There are many ways to extend your home, whether it’s to expand your living space or impress future buyers, adding a conservatory is a popular choice when it comes to making the most out of your space.
As well as being the perfect way to spend the summer months, conservatories make a cosy haven for winter too with climate control technology and advanced glazing. However, like any home extension, the prospect of adding a whole new room can be an exciting yet daunting experience for many home owners, especially when the words ‘planning permission’ and ‘building regulations’ are mentioned.
Generally for building a conservatory you don’t need planning permission but before you pick up your spade and start digging foundations, there are some limitations and conditions that come with adding a conservatory to your home.
One of the most common difficulties faced when building a conservatory is if your home is listed. As many owners of listed properties know, planning consent is needed on any change to your home especially when the change affects the exterior appearance. For a conservatory to be built you will need to obtain listed planning consent; consult your Local Authority’s planning department for more information.
Regulations, introduced in October 2008, see conservatories on non-listed buildings as ‘permitted developments’ as long as the size and height limits are adhered to. The main conditions of building a conservatory at your property is that the new build cannot cover over 50% of your garden or be higher than the existing roof of your property. Visit the Planning Portal for more information on the conditions involved in the development of a single-storey conservatory. They also offer mini guides that talk you through the issues and limitations involved in building a conservatory.
What about Building Regulations?
Whilst planning permission isn’t needed in most cases, there is a series of building regulations that must be met when building a conservatory that is over 30 square metres. However, if your conservatory is less than 30 sq metres in size, mostly glazed and provides the external door for your home, building regulations do not apply.
The glazing and electrics of your new build conservatory must be approved by building control. Building regulations determine the U-value of your glazing to ensure that the heat that passes through the glass and is obtained by the glass is sufficient enough to heat or cool the conservatory all year round. If you need to create an opening in your home to provide access to the conservatory, this will also need to adhere to certain regulations.
Before you fully satisfy the building and planning departments of your local council, you must consider the size of your conservatory in accordance to the rest of your property. If you leave yourself with a smaller garden, ask yourself: will this put off future buyers? Most prospective home buyers see a small garden as a negative, no matter how big the conservatory space is.
When determining size, consider the function of your new build. Your conservatory can be pretty much anything, from a new kitchen and dining area to living space and home office. Mark out the area of your conservatory on your premises and even mark out the size of the furniture you intend to move into your new room. This will help you visualise the space before the build commences – play house and see whether the size works for you.
As mentioned previously glazing is determined by certain building regulations, as well as the positioning of your conservatory, north-facing builds will consider glazing that reduces heat loss whilst south-facing conservatories will need glass designed to reduce heat.
Underfloor heating is a popular conservatory accessory, even though it is an expensive option, the system provides an excellent way to keep the conservatory cosy during the cooler months. Blinds are also expensive but many see these as an essential addition to eliminate glare and control heat. Ventilation, provided by roof vents, ceiling fans and extractors, must also be considered when building a conservatory.
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