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  • Building / Construction advice please
  • Premier Icon nbt
    Full Member

    STW is one of those places where no matter what the question, you are BOUND to get an answer. Quite often, it’s even an answer relevant to the original question!

    Anyway, we have a house that’s been extended over the years (before we bought it) which has an attic workroom with what is in essence a conservatory roof. It’s nice and bright but as you can imagine it’s hot in summer and cold in winter. As well as the polycarbonate roof, there is a small window in there facing north.

    Show the outline of our plot a plan (aerial photo) view of the house

    We’ve been thinking about replacing the roof with a solid roof to improve insulation, but that would make it dark in there. The house faces due south, would we need planning permission to put in a velux to help with the light? Who should we be approaching to get an idea of the cost of this work – roofers, builders or window / glazing companies?

    Premier Icon johndoh
    Free Member

    I would have assumed it is permitted development (and you are not changing the footprint of the house).

    Without knowing the extent of the full work required I’d suggest a builder unless you are literally just wanting to replace the polycarbonate roof with a tiled one then perhaps a roofer would be more suited. Bear in mind you might want to check that the existing structure will be able to support the additional weight of a proper roof (ie, a structural engineer may be required). You definitely wouldn’t want a glazing company to do that sort of work.

    Premier Icon nbt
    Full Member

    I’m not sure on the permitted development bit as the whole of that side of the house (as wide as the consservatory bit, front to back) is already an extension. Something to consider though thanks. Noted on the builder vs glazing co too cheers

    Premier Icon johndoh
    Free Member

    is already an extension

    But it is an existing extension and they can’t take that permission away (assuming permission was given or it pre-existed planning regs). You would only start running into issues if you were to be applying to extend an extension.

    Premier Icon nbt
    Full Member

    ok that makes perfect sense thanks

    Premier Icon dovebiker
    Free Member

    You could call your local council planning office

    Premier Icon Rockape63
    Free Member

    Depending on the construction of the conservatory, you may need to strengthen the roof before you reconstruct it, insulate it, tile it and install glass windows. I don’t see any reason why you would need permission to do this.

    Good luck speaking to anyone in the Planning Office these days!

    Premier Icon nbt
    Full Member

    The walls are solid, I’m guessing they’re timber frames, they certainly have plasterboard inside and tiles outside – as I said though it was build before we bought the house so not 100% sure

    Premier Icon andrewh
    Free Member

    How about an orangry-style roof? My parents have one with triple glazing and that would seem to meet both your requirements for light and insulation.

    Premier Icon IHN
    Full Member

    We’ve just had some building work done, they were great, can let you have the details if you want

    Premier Icon Greybeard
    Full Member

    Next door to us has just insulated their conservatory roof, rather than replaced it. If it doesn’t leak, put a false ceiling underneath and insulate above it.

    For pricing purposes, treat the Velux as separate project. Facing into the street, there shouldn’t be any privacy issues so planning is not likely to be a problem. For building regulations, I can have a look, but I think it will be structure, insulation and risk of falling – how far above the floor would the opening be?

    Happy to advise further offline, send me an email if you like.

    Premier Icon nbt
    Full Member

    I’ll try to get some photos later but in essence it’s 3 stories in the space of 2 so the ceilings are already very low. In the workroom itself, the bit of the ceiling that is flat is directly above the architrave – there’s a beam either side of the doorway, on one side the ceiling slopes down on the other side of the beam, on the other it’s the conservatory bit

    Premier Icon b230ftw
    Free Member

    This might be an odd question but have you essentially got a faux Victorian style conservatory on top of your house?? I can’t tell from the pictures.

    Premier Icon nbt
    Full Member

    it’s just a polycarbonate conservatory style roof. THe walls are solid, not glass or anything. Outside pics will have to wait until tomorrow, I don’t actually think I’ve ever taken a pic of that bit of the roof before

    Premier Icon IHN
    Full Member

    There are plenty of places that reroof conservatories with ‘solid’ roofs

    Google ‘solid roof conservatories’ and take your pick.

    Premier Icon nbt
    Full Member

    There are plenty of places that reroof conservatories with ‘solid’ roofs

    Google ‘solid roof conservatories’ and take your pick.

    Yep seen those cheers. Asking here is throwing up good info though and always better to be well-informed.

    Premier Icon Greybeard
    Full Member

    the bit of the ceiling that is flat is directly above the architrave – there’s a beam either side of the doorway, on one side the ceiling slopes down on the other side of the beam, on the other it’s the conservatory bit

    If I’ve understood that, the door is central and faces along the ridge, and the beams each side are the roof purlins. So your velux would need to be below that. I don’t see why it couldn’t be wide and shallow – does it need to open?

    Premier Icon snownrock
    Full Member

    You’ll probably need building regulations approval from the local council, not planning approval. That’s what we did when we did our conservatory roof.

    Premier Icon nbt
    Full Member

    Here’s a few images (clicky makey biggerer) which may help folks visualise the workroom as it currently stands


    A return staircase was added from the landing


    At the top is a very small landing. Workroom to the right, small hatch into the original loft on the left. This is the square section of roof visible in the image in the first post


    View through the door


    View through the door showing the small window


    View showing the outer wall and the ceiling. The velux would have to go in the upper section. there’s some boarded loft space behind the wall visible there, i suppose the velux would have to go above that


    View back to the doorway showing how the conservatory roof lies against the beam


    Wider view of the window

    In the last two you can just see that there’s almost a kind of window sill just below the conservatory roof. I’m not entirely sure what that adds or why it’s there

    You’ll probably need building regulations approval from the local council, not planning approval. That’s what we did when we did our conservatory roof.

    See it’s stuff like this that i was hoping to get, this would never have occurred to me. Is it best for me to do this or leave it to whichever builder may do the job?

    If I’ve understood that, the door is central and faces along the ridge, and the beams each side are the roof purlins. So your velux would need to be below that. I don’t see why it couldn’t be wide and shallow – does it need to open?

    That’s correct, hopefully the images demonstrate that. Opening would be useful for temperature control in summer, and for cleaning, but not essential I suppose

    Premier Icon bigh
    Free Member

    That’s a lot more complicated than our conservatory but..

    We firstly had ours tiled by a friend which was a BIG mistake due to the pitch. Several leaky years later we had the tiles removed and re-done with resin. Basically he laid boards down then a mesh and a grey resin (very stinky but soon goes) is painted on. We are blessed with more windows than you but still had a velux put in and its brilliant in both summer and winter.

    I have no idea of the planning regs but if that were mine I’d be looking into some fairly deep rafters with a fiberglass roof, a bit of carpentry wizardry could incorporate a dome roof light ( they come with vents which are great when its really hot. Deep rafters would allow space for great insulation, you could leave the bottom of them exposed for some extra interest and plasterboard in between.

    Just one thing though, in the unlikely event that you go with my suggestion if I find out that you’ve picked out the exposed rafters in black there will be trouble 🙂

    Premier Icon Bunnyhop
    Free Member

    Known as the turret locally.

    Premier Icon Greybeard
    Full Member

    I’ve sent you an email, nbt.

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