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Building a Conservatory

Trees and Plants

Building a conservatory near trees and plants...

Building a conservatory can be problematic if the building will be situated close to trees and plants. Most specialists advise that if there are trees, shrubs and plants within thirty five metres of where you want the new conservatory built, then this will have implications for the foundations of the building and for the cost. It is even more problematic if the ground that you intend to build on has a large expanse of clay in the soil. The weather effects changes in the clay so that it either shrinks or swells; this is exacerbated where there are trees and shrubs as they take the moisture from the clay. This means that if there is an extended period of dry weather that the ground will dry out and crack, this can affect your foundations and result in subsidence.

Conservatory Foundations

The conservatory foundation should be at least one metre...

The ground check should always take into consideration the locality of larger tress or plants which can affect the foundation type of the conservatory...Mike Chin...Building Inspector

If you want to prevent the possibility of future damage to the conservatory then the foundations must be dug deep, deep enough so that the moisture content of the clay is stabilized. In the UK the building standards recommend that in areas where there is a lot of clay in the soil and trees and shrubs, the depth of the foundation should be at least one metre.

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Removing Trees and Plants

Having the trees removed does not immediately solve the problem...

While the foundations need to be sunk quite deep in areas where there are trees and plants, having the trees removed does not immediately solve the problem. This is because when a tree or shrub is removed or when a new one is planted this further affects the moisture in the soil causing the ground to swell or shrink. In these cases the depth of the foundation needs to be even greater if you are to avoid subsidence problems later on.

  • Tree and Plant Removal.
  • Deeper Foundations.
  • Subsidence Possibility.

When you cut down a tree, or when it dies, the clay soil will eventually regain the moisture that was removed by the tree – this can cause the clay to swell and push on the foundations. These problems can also happen when trees and shrubs get removed as a result of the excavation for the foundation. These actions result in moisture being removed from the soil which then shrinks and causes problems with the foundation.