I have been drawn to write this piece in order that I can help clarify some regulatory points on a glazed roof/ extensions conservatory.

Firstly a bit of history on conservatories…

They were back in the day used for bringing on your tomatoes and house plants and were often added on to a property for enthusiasts. Over time these rooms were sold as an economic way to create extra space during the 80s and 90s it was degrigur to own a conservatory along with your shoulder pads, big hair and if very posh an avocado bidet!!! The sales teams for the national and local conservatory companies from the highest to the budget end went into overdrive to shift their product.

We now seem to have another wave of similar sales tactics being employed with regard retro fitting a tiled roof onto your conservatory. As the conservatory was built to house your pot plants it is most likely to have been built without any regulatory approval. As long as you have a thermal break between your home and your conservatory no approval from building control is required.

I have been called by friends and even had a company who supply these retro roofs telling me this is the future for conservatories. I have been telling everyone this is indeed the future and glazed extensions that leak energy by the bucket load are wrong on many levels. But it seems now the conservatory sales teams are telling us what was so great in the 80s is now not and they have solved all our woes with the problem of overheating or freezing cold conservatories but simply placing a roof onto an existing conservatory does not make this a room that can be classified a room that has approval. The conservatory will have not had the foundations inspected or designed by a structural engineer. The U Values would have not been calculated. The structural integrity for snow load and wind load will most likely not have been considered, Yes the new roof may conform to u values but this is it and one part of conformity does not make the whole room suddenly conform.

The problem that this ticking time bomb is storing up is this…

When the client who has retro fitted a new roof on to their conservatory sell their home the mortgage surveyors who are very aware of this will ask for the building regulation certificate. The client will trot off and produce a roof certificate that at the time does conform to building regs. But the rest of the structure does not. To attempt to retrospectively obtain building regulatory certificate for an extension that has had no inspections is likely to fail. This will give the solicitors potential purchasers an open goal to walk away from the sale, the mortgage company to say they will only give a mortgage if the extension conforms, or your purchaser haggles off a large chunk to deal with this issue. Do you really need all this stress when moving home is stressful enough.

Local authority and private building control officers will confirm all the above and if you are unsure as to what to do please call your local authority and ask the question will my conservatory have building regulatory approval if I fit a solid roof on it?

Alternatively (like the celebrities do on the chat shows here’s my pitch) buy our product add space value and all the above is dealt with and you get a stack of paper confirming we have met all the criteria

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