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    • ellectrastar
    • By ellectrastar 12th Oct 18, 4:37 PM
    • 118Posts
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    ellectrastar
    FENSA and conservatory queries
    • #1
    • 12th Oct 18, 4:37 PM
    FENSA and conservatory queries 12th Oct 18 at 4:37 PM
    Me again.


    My solicitor asked me to ask my surveyor's opinion on a few issues. I've done this and done my own research online and am now looking for validation please!


    Mainly regarding FENSA and a conservatory...


    - No FENSA certs for windows installed in the 90s is fine as this was before scheme started.


    - No FENSA certs for new windows/doors installed on an extension that was done as this was covered by building regs/sign off (plus FENSA don't cover new builds/extensions).



    - No FENSA certs for conservatory as FENSA does not cover conservatories. (The surveyor seemed to think a conservatory would need certifying due to the glazing being used, but from what I can see it doesn't.)


    - No planning permission needed for single storey rear conservatory providing it fits in with the conditions showing on the planning portal website.


    - No building regs or planning permission needed for a radiator situated in the conservatory that's attached to the main system providing it has its own temperature controls.


    If anyone could verify it would be appreciated. Sometimes I feel like I'm going mad there are so many things to check with this damn place!
Page 1
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 12th Oct 18, 7:55 PM
    • 7,255 Posts
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    eddddy
    • #2
    • 12th Oct 18, 7:55 PM
    • #2
    • 12th Oct 18, 7:55 PM
    Sometimes I feel like I'm going mad there are so many things to check with this damn place!
    Originally posted by ellectrastar

    What is your goal for checking all these things?

    For example, are they critical to your purchase? If you don't get 'validation', would you walk away?

    Your solicitor suggested that you ask your surveyor's opinion - was your surveyor concerned? If not, why do you feel you have to do anything more?
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 12th Oct 18, 8:24 PM
    • 26,867 Posts
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    Davesnave
    • #3
    • 12th Oct 18, 8:24 PM
    • #3
    • 12th Oct 18, 8:24 PM
    Are you sure you wouldn't just like a nice new build?

    All houses come with risks attached, or we create a few ourselves. I took the risk of building a conservatory a few square metres larger than allowed without PP and I shoved a radiator in it too. The building inspector hasn't given it a second glance.


    Fensa did come to inspect part of the work too. They said it wasn't up to standard and vowed to return when the door in question had been sorted-out by the installers. The door was fixed, but we didn't see Fensa again.
    "We won't get fooled again...."
    • ellectrastar
    • By ellectrastar 13th Oct 18, 3:33 PM
    • 118 Posts
    • 14 Thanks
    ellectrastar
    • #4
    • 13th Oct 18, 3:33 PM
    • #4
    • 13th Oct 18, 3:33 PM
    What is your goal for checking all these things?

    For example, are they critical to your purchase? If you don't get 'validation', would you walk away?

    Your solicitor suggested that you ask your surveyor's opinion - was your surveyor concerned? If not, why do you feel you have to do anything more?
    Originally posted by eddddy

    No, there's obviously nothing there that would make me walk away. I'm just a person that likes to make sure I've understood everything properly and likes asking other people to check! Coincidentally the surveyor seemed to think a conservatory would need pp, so when I've read elsewhere that you don't it's the sort of thing I like to check.
    • ellectrastar
    • By ellectrastar 13th Oct 18, 3:38 PM
    • 118 Posts
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    ellectrastar
    • #5
    • 13th Oct 18, 3:38 PM
    • #5
    • 13th Oct 18, 3:38 PM
    Are you sure you wouldn't just like a nice new build?
    Originally posted by Davesnave

    Sometimes I think it might have been easier! In fact this will be the newest place I've ever owned, so maybe I should've stuck with older!
    • BobQ
    • By BobQ 13th Oct 18, 3:56 PM
    • 10,070 Posts
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    BobQ
    • #6
    • 13th Oct 18, 3:56 PM
    • #6
    • 13th Oct 18, 3:56 PM
    The lack of a certificate for old windows is not an issue since it will not meet modern standards anyway.

    Fensa is just a trade body that certifies installers as being competent. They authorise people they deem as competent to issue certificates in their name. Implicit in this is that the installation complies with Buiding Regulations for windows (ie their quality and installation standard)

    A competent builder who does not install enough windows to warrant paying a registration fee to FENSA or another trade body can still do a good job. The difference is that you may need to get the local authority to certify the window is installed correctly.

    Its not a question of FENSA not applying to conservatories. A FENSA competent person would not issue a certificate on a window installed in a conservatory if it did not meet BR. If the conservatory had BR approval a FENSA certificate could be issued on a window replacement.


    While you can still buy the house, as I understand it installing a radiator connected to a house heating system is not acceptable under building regulations unless the conservatory is constructed to the same standards as the main building (ie has exterior walls double glazed windows and doors and a compliant roof). A thermostat alone is not sufficient you need an independent heating source in the conservatory. Aside from anything else, not doing this is quite expensive.
    Last edited by BobQ; 13-10-2018 at 4:07 PM.
    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.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 13th Oct 18, 4:44 PM
    • 26,867 Posts
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    Davesnave
    • #7
    • 13th Oct 18, 4:44 PM
    • #7
    • 13th Oct 18, 4:44 PM

    Its not a question of FENSA not applying to conservatories. A FENSA competent person would not issue a certificate on a window installed in a conservatory if it did not meet BR. If the conservatory had BR approval a FENSA certificate could be issued on a window replacement.
    Originally posted by BobQ
    In that case, as only a very small % of conservatories comply with building regs, the lack of a Fensa cert for the windows in one is hardly an issue.


    As for giving a conservatory an independent heating source, it can be done, but I just open up the French doors and let our wood burner take the strain if we need to be in there on a cold day. It's very rare indeed that we use the radiator. Even when the Beast was blowing earlier this year, the wood burner coped, keeping it 25 degrees above the outdoor temperature.
    "We won't get fooled again...."
    • Larac
    • By Larac 13th Oct 18, 7:24 PM
    • 849 Posts
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    Larac
    • #8
    • 13th Oct 18, 7:24 PM
    • #8
    • 13th Oct 18, 7:24 PM
    We have a conservatory on the house built by Anglia in 2002 -so as far as I am aware Fensa certification is only applicable for 10 years. Personally I would be looking at the state of the conservatory and what if any improvements/maintenance have been done. We have improved the conservatory by taking off the old roof and replacing with an insulated one, which makes it more usable all year around. Thats what I would be assessing rather then the lack of Fensa documentation. If a window gets 'blown' it is a relatively easy task to replace the unit - not sure what the hang up is with regards to lack of a Fensa cert.
    Last edited by Larac; 13-10-2018 at 7:27 PM.
    • BobQ
    • By BobQ 13th Oct 18, 10:27 PM
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    BobQ
    • #9
    • 13th Oct 18, 10:27 PM
    • #9
    • 13th Oct 18, 10:27 PM
    In that case, as only a very small % of conservatories comply with building regs, the lack of a Fensa cert for the windows in one is hardly an issue.
    Originally posted by Davesnave
    Agreed

    As for giving a conservatory an independent heating source, it can be done, but I just open up the French doors and let our wood burner take the strain if we need to be in there on a cold day. It's very rare indeed that we use the radiator. Even when the Beast was blowing earlier this year, the wood burner coped, keeping it 25 degrees above the outdoor temperature.
    Until you sell the house its not an issue and even then it depends on when it was built. A conservatory is defined as being outside of the external walls/doors/windows of the dwelling so BR do not generally apply. However Part L of the BR (covering fuel and power use) does apply unless the heating is isolated from the dwelling.
    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.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 14th Oct 18, 12:27 AM
    • 26,867 Posts
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    Davesnave
    Until you sell the house its not an issue and even then it depends on when it was built.
    Originally posted by BobQ
    The heating system was installed before the conservatory, so it's a half hour job for it to revert to the original configuration and the radiator could disappear. It's superflous, but I didn't expect the wood burner to cope so well......and self-produced wood fuel is very cheap, compared with heating oil.
    "We won't get fooled again...."
    • ellectrastar
    • By ellectrastar 14th Oct 18, 3:57 PM
    • 118 Posts
    • 14 Thanks
    ellectrastar
    Thanks all.



    The surveyor has told me verbally that the conservatory appears to be well built and in a good state. It didn't have building regs or pp due to its size, therefore no one (building regs or FENSA certified installer) signed off on the installation. The FENSA website definitely states that conservatories are not covered if certain criteria apply. Interestingly one of these is that if the conservatory is heated it must have separate controls. It does not say that it has to be a separate source.



    The issue with certificates etc and trying to work out what they are needed for is simply because of the kerfuffle you have if you go to sell and you don't have what's needed. Although I'm hoping this move is for the very long term I am keeping in mind that if things don't turn out I want everything that I should have to hand. Whilst in the process of buying I can try and make as sure as possible that the current owner sorts these things out rather than leave it for me to figure out at a later date.
    • seven-day-weekend
    • By seven-day-weekend 14th Oct 18, 5:20 PM
    • 31,528 Posts
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    seven-day-weekend
    No, there's obviously nothing there that would make me walk away. I'm just a person that likes to make sure I've understood everything properly and likes asking other people to check! Coincidentally the surveyor seemed to think a conservatory would need pp, so when I've read elsewhere that you don't it's the sort of thing I like to check.
    Originally posted by ellectrastar
    Conservatories sometimes need planning permission. This depends on several things, such as if there are any previous extensions on the property and whether or not it is in a conservation area. The only way to know for definite is to ask your local Planning dept to look at it (costs money).

    They may also need Building Regs and again, the only way to know for certain is to ask Building Control. AFAIAA they do do need a totally separate heat source if Building Regs are not to apply. Ours has an electric radiator on the wall.
    Last edited by seven-day-weekend; 14-10-2018 at 5:43 PM.
    Member #10 of 2 savers club
    Imagine someone holding forth on biology whose only knowledge of the subject is the Book of British Birds, and you have a rough idea of what it feels like to read Richard Dawkins on theology: Terry Eagleton
    • BobQ
    • By BobQ 14th Oct 18, 5:24 PM
    • 10,070 Posts
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    BobQ
    OP if you choose to believe what the FENSA website states about heating a conservatory rather that the Planning Portal that states what the Building Regs actually say, then there is little more to be said.

    However, conservatories are normally exempt from building regulations when:
    They are built at ground level and are less than 30 square metres in floor area.
    The conservatory is separated from the house by external quality walls, doors or windows.
    There should be an independent heating system with separate temperature and on/off controls.
    Glazing and any fixed electrical installations comply with the applicable building regulations requirements
    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.
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