When Does A Conservatory Become An Extension?

When Does A Conservatory Become An Extension

A conservatory and an extension may look similar, but their features and sizes will determine what they will be classified as. This is due to planning approval and legal requirements from the local council. Therefore, if you are looking to expand your property, you should plan your expansion in advance so you don’t get caught in unnecessary paperwork. 

Below, we will talk through the key differences between a conservatory and an extension so we can analyse when a conservatory becomes an extension.


Definition of Conservatory:


A conservatory is defined by Oxford Languages as ‘a room with a glass roof and walls, attached to a house at one side and used as a sun lounge or for growing delicate plants’. 


Definition of an Extension:


Oxford Languages defines extension as ‘a part that is added to something to enlarge or prolong it’. 

Now we know the definition of a conservatory and an extension; we can look into how their features and benefits are different. 


Legal Reasons


Depending on your local authority, you may need to seek legal advice on whether you need planning permission to install a house extension. This is why it is essential to know in advance whether you have designed a conservatory or an extension. You should check your council’s website, but typically, the lines will cross over due to the sizing and dimensions of your extension to your property and whether it will affect your neighbours and surrounding areas. 


The Design


While conservatories and extensions do look very similar, there are some unique features that can help you recognise the different structures. 

As the definition of conservatory states, it is common for a conservatory to have a glass roof, with wall-to-ceiling glazing and very few solid frames. Though, you can get solid or tiled conservatory roofs if you are looking for more privacy. At Novaseal, we offer three conservatory styles so you can choose what will work best for you. Choose from our performance, designer or classic conservatories to expand your home. These style options are a great starting point if you need inspiration for your new conservatory. 

Meanwhile, extensions are commonly known for their stubble designs that match the overall look of the property. You can find extensions that are made from glass or masonry and come in multiple sizes. At Novaseal, we also offer three extension styles for you to choose from. These include performance glass, Livinroof, and the Ultraroof house extensions. 


The Purpose


The reason why you install a conservatory or an extension can be different, which can impact the boundary between the two. 

For instance, the main difference is that an extension has been installed as you are looking to add an extra room to the home. This could be for a kitchen, a gym or an office space. Whereas a conservatory can be used for relaxing and looking outside due to its wide glazing areas. This is why house extensions tend to need planning permission from the local council, depending on their specifications. 




Taking into account the purpose, the design and dimensions of your structure will determine whether it is a conservatory or an extension. Though we have laid out some general guidelines of what a typical conservatory or a house extension looks like, it is highly recommended you check with your local council and with professionals to see if you need approval. 


 Novaseal Conservatory And Extensions Prices


Work with Novaseal on your next conservatory and extension project. Use our online quoting engine to get a free bespoke quote today. Alternatively, feel free to use our online contact form or give us a call at 01329 233500, and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have. 

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