Conservatories - Building Regulations

Conservatories are normally exempt from building regulations when:

  • They are built at ground level and are less than 30 square metres in floor area
  • At least half of the new wall and three quarters of the roof is either glazed or translucent material
  • The conservatory is separated from the house by external quality door(s).
  • Glazing and any fixed electrical installations comply with the applicable building regulations requirements (see below).

  • You are advised not to construct conservatories where they will restrict ladder access to windows serving rooms in roof or loft conversions, particularly if any of the windows are intended to help escape or rescue if there is a fire.

    Any new structural opening between the conservatory and the existing house will require building regulations approval, even if the conservatory itself is an exempt structure.

    In conveyancing we often find that the process can be delayed when a Seller should have obtained Building Regulations approval for a conservatory but did not do so, often due to the advice they receive from the conservatory salesperson! This can cause delays to the conveyancing process. The Seller is asked to provide retrospective Building Regulations approval, which can delay matters considerably. There is also no guarantee that it will be granted. In the alternative they may be asked to fund a suitable indemnity policy although this can only be taken out if no approach has been made to the Local Authority. If an approach is made and Building Regulations Approval is declined it is not possible to obtain indemnity insurance. The Buyer’s Property Solicitor will have to advise their client and mortgage lender. It is likely that they would have to discount the value of the conservatory on the basis that it may have to be removed.

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