, the rates tend to be fixed, which means you can budget for your monthly outgoings."

Conservatories have changed a lot over the last few years and are now available in a much larger range of styles and sizes.

While relics of the 70s and 80s may have been draughty Victorian designs that were too hot in summer and too cold in winter, modern conservatories ooze class and quality.