What must be noted before adding a glass extension

Nowadays, when either adding or replacing an existing glass extension like a conservatory or orangery in England or Wales, it is important that the new double glazed structure fully complies with the latest planning rules and Building Regulations. Failure to do so can have dramatic consequences if and when the property is sold, as it is the job of any purchasers Solicitors to ensure that any glass extension fully complies, plus has all the necessary documentation and written permissions to prove it.

A Lean to Double Glazed Conservatory That Complied With All Planning Requirements
A Lean To Double Glazed Conservatory That Complies With All UK Planning Requirements

Putting up any type of extension, be it a glass structure or not, that does not comply with all the rules is like the man who built his house  upon the sand, as soon as the waves, wind and rain came it disappeared in the storm. Whereas in the old days, some folk have “got away” with breaking the law, planning enforcement notices are now more common, plus both the Building Regulations and planning rules are now much stricter due to the need for all new structures to be more thermally efficient.

As clearly stated on the Government’s planning portal website – “With all building work, the owner of the property (or land) in question is ultimately responsible for complying with the relevant planning rules and building regulations.” Their website www.planningportal.gov.uk sets out all the issues you will need to take into account before ordering a new conservatory or orangery, or indeed replacing an existing structure, as if you make any changes at all (i.e. removing doors, changing the width, projection, height, design, heating etc.), it is likely you will require planning or Building Regulations or both!

Conservatories and some orangeries with sufficiently glazed roofs and walls are normally exempt from building regulations when:

  • They are built at ground level and are less than 30 square metres in floor area.
  • The conservatory is separated from the house by external quality walls, doors or windows.
  • There should be an independent heating system with separate temperature and on/off controls.
  • Glazing and any fixed electrical installations comply with the applicable building regulations requirements

The planning portal advises UK home owners not to construct conservatories where they will restrict ladder access to windows serving rooms in roof or loft conversions, particularly if any of the windows are intended to help escape or rescue if there is a fire. It is worth noting that any new structural opening between the conservatory and the existing house will require building regulations approval, even if the conservatory itself is an exempt structure.

Glass extensions can be built if sufficient Permitted Development rights are intact. To find out more about what is and what is not permitted development visit the planning portal

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