Conservatory - building control question - help!

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we are selling our house and have accepted and offer. (3 bed semi)
We have a conservatory built in 2009 for which we had planning permission granted (extends out 4.2 meters from house, 4.6 m accross the width of the house)

Our solicitor is asking for building control approval certificate - I explained our builder said we didn't need one as it's a conservatory.

He has seen the plans (as approved by planning dept.) and what concerns him is that on 1 side there is a solid brick wall up to a height of 180mm then small non opening windows above that before the roof.

He states this is less than 50% glazed and therefore requires BC. I assumed this was ok as this wall is about 1 m from and runs parallel to the boundry fence. The fence itself is about 190mm high - solid wainy lap type - so to have that wall glazed would be stupid. But does that mean it needs Building Control approval ?

Alos it's got a radiator in there extended from the main house - it has thermostat valves so can be turned off - does this pass - againa nother seemingly grey area.

How long does it take and any tips to speed it up??
 
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Thanks for the link - I pass the one rule then

what does this mean
"There should be an independent heating system with separate temperature and on/off controls"

I guess I probably fail as it's a radiator extended from the main house (although it has Themostatic valves and what looks like a shut off valve)
 
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No you pass that too as the rad can be independently controlled ie turned off.
You’re OK but I would like to add a cautionary note as this no longer appears to be acceptable since the latest Regs change in October 2010. The Regs are now quiet specific in prohibiting teeing off the main heating system but if the line is independently controlled/isolated, I can’t see what difference it makes. :rolleyes:
 
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thanks Richard - so if the conservatory was built in 2009 which regs would be applied the latest ones - or the one's in force in april 2009?

whats my best course of action - to ring Building Control and lay my cards on the table or just tell the solicitor it's exempt and hope the vendors solicitor accepts this?
 
R

RedHerring2

The reg's which were in force when the building was constructed are the relevant ones. Otherwise all buildings would have to be constantly uprated to current reg's.

This does not apply in cases of alterations/improvements, etc.
 
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I'll go back & start at your original post!
We have a conservatory built in 2009 for which we had planning permission granted (extends out 4.2 meters from house, 4.6 m accross the width of the house)
You don’t normally need Planning Permission for a cons as long as you stay within the guidelines (see the link FMT posted) & your permitted development rights have not been withdrawn. If you had to get PP, the approval document should be forwarded to your solicitor.

Our solicitor is asking for building control approval certificate - I explained our builder said we didn't need one as it's a conservatory.
Even though your builder said you “didn’t need one” means nothing; unfortunately the onus is on the householder to comply with Building Regs. not the builder. You can of course pursue your builder to put it right but it won’t be easy. A cons is Building Regs exempt as long as you stay within the guidelines shown further down in the same link.

He has seen the plans (as approved by planning dept.) and what concerns him is that on 1 side there is a solid brick wall up to a height of 180mm then small non opening windows.
He states this is less than 50% glazed and therefore requires BC. I assumed this was ok as this wall is about 1 m from and runs parallel to the boundry fence. The fence itself is about 190mm high - solid wainy lap type - so to have that wall glazed would be stupid. But does that mean it needs Building Control approval ?

The rule is “at least 50% of area that will form the external boundary/edge of the conservatory must be glazed”; the total area, not individual walls. If you meet the 50% total area rule then you’re OK; if you don’t then it doesn’t meet the criteria for a cons (regardless of the windows overlooking a fencel), is not BR exempt & someone (your builder!) has dropped off. In theory it needs BR approval but, because of the way a cons is constructed, it can never meet the required BR’s so you’re between a rock & a hard place unless you increase the glazed area to above 50%.

Alos it's got a radiator in there extended from the main house - it has thermostat valves so can be turned off - does this pass – again another seemingly grey area. - so if the conservatory was built in 2009 which regs would be applied the latest ones - or the one's in force in april 2009?

Before Oct 2010; as I understand it, if the take off from the main heating system was capable of isolation (not just the individual radiators) & had independent temperature control (TRV’s) it would have complied with the regulations (Part L); as yours was built in 2009, the Regs in force at that time apply. From Oct 2010, Part L seems to specifically exclude teeing off the main heating system regardless.

How long does it take and any tips to speed it up?? Whats my best course of action - to ring Building Control and lay my cards on the table or just tell the solicitor it's exempt and hope the vendors solicitor accepts this?
It should be a simple matter to convince your solicitor with the above information. If the cons doesn’t comply, there is nothing you can do to speed up or own up to, you will never, ever get BR approval for a conservatory because of it’s method of design & construction.

Am I right in saying this been picked up on a potential buyer’s survey & their solicitor is querying it? If so, then the buyers are probably looking for a discount for non-compliant building works & offering one may be the easiest way out if the cons is non compliant; although some lenders are getting very fussy & may not advance the mortgage on a property with non-compliant building works.
 

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