Important Information About Your Conservatory

Many homeowners in the South of England may have had a leaflet drop through their door entitled “Important information about your conservatory”, basically offering folk who already have a glass or translucent roof the option of buying a replacement solid roof.

Whilst most homeowners may be able to spot gimmicks, there may be some poor folk who cannot, and who therefore may not be in the best position to avoid potentially being taken in by marketing hype etc. For example whenever there are “offers” of special reductions for customers who allow their installation to be photographed or a so called old conservatory roof scrappage scheme or substantial discounts if a new conservatory can be used to market a company’s products and services, or buy one, get one free offers, the warning lights should be flashing.

A far more serious issue is if any conservatory installer when promoting a new solid roof conservatory or a replacement solid roof to you to replace your existing polycarbonate roof or single or double glazed glass roof, fails to mention the consequences of undertaking such projects without the correct legal permissions. For example, if a company fails to mention in their marketing blurb that a)  you may need to get planning permission to install a solid roof system, and more importantly b) in EVERY case you will require Building Regulatory Approval PRIOR to carrying out the work, then you really should start asking yourself why are they not advising you of these facts?

Again if a company fails to mention that in EVERY case if your glass roof or polycarbonate roof conservatory was built after having to get planning approval to enable the conservatory to be originally constructed, then a fresh new planning application will be required before any work can be legally carried out. Why? Because if you are removing a glass roof or translucent roof to make way for a solid roof, this will cause what is known as a “change of use”. This is because the addition of a solid roof turns what was a temporary extension into a permanent structure as far as your local planning authorities are concerned. Whenever there is a “change of use”, planning permission is required.

Next, it is not a given that your chosen system will receive Building Regulatory Approval. You will though have more chance of getting it passed when you use an approved system, one that has been endorsed by LABC (Local Authority Building Control) for being a safe and suitable building product. Hazlemere Windows offers one of the few solid roof systems to have gained such acknowledgement. Plus, you may be instructed by the Building Control Officer to adjust the system and include roof and trickle vents for ventilation to make it conform to the current England and Wales Building Regulations.

If your conservatory was built under Permitted Development Rights, you wouldn’t have needed to apply for planning permission at the time as it will have met the necessary limits and conditions. Installing a solid roof may remove these Permitted Development Rights, making an application for planning permission necessary.

Finally, existing foundations and structures will not usually be man enough to take the weight of a solid roof, plus the vast majority of existing walls, windows and doors will not be up to current Building Regulations standard, and many bases will not have been fitted with insulation within the concrete. It therefore is not sensible to put a highly thermally efficient sold roof on top of products that are going to let most of the heat out and cold in. It is a far better investment to build a new living space fit for the 21st century from the bottom up.

There are two groups of people you can turn to for help if you need any advice or support regarding a solid roof installation. The first is your local authority building control team, and you can get contact details for them on the LABC website. Your other option is to speak to Hazlemere Windows. Our experienced conservatory design experts know almost everything there is to know about solid roofs and the rules relating to them, plus they will provide free designs, advice and a no obligation quotation.

In summary, the most important information about your conservatory is the truth, the facts and what the current planning and building regulations are, so that you can make a properly informed decision as to whether to have a replacement solid roof, and/or a replacement solid roof conservatory. You may choose to avoid any company who is not telling you all you need to know. 


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