How to plan your perfect conservatory
It’s exciting thinking about adding a new conservatory to your home, but you need to consider a few factors to ensure that you get the right glass space for your needs.
Do you have a suitable space?
First of all, consider the size of your outdoor area. If you have limited space then you will want to add a structure that maximises the available area, but doesn’t dominate the garden/outdoor space.
If you have a large outdoor area then you need to consider how large your conservatory needs to be balanced with the size of the property.
If you have an awkward gap you can still build a glazed structure that can add valuable additional space to your home.
Don’t forget that you can’t build over a manhole and any nearby trees can cause issues with foundations.
What direction will your conservatory face?
Depending on the direction your conservatory would face can impact decisions you need to make. A north facing structure will not get much direct sun making it a cold space.
The use of energy efficient glazing will help with heat retention and you will need to consider heating. To meet building regulations the heating in a conservatory must be separate from the heating system of the main house.
If your new conservatory will be south facing then you need to consider how hot it will become in direct sunshine in the summer months. Using a low E glass can help to deflect solar gain to help with climate control. However, if you are sensitive to sun or heat, you will need to install roof blinds to fully manage the temperature.
You might also want to consider a tiled or hybrid roof for better insulation.
What style of structure will best suit your property?
As indicated above, make sure that you choose the right style of conservatory to suit the style of your property. For period houses, a badly matched structure can devalue the house so make sure your design is in keeping with the style of the house.
Choose the style of conservatory carefully and consider how you will use the space.
How do you plan to use the conservatory space?
Have you thought you might like a kitchen in your conservatory? Do you want a new living space as a family room?
Gym, home office, dining room? Or, do you want a classic conservatory as a light-filled space to relax in that bridges the gap between house and garden?
If you want a kitchen, you need to consider planning permission and building regulations. A home office or gym will need climate control. If you have close neighbours you will want more privacy than a glazed roof can offer.
A dining room would benefit from ambient lighting and a home office will want lighting for a desk.
Ensure you consider every detail of what you want to do in the space and how it will be used before you decide on the style you want to build.
Do you need planning permission for your conservatory?
A conservatory is considered a single-storey extension and follows the same regulations for planning permission. It doesn’t need planning permission if it’s built within the requirements of a permitted development.
The permitted development requirements cover the height, floor space, extension from the back of the house, distance from boundary and the percentage of the total property land area.
Always consult with your local planning authority before starting a build as local covenants can apply and if your house is in a designated area or is a listed building, additional rules apply.
At Everest, we have a specialist planning department that will manage planning permission for you.
Do you need to meet building requirements for your conservatory?
In addition to planning, building regulations also need to be considered.
For a structure to be considered a ‘conservatory’ and be exempt from Building Regulations it must be no more than 30 metres floor area, at ground level, separate from the house and have an independent heating system from the house.
For example, a modern open-plan style conservatory will require building regulations.
All glazing and any fixed electrical installation must comply with the relevant building regulations. This can be covered by an installer registered with the competent person scheme (such as Everest) then the work will automatically have approval.
Don’t forget you will also need approval from a local water authority for any drains or sewers within 3 metres of conservatory foundations.
At Everest, we have a specialist planning department that manages planning permission and building regulations for you to ensure that your new conservatory meets all requirements.