Flat Roof vs Pitch Roof

Flat Roof or Pitched Roof Extension – Which One Should You Choose?

An increasing number of people are choosing to renovate rather than relocate and an extension can solve the problem of space.

Whether you’re extending your kitchen, converting a garage or even refurbishing an existing extension, the roof is a critical factor to consider.

The two main choices are either a pitched roof or a flat roof. The former is usually preferred by planning officials but the latter is better if height is restricted, so it’s not a straightforward decision.

Here’s a look at the factors you will want to consider.

Flat Roof or Pitched Roof Extension – Cost

Renovating or refurbishing your home is a big expense and it’s easy for costs to creep up.

The cost of the roof design shouldn’t be the only factor you take into account but for many households, it’s a major factor.

A flat roof extension is the cheaper option because it’s less labour-intensive to build and uses fewer materials.

The maintenance costs are lower too because the compact dimensions mean a flat roof is less likely to get damaged.

Flat Roof or Pitched Roof Extension – Planning Permission

It’s frequently easier to get planning permission for a pitched roof, especially in neighbourhoods where the properties are more traditional.

A pitched roof preserves the character of existing properties and is generally considered to fit in better with the overall look.

However, not all extensions require planning permission, especially a flat roof.

Providing the roof extension doesn’t exceed four meters in height and doesn’t rise beyond the existing roof, you won’t be required to seek planning permission (subject to the other rules being
met).

A flat roof is much more likely to meet these conditions, therefore it’s very probable that you won’t need to worry about what a planning official might think.

Flat Roof or Pitched Roof Extension – Installation

There’s no escaping the fact that building work can be disruptive. Noisy and messy, it’s a long-term gain for short-term pain!

A flat roof extension will slash the time required for the work as they’re quicker and easier to install.

The latest technology can save up to 50% on the time of building a pitched roof, while still offering a sleek and modern finish.

Flat Roof or Pitched Roof Extension – Versatile Design

A flat roof provides many more design options than a pitched roof, with different colours and finishes available.

They can also accommodate a soffit system that provides shelter for the doors and gives the appearance of the indoors flowing outside, with level external flooring.

If you have a heritage or period property, it’s also possible to fit a 25° lantern roof to create a focal point and a more vintage appearance.

Flat Roof or Pitched Roof Extension – Maintenance

We’ve mentioned above that flat roofs have lower maintenance costs because of their simple design.

This may come as a surprise as flat roofs have a reputation for causing problems with issues such as cracking, water pooling, condensation, and thermal movement reported.

The good news is that a well-fitted modern flat roof doesn’t have any of these problems, thanks to tiny tweaks in the design.

A fall system drains water effectively while a 4° pitch is barely noticeable but prevents any pooling, condensation, or other water-related problems.

The latest technology means that a flat roof can easily last 25-30 years, providing a durable solution that you can install and forget about.

Both flat and pitched roofs provide a fabulous finish to every extension; to find out more, get in touch with us today.


Extending Your Home: How Far Can You Go?

A glazed extension is a popular way for homeowners to get more out of their property, providing a light and airy space that connects the interior and garden.

However, before you plunge ahead with your plans, it’s important to ensure that you aren’t inadvertently breaching the planning permissions which apply.

Wading through the technical wording can seem a bit daunting but our overview below highlights the most important points you need to bear in mind.

Is there a maximum size I can extend without needing planning permission?

Yes. Presuming it's a single-storey extension, you won’t be able to extend beyond a maximum of three metres (for terraced and semi-detached homes) or four metres (for detached homes).

This distance is measured from the original rear wall, regardless of what the structure looks like now.

This means the place where the rear wall stood when it was originally built or in the case of ambiguity in older properties, where it would have stood on 1st July 1948.

But I thought I could extend my home by 6 metres?

Planning permissions in England were relaxed on 1st June 2019, allowing single-storey extensions up to six metres (or eight metres for detached properties). This new rule only applies to glazed
extensions which are outside ‘Sites of Specific Interest’.

Will my neighbours be consulted before planning permission is granted?

Single-storey extensions which are bigger fall within the Neighbour Consultation Scheme.

This is often referred to as prior notification and gives your neighbour 21 days to raise an objection.

There must be valid reasons for their objection to succeed.

Once this initial 21-day period has elapsed, there is a further 21-day period for your local authority to confirm you are able to proceed.

If your extension requires planning permission, neighbour notification is mandatory.

What building regulations must a single-storey extension conform to?

Don’t confuse planning permission and building regulations; they’re not the same thing.

Planning permission is about the way development is carried out within an area, the general look and how the work will impact on the surrounding environment.

In contrast, building regulations specify standards that work must abide by in order to ensure the health, safety and well-being for those inside the property and others who live around it.

A glazed extension such as a conservatory, orangery or garden room may still require building regulations if any of the following apply:

• The roof is not at least 70% translucent
• The internal floor space exceeds 30 square metres
• There is less than 50% glass coverage on walls that have been newly constructed
• The extension is not at ground level
• There is no physical barrier that separates the extension from the main building, such as doors

Do I need planning permission to extend upwards?

Of course, not all extensions move outwards; some are upwards. From 31st August 2020 homeowners have been able to extend upwards without requiring full planning permission, but only
if certain criteria are fulfilled:

• The property must have been built between 2nd July 1948 and 29th October 2018
• Detached houses must have two or more storeys
• Terraced or semi-detached houses can only build to a maximum of 3.5 metres above the attached neighbours’ houses

Due to the potential impact on the surrounding homes, prior notification applies and building regulations must still be adhered to. Due regard must be given to the appearance of the extension.

To find out more about planning permission and building regulations, get in touch with us today.


Home Insurance

How Will My Home Insurance Be Affected by Building an Extension?

If you’re in need of more space, you may be weighing up whether to move house or stay put and extend your home.

Many families are opting for the latter, adding extensions to create more space while staying in the home they love.

Whether you’re adding a single-story extension, conservatory, garden room, or orangery, it’s important to consider the wider impact – including home insurance.

Here’s what you need to know about extensions and home insurance, and what you need to do.

Does my home insurance provider need to know about a new extension?

Yes.

It’s important to tell your provider about any changes to the structure of your home so they can carry out an updated risk assessment.

Building work carries extra risk and your insurer will need to know what’s going on.

The terms and conditions of your policy will probably stipulate that you inform them of any planned structural changes before the work is carried out.

If you don’t tell them and you need to claim, you might find that your policy is invalidated – leaving you seriously out of pocket.

Does this mean my home insurance will cost more if I get an extension?

The quote for your home insurance will be based on the value of your property, so if the building work increases the space you have available – and therefore the property price – it’s reasonable to
expect your home insurance premium to rise too.

A single-story extension can add at least 5% to the value of your property.

For a home that’s worth £250,000, that’s an extra £12,500 – and your home insurance certainly won’t increase by that much!

When calculating the increased home insurance, don’t forget to update your contents insurance too.

Your extension will have carpets, blinds, curtains, and furniture so you may need to increase the amount of cover you have.

Do I need insurance while my extension is being built?

While the building work is being carried out, there are extra risks to your existing structure.

Even the most careful builders can accidentally cause damage which is why insurance is important.

You don’t need to take out extra insurance; the construction company will have employers’ liability insurance and public liability insurance to cover all eventualities.

Reputable building companies will also offer guarantees and warranties with their work, so you can have complete peace of mind that everything is fully protected.

Look for building firms that are professionally accredited such as Trustmark and FENSA.

How much will an extension cost to build?

The quote for an extension is dependent on many different factors such as size, materials, specification etc, so it’s not possible to estimate in advance how much the work may cost.

We price every job individually to ensure you get the very best price and so that you’ll get exactly what you want.

To find out more, get in touch with us today to see how we could help.


Warranty Protection for your New Windows

When you have given up the time and expense of installing brand new windows in your property, the last thing you want to do is go through the hassle of replacing one due to damage, breakage or poor installation resulting in an ineffective window.

Sovereign not only offers cost-effective window solutions, installed with minimum disruption, but we also ensure your new windows are installed to the highest standards by regulatory competence review body Certass.

What is Certass?

Certass is a Competent Person Scheme (CPS) that approves contractors and companies – such as Sovereign – to provide relevant services under a specific set of government-approved building regulations standards.

These standards protect the property of the homeowner by setting a quality expectation for service delivery and product safety and security.

Approval for CPS bodies falls under the remit of the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) which provides testing, inspection and certification for CPS designation.

What is a Competent Person Scheme?

Government-approved Competent Person Schemes provide an alternative solution to using Local Authority inspectors to approve building work or submitting building notices for certain home improvements.

Through following specific building regulations and a set of standards mandated by the relevant CPS, companies, and contractors self-certify that their work meets their CPS standards, and they can register any work carried out with local authorities on behalf of homeowners.

In the double glazing industry, a person or company can be found competent by Certass to deliver the installation of doors, windows, roof windows and rooflights for dwellings and non-dwellings.

  • A company registered with Certass – such as Sovereign – must prove that they deliver a high quality of service in accordance with relevant building regulations.
  • All members or employees must follow strict installation guidelines to meet a prescribed set of standards for Certass approval.
  • All registered contractors must demonstrate a high level of understanding of these standards and should always operate in compliance with building regulations.
  • To ensure continued compliance with building regulations and quality standards, Certass inspectors will constantly review a percentage of registered contractors.
  • What building regulations apply to window and door installations?

In 2010, the latest version of the building regulations were published to outline legal precedents relating to the health and safety of a property, as well as the welfare and accessibility of its inhabitants.

These include thermal and energy-related standards as well as structural safety.

The regulations do not cover any aesthetic abnormalities or concerns unless these impact the structure, safety or efficiency of the property.

For example, with the installation of a window, the sealant can be messily applied but so long as it keeps the glass in place and meets insulating requirements, it should adhere to regulations.

However, where building regulations do not cover quality of installation, at Sovereign we pride ourselves on our finished products.

Since 2002, and updated in 2010, these regulations apply to the installation and replacement of windows and doors – inclusive of the whole unit, meaning both frame and glass.

In some cases, simply replacing a glass pane does not require certification, but always check this with your Certass approved contractor.

It has also been necessary since the regulations were enforced in 2002 to ensure all UPVC double glazed windows feature a special ‘low e-coating’, a see-through glaze that increases the energy efficiency of the property.

Updates to the regulations in 2010 added thermal efficiency standards.

Once the work has been completed, your Sovereign installer is responsible for informing Certass who will log the completion of works with the relevant local authority.

And issue a Building Regulation Compliance certificate directly to you, the homeowner, within seven working days.

If you provide your installer with an email address, Certass can also issue an electronic certificate.

Why is the Building Regulations Compliance certificate important?

First and foremost, proof of compliance with Certass regulations should give you peace of mind that your installation has been completed to the highest standard with the safety of your property and your well-being, as an inhabitant at the heart of these regulations.

In addition, when it comes to selling your property, this documentation is necessary for you to pass on as the seller to the buyer, via your solicitor.

This is a mandatory piece of documentation to be provided as part of the sales process to prove the legitimacy of any installations after April 2002.

Any installations that fail to meet the building regulations are subject to fines.

  • If you have lost your Building Regulations Compliance certificate, you can order a replacement certificate online through Certass at a cost of £24.
  • If you never received a certificate in the first place, speak to your Sovereign installer or contact Certass directly. Replacement certificates requested within 28 days of the original issue date will be re-issued free of charge.
  • If you have further questions about Sovereign’s compliance with the Certass regulatory scheme, please don’t hesitate to speak to a member of our staff or to your Sovereign installer. For more information on Certass, you can visit their website at https://www.certass.co.uk/.