One of the many reasons home owners want to extend their home is to create space. Often this can be done with a conservatory, loft conversion or ground extension. However, if you want to create extra space without the costs of a loft conversion and still adhere to simpler planning permission guidelines then a conservatory or even lean-to conservatory will achieve this.
Before you start mapping out and digging out foundations it is advisable to make sure you are aware of the guidelines for buildings and keep your neighbours updated with your plans. There is no legal requirement to inform your neighbours but it saves hassle in the long run if you keep them ‘in the loop’ with your plans. If you are not 100% certain it is worth informing your council planning department to check. As a general rule conservatories are exempt from building and planning regulations if you follow these rules.
The conservatory must be built at ground level. This sounds obvious, but it basically means that the conservatory must not be built on another level. For example, if you have an extension already, you cannot build on top of that extension.
The whole space you are building on needs to be less than 30 square meters in floor space.
The external boundary or edge of the building needs to cover at least 50% glazed, with at least 75% of the roof to be covered in glass or polycarbonate. This is to ensure it is a conservatory and not just another room extension. There are some conservatory designs which include a brick base foundation like a gable end conservatory.
Make sure you are still within the fire regulations and do not build the conservatory in front of a proposed fire escape route. This can be overlooked, when you start planning as you think about the sunny spots in the garden more so than getting out of the house in the event of a fire.
If you are building on a detached property the maximum depth is different to a semi-detached. The depth is 4000m on a detached property, compared to 3000m on a semi-detached.
One of the final points to remember is that all conservatory structures need to be separated from the house by an external quality door. The door can be in the style of patio or french doors as these complement a conservatory design.
If you are thinking of investing in a conservatory, make sure you get the right conservatory design for your home and that the building will serve the purpose without breaking any planning permission guidelines. South Coast Windows provide a wide range of conservatory design and installation options for homes in the Sussex, Hampshire and Kent areas.