Why Solid Roof Conservatories Are Legally Extensions

Why Solid Roof Conservatories Are Legally Extensions

Whilst conservatories and orangeries remain the most popular choice for UK homeowners glass extensions, given that in the vast majority of cases they can be designed and built so that Building Regulation Approval and Planning Permission are not required, sadly this is not the case with solid roof conservatories.

Do solid roof conservatories need planning permission?

Solid roof conservatories in the eyes of Local Planning Officers and Building Control Officers are deemed to be an actual permanent extensions, rather than an actual glass roof conservatory or orangery that if designed correctly can be designated as “temporary structures”, which means they can be exempt from needing planning approval and/or Building Regulation Approval. That said, solid roof conservatories do offer a more thermally efficient option, though obviously they do drastically reduce the amount of light in the room, compared to true glass extensions such as conservatories and orangeries.

There are several modern day solid roof systems with attractive thin hard wearing tiles and insulated ceilings with down lights that comply with the thermal requirements of the Building Regulations that offer homeowners a structure that is in effect an extension rather than a conservatory with a double glazed roof.

Do bear in mind it is pointless replacing a conservatory roof with a solid roof without also replacing the existing windows and doors, as in the vast majority of cases, most existing conservatories built in the UK will not have thermally broken windows and doors or high quality double glazed sealed units with warm edge spacer bars, plus many existing conseravtories may not have deep enough foundations to comply with the Building Regulations, and/or strong enough structural support, in order to take the weight of the new insulated roof.

Solid Tiled Roof Conservatory

Property owners with an existing conservatory need to be mindful of the fact that they cannot legally put a solid roof on their conservatory without first obtaining Building Regulation Approval and in many cases planning permission as well, due to its’ change of use, which permitted development may or may not cover. One of the conditions attached to Permitted Development under Clause A3 is that “the materials used in any exterior work (other than materials used in the construction of a conservatory) shall be of a similar appearance to those used in the construction of the exterior of the dwelling house”. For example the development permitted by Class A states that “a pitched roof on an extension should be clad in tiles that give a similar visual appearance to those used on the existing house roof.”

Replacement Tiled Roof Conservatory

According to the Glass and Glazing Federation, where a conservatory was built under planning permission “the roof finish will have been specified in the granting of planning permission and therefore a change from glass to another finish will require the change to be approved by the local planning authority.”

It is wise therefore, before ordering a new solid roof for your existing conservatory or indeed buying a new conservatory with a solid roof, to first obtain all necessary planning and Building Regulatory Approvals in writing from your local authority.

Tiled Roof Extension

Solid roof conservatories offer UK home owners an alternative “in-between” option to the more common choices of a double glazed conservatory or orangery, or indeed a full blown brick built extension with a flat or pitched roof. Solid roof conservatories cost more than most glass conservatories, as the foundations required must be at least one metre deep to a) comply with the current Building Regulations, and b) be deep enough to cope with the weight of the tiled and insulated solid roof.

There are many different tile options for a modern insulated solid roof, but the two of the more popular it seems, are a thin rustic looking coated aluminium roof tile and a slightly more expensive thicker UPVC tile that better replicates the look of roof slates.

Tiled Roof Extension with French Doors

Internally these modern solid roof do permit various different types of lighting, which can be positioned in almost any location to suit, with the most common type chosen being recessed LED down lighters, as aesthetically these look the most attractive whilst taking up no space.

Local Authority Building Control (LABC) is a not-for-profit membership organisation that represents all local authority building control teams in England and Wales. The LABC to date has approved and registered as compliant, very few of the modern solid roof systems on offer in the UK marketplace. If you do select an LABC approved and registered roof, which attests to the fact it has been sufficiently well designed and insulated in order that it will be guaranteed to gain Building Regulatory Approval. Then you will have the peace of mind your new structure will not only comply, but perform thermally to the highest standards.

Tiled Roof Extension with French Doors

It is important that your new conservatory with a solid roof is professionally designed, as you’ll want to ensure that the supporting double or triple glazed windows and doors of your new solid roof structure are sufficiently robust, and where necessary, properly reinforced to be able to support the weight of the solid aluminium roof system, along with the weight of all the roof tiles, lighting, plaster boarding, insulation and any double glazed Velux windows.


One of our multi-purpose living spaces will give you the roominess that you desire so that you can also invite more people over and feel so much less restricted.



One of our multi-purpose living spaces will give you the roominess that you desire so that you can also invite more people over and feel so much less restricted.



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