Author Archives: Evy Coe

About Evy Coe

Evy Coe works for Quotatis as a Content Marketing Intern. She writes about a range of different new and existing products to inform and advise customers. To learn more about Evy, visit her Google+ profile.

How to Build a Conservatory in a Conservation Area

Written by   |  Published January 23, 2017  |  Posted in: Information  |  Tags: ,

Building a conservatory can be a great way to expand and add value to your home. But before you get started, you need to make sure that you’re following any relevant legislation.

If you’re planning to build a conservatory in a conservation area, there are a number of regulations you need to be aware of.

Read on to find out more about conservation areas, and how to build your conservatory in one.

What’s a conservation area?

A conservation area is an area of architectural or historic interest that is protected by law. There are lots of different types of conservation area. These include:

  • The centres of historic towns and cities
  • 18th and 19th-century suburbs
  • Country houses in historic parks
  • Fishing and mining villages

Local authorities protect these areas by limiting property alteration, tree felling and demolition work in them.

Can I build a conservatory in a conservation area?

conservatory or extensionYou can build a conservatory in a conservation area. You can even do it without planning permission, but you do need to follow a number of regulations. These include:

  • Not building your conservatory on the side of your property
  • Ensuring your conservatory extends no further than 4 metres away from the rear wall of your house if it’s detached, or 3 metres away if it’s attached

For more conservatory planning regulations, visit doineedpermission.co.uk.

Planning guidelines say that you need to apply for planning permission if you’re building an extension on a property in a conservation area, and you want it to be more than one story. You also need to apply for planning permission if you want to put exterior cladding on your extension.

Conservatories are single story and don’t need exterior cladding. So if you want to build an extension in a conservation area, but don’t want to apply for planning permission, a conservatory is a good choice.
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Of course you can always apply for planning permission if you do want to build a conservatory on the side of your property, or further away from your rear wall. But you’ll have to wait for permission to be granted before you start work.

Even if you think your conservatory doesn’t need planning permission, we recommend that you speak to your local planning authority before you begin building. This is because conservation area regulations can vary between different planning authorities and change over time.

How do I contact my local planning authority or apply for planning permission?

To contact your local planning authority or apply for planning permission, visit your local planning authority’s website. If you’re not sure who your local planning authority is, you can find out using this handy tool.

If you’re ready to get started on your conservatory, but haven’t found a contractor to install it yet, you can use our online form. We’ll connect you with up to 4 local tradespeople, you’ll be able to give you a free quote.

How to Make Sure Your New Conservatory Meets Building Regulations

Written by   |  Published January 19, 2017  |  Posted in: Information  |  Tags: ,

A conservatory can be a great addition to your home. It will increase the amount of space you have, and add significant value to the property. It will also increase the amount of natural light coming into your home, which can make it feel even bigger.

Building a conservatory is much easier than building a traditional extension. But it still has its tricky parts. One of these is making sure that the work you’re planning to do complies with building regulations.

Read on to find out more about building regulations and how to comply with them.

What are building regulations?

Building regulations are a list of design and construction requirements that most buildings have to meet. They are implemented to promote the health and safety of all people in and around these buildings. They are also used to make sure that buildings are relatively energy efficient, and meet the access and mobility needs of the disabled.

Does my new conservatory need to comply with building regulations?

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Conservatories do not normally need to comply with all building regulations. But they do need to meet certain requirements. They should:

  • Be built at ground level
  • Cover less than 30 square metres
  • Be separated from the existing house by external quality walls and doors
  • Have an independent heating system with separate controls
  • Not restrict ladder access to any high level fire escapes

Plus the windows, doors and electrics in the conservatory need to comply with building regulations. Electrical installations need to meet safety standards, and windows and doors need to meet certain energy efficiency, safety and ventilation standards. The structural opening between the existing house and the conservatory also needs to comply with building regulations. For more information on these regulations, visit the government’s website.

How do I make sure my conservatory gets building regulations approval?

You will need to seek building regulations approval before you start installing your conservatory. You can do this in one of two ways:
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1. Hire a ‘competent person’

If you hire a tradesperson on the Competent Persons Register, they will make sure your conservatory meets building regulations. They will self-certify their work and contact your local authority if needed. They will also give you a compliance certificate to prove the completed work meets building regulations.

2. Apply through a building control body

Another way to get building regulations approval is to use a Building Control Body (BCB). These can either be run by your local authority or privately.

The BCB will check building regulations for you and apply for building regulations approval if necessary. With this option you will also be given a certificate to show that the completed work meets building regulations.

So now you should be clearer on building regulations and how to make sure your new conservatory complies with them. For more things to do before building your new conservatory, why not take a look at our information on conservatory planning permission?

Everything You Need to Know About Conservatory Planning Permission

Written by   |  Published January 16, 2017  |  Posted in: Information  |  Tags: ,

Many home owners have a goal to expand their property. This may be to add value to the property with a view to selling it and making a profit. Or it could simply be to expand their living space.

Building a conservatory is a great way to do this. Adding a conservatory will increase the area of your home and can create a whole new room. Plus it can be considerably cheaper and easier to build than a traditional extension.

However, there are a number of hoops you’ll need to jump through before you can build your conservatory. One of these is possibly getting planning permission. Read on to find out more about planning permission and whether you’ll need it.

What is planning permission?

Planning permission is something you may need to get before you do a certain piece of building work. You can get it by applying to your local planning authority.

Your local planning authority will check if your building work needs planning permission. If it does, they’ll use local and national planning guidelines to decide whether to grant you permission. When making this decision they’ll consider the size and appearance of whatever you want to build, and its access, use and effect on your neighbours.

Do I need planning permission to build a conservatory?

You don’t need to apply for planning permission to build a conservatory adjoining your house if the conservatory meets a number of conditions. These include it:

  • Being no higher than 4 metres or the highest part of the house roof, whichever is lower
  • Not being on the front of your house or between your house and a road
  • Extending no further than 8 metres from your rear wall if your house is detached, or 6 metres if your house is attached
  • Extending no further than half the width of your house from a side wall

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You can find a longer list of conditions here.

If your house is a listed building, or is built on designated land, it’s best to contact your local planning authority before going ahead with your conservatory. This is because additional regulations apply in these cases. Designated land includes

  • National parks
  • Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty
  • Conservation areas
  • World Heritage Sites

If you want to build a conservatory adjoining your ground floor flat, a converted house or a different type of building, you should also seek advice from your local planning authority.

How do I contact my local planning authority or apply for planning permission?

conservatoryYou can contact your local planning authority and apply for planning permission through your local planning authority’s website. If you’re not sure who your local authority is, the government has an online service to help you.

So hopefully you’re now clearer on what planning permission is and whether you’ll need it to build your conservatory. The most important thing to remember is that you shouldn’t start building work unless you’re 100% sure you don’t need planning permission. If you’re still unsure, contact your local planning authority for advice.

Is an Aluminium Conservatory Right For You?

Written by   |  Published January 15, 2017  |  Posted in: Information  |  Tags: ,

Aluminium is a metal that is increasingly being used for conservatory frames. It used to be unpopular, as older designs had poor energy efficiency rates. But now most aluminium conservatories have good insulating qualities, and their popularity is on the up.

But is an aluminium conservatory right for you? We’ve come up with a list of pros and cons to help you decide.

Pros

Long-lasting

Aluminium is long-lasting. If an aluminium conservatory is installed correctly it can easily last longer than a uPVC or wooden conservatory.

Durable

Aluminium is durable. It won’t get damaged by water, sun or extreme temperatures. This contrasts with wood, which can rot or warp.

Easy to maintain

Aluminium is easy to maintain. You don’t need to treat it with anything, and can clean it easily with a damp cloth.

Flexible

Aluminium is flexible. Frame manufacturers can bend it to make circular or odd-shaped windows.

Strong and lightweight

Aluminium is strong and lightweight. This means that that your conservatory can be whatever height you like. It also means that its frames can be very thin. This will maximise your view outside.
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Another advantage is security. The strength of aluminium means that aluminium conservatories are very difficult to break into.

Recyclable

Aluminium is 100% recyclable. You can either reuse conservatory framing, or send it away to be melted down to make something new.

Cons

Expensive

Aluminium is expensive. An aluminium conservatory will cost you a lot more than a uPVC or wooden one.

Can be inefficient

Poor quality aluminium frames can be inefficient. Aluminium conducts heat, so poorly-made frames will let the heat out of your home.

So aluminium conservatories have several pros and cons. If you think an aluminium conservatory is right for you, fill in our online form. We’ll put you in touch up to 4 tradespeople in your local area. If you’re undecided, have a look at our information on uPVC and wooden conservatories.

uPVC Conservatories: the Pros and Cons

Written by   |  Published January 9, 2017  |  Posted in: Information  |  Tags: ,

The uPVC conservatory is one of the most popular types of conservatory in the UK. Which? have found that nearly 9 in 10 conservatory owners have uPVC frames. Many people choose it because uPVC is strong and lightweight.

But uPVC is not necessarily the best choice for everyone. To help you decide whether a uPVC conservatory is right for you, we’ve come up with a handy list of pros and cons.

Pros

Low maintenance

uPVC is low maintenance. It doesn’t need treating with anything, and you can clean it by simply wiping it with a damp cloth.

Durable

uPVC is durable. It won’t rot or warp when it’s wet, like wood can. It also won’t fade when exposed to sunlight.

Long-lasting

uPVC is long-lasting. If a uPVC conservatory has been built well with quality materials, it can last at least 35 years.

Affordable

uPVC conservatories are often cheaper than other conservatories, as plastic is generally less expensive than wood or aluminium.
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Energy efficient

uPVC is energy efficient. It doesn’t conduct heat, which means it’s an excellent insulator. uPVC keeps the heat in your home so you don’t waste energy or money.

Versatile

uPVC can be coloured. Many people choose white frames, as they have a clean, bright finish. But there are also lots of other options: uPVC can come in bright colours or made to resemble wood.

Cons

Brittle

Despite its durability, uPVC can become brittle over time. This means that under impact it could shatter or splinter.

Looks cheap

uPVC is a commonly used material, and can look cheap when compared to options like wood or aluminium.

Not environmentally friendly

uPVC is not environmentally friendly. Its production gives off carbon emissions and uPVC isn’t biodegradable.

So the uPVC conservatory has a range of pros and cons. If you think a uPVC conservatory might be right for you, fill in our online form and we’ll connect you with up to 4 tradespeople who’ll be able to give you a quote. If you’re not sure, why not take a look at our information on wooden and aluminium conservatories?