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What Is The Legal Definition of a Conservatory?

What is the legal definition of a conservatory? This is an important question to consider if you are thinking of replacing your conservatory roof or insulating it for year-round use.

Traditionally, a conservatory was a building attached to the main house and built primarily as a place to grow plants. . Modern home-owners today use a conservatory as an extension of the main house  as an extra living space. and call it anything from a conservatory to an  orangery, sun-room or garden room.

In the UK the legal definition of a conservatory is that it is a building with at least 50% side walls and 75% roof area with translucent glass or polycarbonate glazing. Most conservatories are too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter because of this high percentage of glazing which makes them uncomfortable places to be for much of the year. This is fine if you want to grow plants but is not so good if you want to entertain, relax or watch tv in your conservatory.

If you replace the existing glazed roof with a fixed roof, you will no longer comply with the legal definition of a conservatory and should check with your local authority whether any planning permissions are required before proceeding.

However, by fitting an insulated ceiling to the existing roof-line inside the conservatory, the exterior is untouched meaning there are no issues regarding planning permissions.

Whatever you call your conservatory, sun-room, garden-room, orangery, you can make it a much more enjoyable space to be in by insulating the roof to keep the solar glare and heat out in the summer, and retain the heat in the winter.