Planning for conservatories?(7 Posts)
Hi all, I'm looking for some advice on conservatories. We had hoped to extend but neighbours have said they will take every opportunity to challenge and prevent. Even if we stay within 3m we would still need a party wall agreement which they would make very difficult. So now I'm looking at conservatories. If we are not doing work to foundations and going for a base straight onto our concrete yard would that mean we could take it up to near the boundary? Also are they only usable year round with a solid roof or would underfloor heating and a radiator make it warm enough for winter use?
We bought a hpuse wit a conservstory hoping to use it all year round and it was a nightmare. It was south facing which meant it did warm up quickly in winter if the sun was out. However, it was freezing in the evenings. We had two radiators but no under floor heating. It was pretty much unusable betwen November and March in the evenings.
In the summer the temperature was so hot that you couldn't use it untl about 9pm. We had very exensive roof blinds fitted, but it didn't make much difference.
After a few years we remortgaged, had the consrvstory torn down and built an extension. Best decision we ever made. I would definitely try to overcome the neighbours objections and go for an extension if possible. If not, and you go for a conservatory, put in really good insulation and under floor heating. A solid roof might mitigate the sort of problems we had with ours.
We're in the south east with a conservatory with a polycarb roof and one very, very big double radiator and it is usable all year round - pretty much the same temperature as the rest of the house.
You will probably need new footings for a conservatory built properly, but they would be unlikely to go below the depth of your neighbour's foundations - this is the key point for Part Wall notice.
Building within 3 metres doesn't make a Party Wall Notice compulsory.
I am not a lawyer but my understanding is that you would ALSO need to be digging below the depth of the neighbour's foundations - how likely are you to do this?
Not likely for a conservatory.
If your houses are modern, it's unlikely you would dig below their foundation depths anyway for any structure.
If in doubt seek legal advice.
I've sat in ours in the middle of winter with snow on the ground watching telly quite happily. Likewise in the summer - with the doors open.
It's a very new one though (we've had it just under a year), polycarb roof and it's got a radiator in it - but we keep the doors from it through to the main house open so the temperature doesn't hit extremes in there.
I bloody love it (it's my woman-cave to hide in, craft and watch netflix instead of cbeebies or sport).
The only time it's less useable to be honest is when it's raining because of the noise it makes on the roof.
Thanks everyone, that's useful. Miaow that sounds perfect! I don't think we would go beneath foundations but there's a possibility of drain works I suppose not sure what impact that would have.
I do a lot of buying and renovating , I usually use a planning consultant who has great ideas and a through up to date working knowledge of planning law , I usually have many ideas of my own but it's always good to get input from a professional . He will also help you with the applications and know if it can be done under permitted development or need planning permission (believe me it can vary depending on property ) and the better route to follow
Be careful about big falling outs with neighbours if you are selling in the future as its a requirement of selling to list disputes
Unless the existing house has very shallow foundations - is it very, very old? - then it would be highly unlikely they would ever dig footings (trench they fill with concrete and build wall on) below the depth of the existing foundations.
Drainage issues are not related to party wall stuff - a lot depends on where you are on the drain flow - are you end of drain or middle? etc etc - just don't break or block anything and you should be fine.
If you are having a conservatory company do the work - they will have down it a thousand times and should be able to advise you on likely issues/problems.
Ours were very good and involved building close to neighbour and over a drain.
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