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When is a conservatory a conservatory?

Discussion in 'Your Projects' started by Dylan T, 9 Mar 2017.

  1. Dylan T

    Dylan T

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    Hi all -

    I'm considering a lean-to kitchen extension and have had a couple of builders around to quote on building it all for me. I'd drawn up the extension and it was similar to the image attached (using two existing walls of the house, built into the existing L).

    Both builders have suggested I get a conservatory instead and said it would be half the price and also mean I don't need planning.

    I'm a bit confused though with what defines a conservatory - as far as I can tell they are both buildings with walls and windows, and we were told conservatories can have normal tiled roofs with velux windows.

    So why the huge difference in cost?

    Thanks!
     

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  3. Tigercubrider

    Tigercubrider

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    Conservatories aren't habitable rooms?
     
  4. Dylan T

    Dylan T

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    Thanks for the reply tigercubrider. Are you please able to elaborate on this? They aren't habitable in what sense?
     
  5. HERTS P&D

    HERTS P&D

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    Too hot in summer (if south facing) and freezing in winter.

    Andy
     
  6. Tigercubrider

    Tigercubrider

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    Conservatories have to have external quality doors between them and the house.
    There are also rules on heating them

    You can't treat them as an extension "legally"
     
  7. freddiemercurystwin

    freddiemercurystwin

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  8. A conservatory is considered as an occasional room, not a permanently habitable one. It has a greater proportion of glass, so will get hotter and colder than a normal walled room. It has less privacy than an extension would, so is not regarded as being part of the main fabric of the property. A panel of glass going up will be cheaper than a double skinned wall with insulation that has to comply with building regs, and a roof that needs 270mm of rockwool in the ceiling (or equivalent) will cost far more than even a tiled conservatory, so the builders right.

    The real question is, do you want a permanently habitable room, or a conservatory.
     
  9. Mikefromlondon

    Mikefromlondon

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    I was just browsing my local councils planning site, looking what has been going on in my street, and who has made applications in the past and present, those that were rejected, I noticed a few doors away from me someone I knew wanted to build a Conservatory, his application was rejected in 2010 he applied to build a conservatory on the grounds that his property had already been extensively extended, I then happen to bump into him the next day and mentioned this to him, and asked him why he had submitted plans and application for a conservatory as they were not needed, conservatories are outside the scope of planning, unless if they may be in a conservation area, so I then suggested to him that he shouldn't have bothered with planning and should have just gone ahead. He replied well not to worry as he now has a planning permission and builders are starting work soon, so yesterday his builders were on site, laid the shallow foundations and its going up full steam.

    Apparently my own extension i got build 1992 doesn't appear in this , yet some earlier ones are showing there, is this because i didn't need planning permission as my total coverage was 50 cu feet? But I had to submit plans for BR.
     
    Last edited: 9 Mar 2017
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  11. geraldthehamster

    geraldthehamster

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    A conservatory is what the dictionary says it is.
    A building regulations-exempt conservatory is what the building regulations say it is.
    A conservatory will or will not need planning permission in the same way as any other extension.

    Cheers
    Richard
     
  12. Dylan T

    Dylan T

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    Thanks all for the information. If I'm honest, I actually feel a bit more stupid now. I've done some reading and apparently you can put a solid roof (270mm insulation) on a conservatory without planning. For example, here's one article about it. I think I'm going to just have to call them and speak in person!
     
  13. Tigercubrider

    Tigercubrider

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    Just bear in mind that a conservatory will be (as said) freezing or boiling in comparison to a "normal" room.
    It's a means of extending your garden, rather than the house.

    So you can enjoy views in spring or early autumn rather than sit in it and eat Xmas dinner
     
  14. Dylan T

    Dylan T

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    Thanks tigercubrider. I was hoping to have double cavity dwarf walls, the really good velux windows with high u values and have only a medium sized sliding door and small window. So technically its not a huge amount of glass.
     
  15. You can add argon and xenon etc to the double glazing, and although that improves it's efficiency, apparently the gas escapes over time, and so looses it's extra efficiency. And although triple glazing is getting pushed as the next big thing, there are questions over it's efficiency over price increase. But you can add privacy film to the inside of the glass, and so cut down the overheating problem; just be careful not to use any ammonia based cleaning products on it.
     
  16. Tigercubrider

    Tigercubrider

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    That gets us back to "when is it not a conservatory"

    You need a lot of glass to be a conservatory
     
  17. geraldthehamster

    geraldthehamster

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    Whether it has a solid roof has nothing to do with planning. People confuse Planning Permission (what can be built) with Building Regulations (how it must be built).

    A conservatory is "A room with a glass roof and walls, attached to a house at one side and used as a sun lounge or for growing delicate plants."

    https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/conservatory

    A conservatory is a single storey extension, which will need Planning Permission unless it is Permitted Development, subject to the standard criteria (except that it doesn't need to be finished in similar materials to the original house). Whether the roof is translucent is irrelevant for planning purposes.

    https://www.planningportal.co.uk/info/200130/common_projects/10/conservatories

    Some conservatories need Building Regulations approval; others are exempt. This explains which conservatories are exempt:

    https://www.planningportal.co.uk/info/200130/common_projects/10/conservatories/3

    Cheers
    Richard
     
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