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How to Create a Conservatory at Home

In 2020, the demand for greenhouses or conservatories skyrocketed to over 200%. With more and more people staying at home, they wanted a means to enjoy the great outdoors, but in the comfort of their own home. Were you debating about adding one to your home? If so, check out this guide on how to create one. 

What is a conservatory?

Originally, a conservatory was a greenhouse for growing or displaying plants. This room has many windows and is typically attached to a home. They began to grow popular during the 19th century and are now making a comeback in modern homes. Contemporary conservatories are used for many activities — gardening, exercising, relaxing and entertaining. However, you can use your conservatory for whatever you like. 

Do you need building permits?

As of October 1, 2008, building a conservatory is considered to be permitted development, not needing an application for planning permission (subject to conditions). Therefore, you do not necessarily need building permits, but you must follow these regulations:

  • The construction must not be more than 50% of your “Original House”.
  • There are no raised platforms, verandas or balconies.
  • No more than 1/2 of the area surrounding your building would have any additions or other buildings.
  • No extension forward of the principal elevation or side elevation fronting a highway.
  • No extension can be higher than your roof.
  • No more than 3 meters of depth for a single-story rear extension and 4 meters for a detached property.
  • No more than 4 meters in height for single-story extensions.
  • No more than 3 meters of depth for a rear extension of more than one story, plus ground floor.
  • No more than 2 meters of the boundary of 3 meters for eaves.
  • Eaves and ridges can not surpass the height of your property.
  • Side extensions have to be single-story and not surpass 4 meters and 1/2 of your “Original House” width.
  • The angle of your roof extension has to match the one at your house.
  • No verandas, balconies or raised platforms.
  • Forbidden building of rear extensions bigger than a single-story, of exterior cladding and side extensions on “Designated Land”.
  • If you have a listed building, consent may be required.
  • The conservatory must be separated by quality walls, windows, and doors.
  • The floor space should be less than 30 square meters and be built at ground level.
  • It should have a separate heating system with its own controls.
  • Any glazing or electrical installations must meet existing building regulations and for the sake of safety, by a qualified electrician.
  • The construction must not block ladder access to rooms in the loft.

We also recommend talking to a contractor before building a conservatory to ensure you follow all the regulations. Every city and state will have different requirements as well. We suggest calling or researching your area before you begin your build. 

What types of conservatories are there?

There are many different conservatories that you can build. Here are just some of the options out there:

  • Victorian 
  • Edwardian/Georgian
  • Elizabethan
  • Gable fronted
  • Lean-to
  • P-shaped
  • T-shaped
  • Lantern
  • Orangeries

Finding the right type to build depends on the space you have, your budget and the contracting team you hire. If you are creating it on your own, then time and your expertise will also play a role in which one you want to build. 

How do you build one?

Here are the basic steps to build a conservatory:

  1. Foundation construction
  2. Setting up fully-welded sections
  3. Floor insulation
  4. Skirt fixing
  5. Floor protection
  6. Installation of wall sections
  7. Conservatory frame installation
  8. Roof installation
  9. Conservatory glazing
  10. Final decorations

While you can build a conservatory on your own, we recommend working with a skilled team of contractors since there are so many moving parts. If you already have a conservatory that needs repairs, then let our team of skilled carpenters and floor installers help. For more information, give us a call today.