Solid Conservatory Roof

Warning to Householders

Evoucher Direct warns the general public not to be taken in by unscrupulous operators.

The latest trend of replacing conservatory roofs with lightweight tiles can be extremely damaging to your health and wealth.  A conservatory is not subject to building regulations due to its classification as a temporary or lightweight structure but many people are unaware that this changes if you replace a glazed roof with a tiled one. The room is then classed as a full extension and subject to regulations regarding structural integrity, insulation and even fire risk.

Did you know?

New conservatories and porches less than 30m2 in floor area and thermally separated from the main house with external quality doors and windows are exempt from the requirements of the Building Regulations 2010 (as amended). However if you are planning to reroof an existing conservatory with a solid roof rather than a translucent roof, then a Building Regulation Application is required. This is because conservatories and porches are traditionally lightweight in nature and not generally designed to carry the weight of a solid roof. Therefore, there is a real possibility of movement or even collapse and the application is needed to ensure that this will not occur.

Potential pitfalls

There are several methods of reroofing an existing structure on the market - the easiest and often cheapest way is simply to wrap a new roof over and under the existing roofing system. However, this method is the most likely to overstress the existing roof and wall structure and great care is needed. If you are offered this solution, you should ensure the company quoting to do the work can evidence the stability of the structure with the increased loading and satisfy both you and your local authority building control team of its adequacy. If the roof is an existing polycarbonate roof it is very unlikely that this method can be done safely and you should not commit to any expense until you are satisfied that it has been shown to be effective. There is also potential to introduce a condensation problem that will inevitably occur if plasterboard is applied to the underside of the existing roof with little or no insulation above it.

Other methods require removal of the existing roof and replacing it with a new roof that is supported by a reinforced eaves beam. This transfers the additional weight either through vertical supports within the existing windows or by new columns introduced either inside or outside of the structure. It is important to ensure that existing foundations can carry this weight so a trial hole is also needed to check adequacy. Salesmen visiting your property to quote for the work should be able to reassure you that they can provide you with this end-to-end certified service. If they can’t then you need to check further, otherwise you may be left with something that could become a real danger when snow and wind loads are applied to a structure incapable of carrying the additional weight.

Registered Detail certification LABC offers Registered Detail certification to companies that undertake this type of project. For those operating nationally, a partner scheme also allows installers to submit applications on your behalf and ensure certification is provided to you at completion of the project. Not only is each application checked for structural analysis and thermal compliance of the new structure, local authority surveyors will visit your site to ensure the work is installed properly and in compliance with the Building Regulations to provide you with complete confidence in the work. Details of companies holding Registered Detail certification can be found at www.labc/registereddetails or by asking your local authority building control team.

We check the work and certification of each and every company before we allow them to work on your home.

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