There is a lot of misinformation out there about the building regulations surrounding tiled or solid roof conservatories. In this article, we will quash many of the myths surrounding permitted development and building control.
You might have read that if you want to retrofit your conservatory with a tiled roof, then you may do so without adhering to any building regulations if the conservatory meets the ‘permitted development’ criteria set out by the planning authority, i.e. if it isn’t an extension and is classed as a conservatory.
Please note THIS IS NOT TRUE. While some local authorities allow homeowners to go ahead and replace their conservatory roof without approval, MOST authorities do require it and you should never go ahead without checking.
When you delve into why the reason is clear. It’s a matter of structural consideration. The authority’s main concern is whether the existing conservatory structure can support the new roof? A reasonable question when you consider it wasn’t originally designed to support a tiled roof. Health and safety also come into this.
If you are in the trade or a homeowner looking to change an existing glass, traditional or polycarbonate conservatory roof with a solid roofing system, the fact is building regulations will apply. You can ignore anything else you’ve read.
System certification and building control
You also need to be aware of the fact that there are a lot of poor-quality solid roofing systems out there for conservatories. The quality of a system can be guaranteed by looking for a system with LABC or JHAI certification.
We recently received a question about LABC (Local Authority Building Control) approval and whether solid conservatory roofing systems with this stamp are exempt from building control or planning. The answer is NO, they are not, although this stamp of approval should provide the buyer with some quality assurance.
JHAI certification, however, DOES render a roofing system exempt from building control and so a JHAI stamp allows for full system sign off without having to engage with building control. This is a FACT, and we’re hugely proud to have this certification for the Leka System – probably the best lightweight tiled roofing system on the market.
However, if your conservatory is classed as an extension of your home by your local planning authority, then they will likely want to get involved in the construction work. Being JHAI approved, the Leka System can be fast-tracked through building applications in most cases and every installation gets a building control certificate. This will state the installation meets the technical requirements of the elements of the Building Regulations 2010. You can view the certificate, which is issued by JHAI, here.
The above rules apply if you are changing your existing conservatory roof from a Polycarbonate/Glass roof to that of either a traditional tiled roof or lightweight roof such as the Leka System. The information above is accurate for 2018/19.
Lastly, we’ll touch on new builds because there are different building regulations and rules for conservatories and extensions since they are defined as two different things. A new build conservatory will usually be exempt from building regulations and granted as permitted development when built to three metres in height and 30 square metres in size.
To meet permitted development criteria, your conservatory cannot be transformed into an extension of your home and must remain a separate outbuilding connected to it. It must be separated from the main house by external walls or windows and doors (for example bi-fold doors) and have its own heating system and heating controls.
If you would like clarification on the information in this article, contact us.