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    • diamond dave
    • By diamond dave 19th May 17, 10:29 AM
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    diamond dave
    Conservatory or extension -Building regs?
    • #1
    • 19th May 17, 10:29 AM
    Conservatory or extension -Building regs? 19th May 17 at 10:29 AM
    Hi All, can anyone out there explain the need for building regs for a "Sun Room" built by a very reputable company on a new build property? The extension is described on the literature as a sun room and the installers and the vendors state that it does not need BR's as it's a ground floor building,less than 30 sq m and has thermal separation between it and the main house. The roof is a Guardian roof system -fully insulated and covered with resin slates. There is a radiator in the extension fed from the main heating system- but it can be controlled independently(TRV's).My solicitor says that it should have had BR's but the installation company says no. All the relevant documents inc LABC are really ambiguous.I understand that in order to proceed with the purchase I would probably require the vendors to obtain an indemnity. Any thoughts please.
Page 1
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 19th May 17, 10:48 AM
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    Doozergirl
    • #2
    • 19th May 17, 10:48 AM
    • #2
    • 19th May 17, 10:48 AM
    Sounds to me like it's exempt. The rad is a bit naughty but it could simply be removed for less than the cost of the indemnity policy if a BCO wanted to pick a fight. If it's over 12 months old they'd need a court injunction though! For a rad that is arguably separate? Never, ever going to happen.

    Don't be paying for this room as a full blown extension to the house though! It should be treated as a conservatory.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • diamond dave
    • By diamond dave 19th May 17, 10:59 AM
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    diamond dave
    • #3
    • 19th May 17, 10:59 AM
    • #3
    • 19th May 17, 10:59 AM
    Thanks for your comments. What I don't understand is why would you spend £15000 on a great conservatory but not go for BR's? The problem with the rad is that it was not fitted by the installers but after completion and the installers knew that this was going to happen, so why not get BR approval?
    • G_M
    • By G_M 19th May 17, 11:08 AM
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    G_M
    • #4
    • 19th May 17, 11:08 AM
    • #4
    • 19th May 17, 11:08 AM
    Have you een reading this forum for a while?

    If so you'll know that many, many people have work done to their homes (from minor electrical alerations to major extensions) without getting BRs.

    Why?

    * ignorance of the law
    * using cheap cowboy builders
    * forgetting to get final sign-off
    * preferring a design (which may still be expensive/good quality) which does not conform
    * assuming the builder will arrange it. Builder either assumes customer will, or can't be bothered
    etc
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 19th May 17, 11:15 AM
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    Doozergirl
    • #5
    • 19th May 17, 11:15 AM
    • #5
    • 19th May 17, 11:15 AM
    Thanks for your comments. What I don't understand is why would you spend £15000 on a great conservatory but not go for BR's? The problem with the rad is that it was not fitted by the installers but after completion and the installers knew that this was going to happen, so why not get BR approval?
    Originally posted by diamond dave
    Because in order to have that radiator connected to the system you would have to pay for a proper extension at greater cost and everything would need to conform. It will not have been built to BR standards, that's why they didn't get approval.

    In all fairness, they could have put an electrically operated water filled rad not connected to the GCH system and the whole thing is 'exempt'.

    The important point here is that you don't pay a premium for an extension when it is not an extension, it is an outbuilding.
    Last edited by Doozergirl; 19-05-2017 at 11:17 AM.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • BobQ
    • By BobQ 19th May 17, 11:16 AM
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    BobQ
    • #6
    • 19th May 17, 11:16 AM
    • #6
    • 19th May 17, 11:16 AM
    Was the door to the main house changed? If so that may need building regulation approval if the opening was enlarged etc.

    The radiator should not have been installed, but that does not mean that the original installation was not exempt. Assuming the electrics were installed as per building regulations at the time, maybe better to install an independent heating system like a storage radiator.
    Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are incapable of forming such opinions.
    • diamond dave
    • By diamond dave 19th May 17, 1:24 PM
    • 559 Posts
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    diamond dave
    • #7
    • 19th May 17, 1:24 PM
    • #7
    • 19th May 17, 1:24 PM
    I still cannot understand that SHOULD a conservatory/sunroom be exempt from building regs without the relevant heating system how does one obtain regs when a rad has subsequetly been fitted? It's not really possible, is it? Surely, the very fact that the rad can be isolated from the main heating system would, according to the LABC, suffice.
    By the way the extension was really expensive, works carried out by a very reputable installer -AGS- not cowboys as suggested. I really wanted someone with RICS/surveying knowledge to give any advise on BR's. please.
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 19th May 17, 3:49 PM
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    Cakeguts
    • #8
    • 19th May 17, 3:49 PM
    • #8
    • 19th May 17, 3:49 PM
    You don't need building regs if the conservatory is separated by doors from the main building. Our conservatory is just like this. There are patio doors between the house and the conservatory. We wanted it like this for security. It wasn't cheap and it was built by a reputable company.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 19th May 17, 5:39 PM
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    Doozergirl
    • #9
    • 19th May 17, 5:39 PM
    • #9
    • 19th May 17, 5:39 PM
    I still cannot understand that SHOULD a conservatory/sunroom be exempt from building regs without the relevant heating system how does one obtain regs when a rad has subsequetly been fitted? It's not really possible, is it? Surely, the very fact that the rad can be isolated from the main heating system would, according to the LABC, suffice.
    By the way the extension was really expensive, works carried out by a very reputable installer -AGS- not cowboys as suggested. I really wanted someone with RICS/surveying knowledge to give any advise on BR's. please.
    Originally posted by diamond dave
    This is the third time in a week that someone has asked for an expert. If you give your credentials on here you get accused of showing off. If you don't you get accused of not having a clue. Either way, the advise on here does not constitute professional advice. If you want it, pay for it.

    I run a Federation of Master Builders award winning building company and my husband and I now have nearly 40 years of building experience between us.

    Being isolated probably does suffice, but it is not ideal. Different building inspectors have different views on many things.

    The building conpany may not be cowboys but their aim
    is to avoid building regs in order to be cheaper than a proper extension. If they charged the same as a fully compliant extension, then they are fleecing people. I know how much those roofs cost and I would rather pay for a proper roof.
    Last edited by Doozergirl; 19-05-2017 at 5:43 PM.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • diamond dave
    • By diamond dave 21st May 17, 8:27 PM
    • 559 Posts
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    diamond dave
    Conservatory Building regs
    Thanks for your input, Doozergirl. I really wanted someone to clarify the situation with BR's as I've checked many websites and spoken to people in the know and I can get NO definitive answer.I take issue with you on 2 points: I have tried to get and pay for professional advice but many surveyors don't want to know. I have arranged a homebuyers survey for next week -but I'm not sure whether they they will be able to tell me anything concrete. Secondly, to say that the reason that the installation company did not go for regs was to make it cheaper than a proper extension is proper nonsense, if you don't mind me saying. I don't really understand your snide comments on the roof construction.The extension has been built, it is very well built by a reputable company - with a 10 year warranty. I doubt that your Master Builders Award winning company would offer such a warranty/guarantee. I was merely asking for your advice on the building regs situation which you seem unable/unwilling to give.Many Thanks
    • doningtonphil
    • By doningtonphil 21st May 17, 8:37 PM
    • 277 Posts
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    doningtonphil
    Hello. We made enquiries about replacing our existing old drafty conservatory with a new one. No planing required as within permitted developments. I phoned the LA for the cost of a Building Warrant (we are in Scotland). The guy told me it does not require BR UNLESS a) it has a solid roof or b) it has any kind of heating in it.

    But then this was the same guy that told us the cost of the warrant is £440 per square metre!!!!!!! It took me several minutes to convince him to check again and he came back and confirmed BR is £120. However it needs two sets of drawings.

    Not sure if Scotland veries from other parts of the UK
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 21st May 17, 10:02 PM
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    Davesnave
    Secondly, to say that the reason that the installation company did not go for regs was to make it cheaper than a proper extension is proper nonsense,
    Originally posted by diamond dave
    Surely it would more nonsensical if the conservatory.sun room did comply with the regs and the builders didn't bother to obtain them?

    It's logical to assume that they thought something wasn't good enough, though as no one here knows the spec, it's not possible to say any more than that.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • ComicGeek
    • By ComicGeek 21st May 17, 10:34 PM
    • 164 Posts
    • 116 Thanks
    ComicGeek
    Thanks for your input, Doozergirl. I really wanted someone to clarify the situation with BR's as I've checked many websites and spoken to people in the know and I can get NO definitive answer.I take issue with you on 2 points: I have tried to get and pay for professional advice but many surveyors don't want to know. I have arranged a homebuyers survey for next week -but I'm not sure whether they they will be able to tell me anything concrete. Secondly, to say that the reason that the installation company did not go for regs was to make it cheaper than a proper extension is proper nonsense, if you don't mind me saying. I don't really understand your snide comments on the roof construction.The extension has been built, it is very well built by a reputable company - with a 10 year warranty. I doubt that your Master Builders Award winning company would offer such a warranty/guarantee. I was merely asking for your advice on the building regs situation which you seem unable/unwilling to give.Many Thanks
    Originally posted by diamond dave
    First of all you have to understand that what you have is a conservatory as defined under Part L1B of the Bldg Regs, NOT an extension. There is no minimum size for an extension, which would have likely required more expensive insulation, glass etc to comply with Bldg Regs.

    What you have is a conservatory (for which you can't get Bldg Regs as it won't comply under Part L1B) with a radiator that shouldn't have been installed in it. TRVs are not an acceptable method of isolation under Part L of the Bldg Regs - LABC shouldn't allow this, they are wrong.

    Doesn't matter who built it or how reputable they are, it's still a conservatory and not an extension, and should be priced as such.

    Surveyors don't generally understand all parts of a Bldg Regs, particularly not the energy related ones, so you've probably been asking the wrong people.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 22nd May 17, 12:45 AM
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    Doozergirl
    Thanks for your input, Doozergirl. I really wanted someone to clarify the situation with BR's as I've checked many websites and spoken to people in the know and I can get NO definitive answer.I take issue with you on 2 points: I have tried to get and pay for professional advice but many surveyors don't want to know. I have arranged a homebuyers survey for next week -but I'm not sure whether they they will be able to tell me anything concrete. Secondly, to say that the reason that the installation company did not go for regs was to make it cheaper than a proper extension is proper nonsense, if you don't mind me saying. I don't really understand your snide comments on the roof construction.The extension has been built, it is very well built by a reputable company - with a 10 year warranty. I doubt that your Master Builders Award winning company would offer such a warranty/guarantee. I was merely asking for your advice on the building regs situation which you seem unable/unwilling to give.Many Thanks
    Originally posted by diamond dave
    I suspect the reason that you don't have a definitive reason is that you aren't hearing what you want to hear.

    You should not be running your heating system into a conservatory. The point I make is that if it is connected up then the whole thing has to be classed as an extension. An extension is very much different to a conservatory. The chances of enforcement are slim, but the cheapest solution is to remove the radiator because it puts the building back to an exempt status - there are no expectations of it. It's not worth purchasing an indemnity policy for because the cost of removing the rad is potentially zero.

    Many companies market that their 'buildings' are exempt from planning and building control. It is central to their marketing, along with the fact that they are cheaper than a correctly built, conforming extension. If they weren't cheaper than buildings which conform to building control then they would be blatantly ripping people off!

    Guardian roofs themselves are designed to 'upgrade' conservatories at a high cost, when you are ultimately left with a building that is still not thermally efficient or compliant with regs, just 'exempt'. It might be better than polycarb, but the u-values achieved are insufficient for an extension. It is nonsensical to me to upgrade something at great cost for it to not conform or add value to a house. It is pure marketing.

    Nothing snide about it. The owner of your home has essentially cheated in trying to create an extension. If their intention was to use it as a proper room with an insulated roof and heating connected to the boiler then it should be built to building regulations and have a completion certificate.

    I am able offer a 10 year insurance backed guarantee on any work we carry out. My company will never offer a service that does not conform to building regulations. There's no nonsense there at all. Straight forward, high quality with a certificate at the end to say it has all been inspected and is compliant with the high levels expected in this country. No smoke and mirrors, no questions.

    The very fact that this subject has a thread is because it is a problem. If your vendors has built a proper extension with a completion certificate? No thread. You're wanting this to be something it isn't. But it isn't even your house yet.
    Last edited by Doozergirl; 22-05-2017 at 12:52 AM.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • Hoploz
    • By Hoploz 22nd May 17, 5:53 AM
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    Hoploz
    It doesn't exactly meet the requirements to be exempt.

    Two options - either the radiator is removed (if this really is the one and only point which doesn't meet the criteria) or obtain an indemnity policy, paid for either by you or the seller.
    • diamond dave
    • By diamond dave 22nd May 17, 8:15 AM
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    diamond dave
    So,thanks Hoploz and Doozergirl, the extended heating into the extension IS the problem, is it? Removing it or isolating it would mean that it is exempt? The fact that the roof is not glazed is not a problem, just the heating? I realise that I'm being pedantic/picky but the house is not for me but for my daughter and I really want to ensure things are ok..As the solicitor has suggested an indemnity insurance I guess that we'll just go with that. Thanks for all input.
    • diamond dave
    • By diamond dave 22nd May 17, 8:26 AM
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    diamond dave
    Hi Comicgeek I missed your post which seems to answer my questions. You appear to have nailed it regards the heating but I guess that as the structure is in place with a rad fed from the main heating system her only options are 1) Buy property as is and enjoy it 2) get indemnity insurance, buy property and enjoy it. She cannot get BR's now so no point worrying about it. As said before I don't understand why the vendors/installers didn't check with LABC before going ahead but He,Ho onwards and upwards.
    • ComicGeek
    • By ComicGeek 22nd May 17, 10:11 AM
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    ComicGeek
    Hi Comicgeek I missed your post which seems to answer my questions. You appear to have nailed it regards the heating but I guess that as the structure is in place with a rad fed from the main heating system her only options are 1) Buy property as is and enjoy it 2) get indemnity insurance, buy property and enjoy it. She cannot get BR's now so no point worrying about it. As said before I don't understand why the vendors/installers didn't check with LABC before going ahead but He,Ho onwards and upwards.
    Originally posted by diamond dave
    Personally I wouldn't both getting indemnity insurance, it's such a minor issue that it's a waste of money. If it gets expensive heating the conservatory with a radiator, then your daughter can always turn it off with the TRV. The compliant alternative would have been to fit an electric heater in the conservatory, which would have cost much more to run, so actually you should be thankful that the vendor hasn't done this in a compliant way!

    The vendor wouldn't have been able to get Bldg Regs at the time so no point checking with LABC then - the conservatory is exempt and the radiator is non compliant. If they wanted a sun room with connected radiators then they would have needed to pay for a more expensive extension rather than a conservatory.

    The latest versions of Bldg Regs omitted the requirement for conservatories to have glazed roofs, so the fact that it has a solid roof still means it's a conservatory.
    • martinsurrey
    • By martinsurrey 22nd May 17, 11:12 AM
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    martinsurrey
    Being isolated probably does suffice, but it is not ideal. Different building inspectors have different views on many things.
    Originally posted by Doozergirl
    I have seen a fight come up against this.

    The building regs guidance is based on The Building Regulations 2010 act.

    which states

    Building regs act section 21

    section 21

    This paragraph applies to any extension of a building falling within class 7 in Schedule 2 except a conservatory or porch—

    (a)where any wall, door or window separating the conservatory or porch from that building has been removed and not replaced with a wall, door or window; or

    (b)into which the building’s heating system has been extended.
    so the right answer is any heating system extended into to conservatory breaks the exemption from BR's, a TRV doesn't mean the system isnt extended, but some BR inspectors dont know/care.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 22nd May 17, 12:51 PM
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    Doozergirl
    I agree.

    Because of the idea of exemption, the BCO isn't invited to look anyway.

    If they were there for other reasons I can only imagine that the worst they would do is request removal as a bartering tool against a completion certificate elsewhere.

    I can't work out why it's okay to have a separate heater out there at all when most conservatories will haemorrhage the heat.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
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