The economic challenges of the last few years have encouraged homeowners who may have otherwise considered moving to stay put, and instead carry out less costly home improvements that will add value to their property.
Certainly, more people than ever before are either having new conservatories built or are modernising existing ones. All well and good – but what kind of planning permission is needed, if any, to get started on this popular form of extension?
In truth, the legal requirements around building and renovating conservatories are somewhat confusing, and centre around what are known as ‘Building Regulations’.
What are Building Regulations?
These are codes that set specific criteria for the design and construction of all different types of buildings, including conservatories. When you make a building regulations application to your local planning authority you are seeking to have the details of your development checked and approved for compliance with the standards of construction.
As far as conservatory roofs go, Building Regulations approval is not needed if the roof is translucent, i.e. glass. However, if the roof is a solid one then it does need to follow Building Regulations because it is classified as a permanent fixture.
I want a solid roof – what do I do now?
Simply put, you need a Building Regs certificate, and there are two ways to get it. The first is to have the roof built and inspected by building. That does run risks, however, in that you may not have complied with regulations.
The second option involves an approved inspector of building control approving a roofing system in line with Building Regulations. At Renaissance Conservatories, we use the highly-rated Supalite system which has JHAI Approval. This is a Corporate Approved Inspector licenced by the Construction Industry Council to give a certified Building Regulations Approval as an alternative to Local Authority Building Standards whilst maintaining the same high standards.
Why does my solid roof need Building Regulations anyway?
Because it’s a structural issue. Planners want to know whether the existing conservatory structure could support the new roof – understandable, especially if the conservatory previously had a glass roof and therefore wasn’t designed to support a tiled roof.
I was wondering about a wrap-over roof…
If you think you can build a solid roof over an old roof to dodge Building Regulations, think again! Doing this will let you off the hook in terms of the regulations, but it may very well lead to a dangerous situation in your conservatory. Wrap-over or clad-over roofs add a lot of weight to an existing roof and are prone to collapsing. Hardly worth it, for the miniscule amount of money you might save by going down this route. Besides, such roof systems rarely meet Building Regs approval when tested due to poor thermal value and structural integrity.
Are there any other benefits to having a roof replaced?
There are many. A replacement roof will look great, add value to your home, make the room more comfortable in terms of thermal efficiency and save you money. Lots of great reasons to think about this, while leaving the details (including Building Regs approval) to the experts.
For more details about Renaissance Conservatories contact us on our website or call 01626 333 393.