Living Spaces

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Living Spaces

This is the generic term we’ve used to describe all the possible mini-extensions that could be added to a property, these include Conservatories, Canopies, Porches, Orangeries and Sunrooms.

Traditionally, people would have only had conservatories and porches. However, recent changes in planning permission have made it possible to create bespoke ‘sunrooms’ to suit your property’s specific requirements without necessarily requiring planning permission. This following section helps to unravel the different types of rooms that we have created and some information on the types of systems we prefer to use.

Key Features
  • We specialise in making a variety of small extensions on peoples homes
  • Very bespoke service offering a wide range of products
  • Services we offer are from the ground up, beginning with the footings and ending at the roof
  • Explore this section for more ideas for your project

For more ideas see – Living Space Roof Options Brochure

Traditional conservatories

Over the years, we have made and installed hundreds of conservatories. These are typically a concrete base with a dwarf wall, glazed windows and French doors with a roof made from either polycarbonate or glass. For the most part, conservatories are exempt from building control requirements. We always recommend checking with your local building control team before starting work. See a range of completed conservatories on our Facebook Album / Modplan Conservatory Roof Brochure

Since 2005, we have manufactured the Global Conservatory Roof. This has a robust aluminium subframe clad with either uPVC or aluminium to suit the project’s requirements.

Key Features
  • Solid foundations and insulated floor
  • Brick or rendered dwarf walls
  • uPVC window frames
  • Standard double glazed units have aluminium spacer bars and are air-filled
    • A-Rated Double or Triple Glazed units are available
  • Plastered finish and electrics installed as standard
  • Polycarbonate glazing panels offer the most cost-effective roofing solution, but these are noisy in heavy rain.
  • Pilkington self-cleaning glass roofs are the most commonly used as they allow you to see out and over time, they clean themselves;
  • Planitherm 4 Seasons glass is a slightly more expensive option but offers self-cleaning and the best thermal insulation in a double glazed unit;

More designs: Facebook Gallery

Tile effect roof conservatorites

Recent years have seen more and more homeowners replacing their conservatory’s worn-out glass or plastic roofs with lightweight tiled roofing. This has been partly due to planning and building control legislation being altered allowing a mostly glazed structure with a solid roof.

As a generic description, a conservatory with a tile effect roof does not necessarily comply with building regulations if the structure is separated from the house by an exterior grade door, there is no heating attached to the boiler or water supply provided – i.e. is in effect a very posh shed.

With this new trend, there also comes an opportunity to modernise the appearance of a conservatory. A choice of tile colours and materials allow homeowners to move away from the generic style of many conservatories installed during the eighties and nineties and instead to emulate to look of their main property.

Tile effect roofs are constructed from very lightweight aluminium substructure, insulation, plasterboard, breathable felt, batten and ply roof make for a very strong and warm roof. This is then adorned with a choice of lightweight tiles, gutter & fascia details to suit your property.

As a company we have found it necessary to offer a range of tile effect roofs produce, this is because although we do not technically require building control for all tile effect roofs we can offer this to customers and therefore we have a cheaper option without building control or a more expensive option with building control.

Roofs with Building Control
  • We source these from Supalite Tile Effect Roof
  • Well designed and manufactured product
  • Takes around 2 weeks to receive roofs pre-manufactured
  • Standardised roof window options
  • u-value of 0.18 and complies with all building regulations
  • JHI building control certificate on the roof only
  • Wide product range, see the – Supalite Tile Effect Roof Brochure
Roofs without Building Control
  • Manufactured using a robust lightweight aluminium conservatory sub-frame
  • Partly constructed on-site allowing us to overcome many technical issues, i.e. use of box gutters
  • Constructed using the same insulation, timber and ply roofs, plastered inside
  • More flexibility on roof window options – Choose from Velux 
  • Saving cost as we are not paying someone else to manufacture the roof
  • Does not come with building control (however we have had one of our roofs inspected by building control it had passed)
  • A wider range of roofing tiles and accessories available, see Metrotile Website Or Metrotile Products Brochure

More designs: Facebook Gallery


Orangeries are similar to conservatories, however, they have a flat roof with a glazed atrium.

Recently, there has been a shift from traditional conservatories towards a room that can be used all-year-round. In a way, this has promoted the use of orangeries.

Although our orangeries are similar to conservatories in the way the base is constructed and the use of windows and doors, we prefer to use solid walls in the corners to form strong pillars on which we can install a well-insulated timber roof. The roof is covered in a protective layer of fibreglass, on top of which a glass atrium is placed.

Key Features
  • Mostly glazed structure
  • Structural pillars
  • Robust timber flat roof, at least 120 mm of insulation, plasterboard interior
  • Glazed atrium with options of profile and glass – See our Atrium Roof Options Here

More designs: Facebook Gallery


Sunrooms are generally classified as a room in your house whereas orangeries are generally built as an extension next to your house. They will have a glazed roof of differing designs and large glazed windows and doors.

As orangeries and sunrooms have a lower percentage of window and roof glass area compared to a conservatory, the building control regulations will most likely apply. Planning permission may also be required and we recommend checking with your local authority prior to starting work.
Key Features
  • Mostly glazed extension open the rest of your house
  • Designed and installed to meet building regulations
  • Option to include building regulations and planning consent as part of the manufacturing process
  • Superior security and energy efficiency


As a decorative option to your front door or a practical space to hang your coats, porches are, in effect, a small extension on the front of your property. It is likely that creating a new porch will require planning permission if the project passes the front of your property. Also, if it has a solid roof this may also require building control approval. Built in a similar way to a conservatory, it is likely to have some solid walls with a tiled or flat roof.

Key Features
  • Small extension to the entrance of your home
  • Solid foundations, cavity walls and concrete floor
  • Wide range of door and window options
  • Choice of roofing types from traditional tiles to glazed
Recent changes in the law have made it possible to create bespoke ‘sunrooms’ to suit your property's specific requirements without necessarily requiring planning permission or building control. The following section helps to unravel the complicated planning and building regulations to help you decide if you need to apply..

Building control – If you are carrying out any kind of building work in and around your house, you will probably require some kind of building control approval. For Distinction Windows Ltd, this most often happens when we replace windows as we need to self-certify their replacement with the local authority and offer FENSA certificates.
Conservatories are less likely to be applicable as the local authority considers the conservatory to be in the same category as a shed. Other extensions that have solid roofs or walls are much likely to require building control approval.

Planning permission – is applicable to all external building work on your property. However, you may not require planning permission if you have permitted development rights.
We always recommend customers to make their own enquiries with the local building control for their peace of mind. See the links: Planning portal. Another excellent resource they have is the interactive house, easy for identifying the planning and building requirements.

Discuss living spaces options

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Distinction Windows Ltd are highly experienced company and are happy to discuss any project ideas you have. To enquire about our services or arrange for a free quotation call us on

01792 845 203

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