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Building Regulations - Conservatories

Will I need Building Regulation approval?

It depends on the size of the conservatory. In order to help you understand the issues please see below some of the conditions that apply to planning permission and building regulations (these apply to England/Wales only). Scottish, Northern Ireland, Eire and North American regulations are quite different – Please contact your local planning authorities for full details.

Building Regulations

Generally speaking, conservatories/sunrooms on residential property are exempted under Building Regulations. Below are some of the Exemption Criteria - under the Building Regulations 1991 (as amended). These criteria must be met for a conservatory extension to be classified as exempt:

a) The extension has a completely transparent or translucent roof.
b) The extension walls are substantially glazed. Must have at least half the area of the walls formed of windows. Must have at least three quarters of the area of the roof formed of glazing, poly carbonate sheets or similar translucent material.
c) The extension has a floor area not exceeding 30m squared.
d) The extension is sited at ground level.
e) The extension is permanently separated from the remainder of the property by means of a door.
f) Any radiator within the conservatory is controllable. (If fixed heating installations are proposed, they should have their own separate temperature and on/off controls).
g) The glazing satisfies the requirements of part N, Schedule 1 (toughened/safety glass).
h) The extension does not contain any drainage facilities. (i.e. sink, WC, or washing machine).

An example of where building regulations approval may be required is a Kitchen / Conservatory Extension. We suggest you contact your local council - explain your intentions and they will be able to give you more specific advice.

As further guidance, conservatories that require building regulation approval will need glazing of the highest insulation quality i.e. - Pilkington K Glass (low E) with argon filled units.

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