Buying a house with a conservatory - What do I need to know?

(33 Posts)
flow4 Sun 26-May-13 18:14:37

I'm considering a house that has an open plan conservatory extension - ie there are no doors between it and the house. I know there are things I need to know and questions I need to ask - probably about building regs - but I'm not sure exactly what these things are! Can anyone tell me, please?

FYI - it's smallish, 3m square, and fully glazed apart from a couple of feet of wall at the bottom on 3 walls. It has French doors out on one side. Its roof is that special plastic instead of glass. Its foundations are unusual, because the garden slopes away from the house, so there's more underground at the back than the front, iyswim...

Aethelfleda Tue 28-May-13 11:02:29

We bought such a house BUT immediately put doors back in as we wanted the opti

flow4 Tue 28-May-13 11:04:55

Thanks everyone. smile I've spoken to my solicitor and the EA this morning and got a bit more information:

- The conservatory required PP (despite its size, because of its construction) - and according to the vendors, it had it (tho I can't find the application on line).
- It will def have needed BR certification and doesn't have it.
- The attic can't be used as a room until it has a staircase and is BR compliant - but I knew that, and the same goes for about half of the other houses I've looked at.
- Buildings insurance doesn't cover extensions that don't meet BR shock, so if I bought it and it fell down, I couldn't claim to rebuild it, or claim for any damage it did to the rest of the house as it fell. (*hard*, did you know that?!)
- The foundations are the real issue. The lack of doors is easily and relatively cheaply solved, if it turns out to be an issue.

I have told the EA that I think there are two ways forward from this: (a) either the vendors apply for retrospective BR approval, and then I may raise my offer; or (b) they accept my offer of £130k, and if the survey reveals no problems, I'll proceed and carry the cost and risk of 'regularisation'/getting retro approval myself.

>> GULP! <<

Aethelfleda Tue 28-May-13 11:05:52

We bought such a house BUT immediately put doors back in as we wanted the option to soundproof the house and keep the house heat in (we have no idea how the previous owners managed!!)
Which way does it face is perhaps more important: With ours being north facing it only got stiflingly hot occasionally, and we had to heat it for half an hour before use in the winter. I would never buy a house with a south facing conservatory as they can hit forty-five degrees inside on hot days, just not practical to actually live in.

flow4 Tue 28-May-13 11:10:22

Ooo, call back from the EA. The vendors are seeking retrospective BR and have already contacted the council to arrange inspection... Watch this space!

flow4 Tue 28-May-13 11:11:44

Thanks Aethel - it's (roughly) north facing, so yes, adds light without turning into an oven!

cece Tue 28-May-13 11:12:04

I wouldn't buy a house with as conservatory. Unless I had the budget to rip it down. Hate the things.

Aethelfleda Tue 28-May-13 12:03:33

Aw cece they are not that bad! We loved ours once we seperated it off: used it as an extra reception room pretty much all year round, lovely space to sit and relax, listening to the rain v relaxing, so much light even on overcast days, made the garden feel closer... The main thing is giving it a "purpose" as a part of the house (and not having it as an oven!)

flow4 Tue 28-May-13 13:30:05

I have lived for 20 years in a house with no garden and a basement kitchen, so the idea of all that light is very appealing indeed! grin

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