Conservatory and Building Regs

19 May 2014
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United Kingdom

We are buying a house which had a conservatory added in 2006. As I understand it, the conservatory wouldn't meet building regulations in it's current state as it's open plan to the rest of the house. (I'm well aware of the heat loss implications for this, trying to convince the missus to get doors!).

The conservatory is 4.02m long, and 2.55m wide, looks to be more than 50% glass, and doesn't cover more than 50% of the land surrounding the property. It has no heating installed in it, and just has an electric heater in there.

Here is a picture taken as if you're stood where the extension starts:

They also never got planning permission as they said at the time it was built, it was within the required size limits not to need it. I've had a builder we trust look at it, and he's said he's happy the extension is safely built.

I've also got a FENSA certificate for 8 windows and 1 door, that I've been told cover the conservatory glass.

My two questions are: Would adding doors between the adjoining room and the conservatory mean that it meets building regulations?

Are there any home insurance implications if the conservatory doesn't meet building regulations.

Thanks :)
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Adding external-grade doors would ensure it complies (subject to any electrics being to Part P, glazing being safety glazing, and the heating system being separate from the house).

In that case, it wouldn't need any formal Building Regs approval.

I was updating the original post when you replied.

I also have a FENSA certificate for 8 windows and 1 door, that the seller says covers the conservatory. Would the FENSA certificate mean that the correct glass has been used?

There is no heating system installed in the conservatory, just a separate electric plug in heater is in there.

Is there anyway to test the electrics using some sort of tester? Or does the wiring actually need looking at? The seller has no electrical safety certificates for the property.

My main worry is not from the council, but from a home insurance point of view, should the conservatory suffer damage, and/or cause damage to the rest of the house. I don't want an insurer saying it wasn't covered as it wasn't build to regs.
Ideally there should be an electical cert. in place.

As regards the current state of the 'conservatory'; it would have needed a Building Regs application at the time it was built because it would have changed the energy status of the house and would therefore not be exempt.

If you now put external-grade doors on, then it would fall into the 'exempt' category (subject to the other bits above) and would not need an application.

So presumably there shouldn't be any problem with regard to insurance. (Not sure if the council would give you a Regularization Certificate for bringing something up to the standard where it didn't need a formal approval!). Hopefully others might give their views on this?
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Indeed, I am sitting in an illegal extension as I type, in fact directly beneath the illegal beam supporting the illegal opening poked through a structural wall, no planning, no regs, my surveyor gave it a glowing report (me :p ) it has not fallen on my head, my lender is happy, I am happy.

/hmm, is that cracking I can hear .....

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