Building Regulations for Conservatories

Conservatories can add a lot of space to your home – essentially acting like another room. But you must ask yourself, what are the building regulations they must adhere to and are they different in any manner from other buildings?

Generally, conservatories are outside of building regulations, however there are certain exemption requirements and criteria they must meet to be classified as exempt under building regulations from 1991. These are:

Conservatories have to be built on ground level.
Conservatories must be less than 30 square metres in floor area. If they are any larger than that they will be subject to planning permission rules. However, this is still a good size for a conservatory, and in our opinion shouldn’t impact significantly.
Of this new structure, over half of it must form the external boundary, or the outside walls which must be made of glass. Over 75 per cent of the roof area must be covered in either polycarbonate, or glass.
For the building to be classed as a conservatory, it must be separated from the home by a door that is considered an external door. This can be patio doors, or also French doors.
It is not recommended to place a conservatory in a location where it would disable access for ladders into the home in case of an emergency.

If you wish to build a structure that will link the conservatory to the home, it will be subject to planning permission and need building regulations approval. The conservatory itself will be an exempt building, though this access area will not.

You will need permission if:
You’re building within 2m of the boundary line, or if the conservatory will be over 4m in height.
The conservatory building takes up over half of your garden.
Planning development rights have been removed from the building.
The conservatory is under 20m from the road, or a public foot path
Permission may be required if it’s a Grade II listed building. Furthermore, it may require a wooden conservatory with a glass roof.

By following the above you should be sure you will adhere to any building permission, or regulations approval your new extension may be subject to. A conservatory is a great way to expand your home, and not having to worry about the approval of building regulation can be a great benefit.

In any case, it would be wise to contact your local council for any specific regulations. Currently, about 60 per cent of conservatories built require planning permission.