Conservatory Meaning - what are the technicalities?
The term ‘conservatory meaning’ usually relates to one main issue. When is a conservatory
classed as a conservatory to achieve exempt building status under the Building Regulations being one
classification. This conservatory definition defines whether or not your conservatory supplier can provide you with
a building structure as a home extension without the requirement to obtain formal Building Regulations as to its
design and installation.
This is a pretty crucial fact that has been examined several times when some grey area of design or proposal has
been suggested or erected. I think that it has also been challenged in the courts and at the appeal. The three main
parts for a conservatory being exempt under Building Regulations and what most conservatory suppliers or installer
do adopt are as follows:-
1 - The conservatory must be separated from the main habitable rooms by exterior type doors and windows.
It cannot be opened up into the room.
2 - The conservatory must not be heated.
3 - Certain grades of glass for the respective areas and zones must be used in accordance with the
These three requirements usually man that the Conservatory house extension is a exempt uncontrolled structure
where the installer / supplier can install what they think fit for purpose.
However, more commonly the term ‘conservatory meaning’ often relates to what is the amount of glazing a house
extension has to have for it to be considered as a conservatory in order to fall under the exempt status of the
Building Regulations. Many homeowners do not want a fully glazed framed structure as their conservatory but would
prefer a more traditionally built extension but with extensive glazing. So when this occurs can this type of home
extension be classed as a conservatory?
Having dealt with this scenario a few times myself for my own clients, here is what my own
Local Authority Building Control Department said on this situation:-
‘A conservatory classification for exempt status is defined by the fact that the walls and roof of the
conservatory house extension should be predominantly glazed‘. When quizzed further on this definition it became
clear that the term ‘predominantly’ meant 51% glazed to that of normal wall and roofing structures. Whether all
Local Authorities have this view is another matter. If in doubt - go seek an opinion from the Building Control
Department prior to installation.