Building regulations – what you need to know

By Tarriq Ibrahim 26 January

There are lots of things to think about when you’re proposing to fit a brand new conservatory or orangery at your home, including building regulations. Building regulations mustn’t be an afterthought and need be addressed ahead of an installation taking place.

Sometimes it isn’t until a home improvement company informs them of the existence of building regulations that homeowners become aware of them.

They simply cannot be ignored, otherwise there is the potential scenario that you’re ordered to modify or even remove the structure – just imagine the hassle that would cause!

It definitely helps to have some awareness of this important topic before you get too far ahead of yourself.

How do I know that my proposed home extension meets current building regulations?

The home extension specialist you appoint should be able to tell you whether the design you have planned will comply with the rules.

Smaller conservatory designs such as the compact Lean-To will normally be exempt, and those that meet the following criteria:

  • At ground level and not exceed 30m2 floor area.
  • Glazed to satisfy the requirements of Approved Document K of Schedule 1.
  • Physically separated internally from the building it is attached to, for example, by a door.
  • Without sanitary appliances.
  • Not intended for year round habitable use.
  • Used to some extent for the propagation of plants.

For a definitive answer to the question you’re best getting in touch with your local authority and requesting they send you an Exempt Buildings form. Fill the form in as comprehensively as you can and send it off.

You should receive written confirmation from them a few weeks later telling you whether the extension satisfies building regulations or not.

There’s planning permission to think about too!

Building regulations aren’t the only thing you need to consider. Planning permission may be required, that is unless the proposed extension is classed as a ‘permitted development’.

When an extension is a ‘permitted development’ you needn’t worry about obtaining planning permission as it means that it already complies with planning laws.

Once again, we suggest that you contact your local authority to get a final judgement on this issue.

Put everything in the expert hands of an Excellence as Standard installer

You will find it all less stressful when you appoint your local Excellence as Standard installer as they can handle everything relating to building regulations and planning permission on your behalf.

Some of the home extensions they provide can be seen here.