Conservatory Roofs | Types, Options & Costs

Conservatory Roofs

Whether you’re building a new addition to your house or looking to upgrade an existing room, the type of conservatory roof you choose can make a big impact on the overall style and feel.

In this guide, we unpack the various options.

Traditional conservatories were considered a nice addition to the home by way of a light, garden-orientated room in which to grow sun-loving plants.

To some extent, these buildings have become the old-fashioned, poor relation to the more contemporary purpose-built extension.

However, many homeowners still opt for this ground-level, glass construction and with the new-look conservatory roof options on the market today, this humble room may well be heading back into the limelight.

Whether you are wanting to redesign an existing conservatory or plan a new structure, you’ll need to understand the different room options available.

With a reputation of ‘having issues’ leaking roofs, overheating, poor quality sound and heat insulation conservatories have demanded new, advanced technology in the glazing world.

Polycarbonate conservatory roofs

The polycarbonate roof is certainly the most affordable option. 

The benefit of this material is that it is easy to shape so, depending upon your conservatory style, it can be moulded to fit (more about this under conservatory shapes).  

Options around light and temperature mean the polycarbonate roof can be supplied in a transparent or an opaque style.

However, polycarbonate roofs are often considered unattractive and there’s no getting away from the fact that the economical benefits have a detrimental effect on quality.  

Many homeowners also experience months of being unable to use their conservatory if covered in a polycarbonate roof, as heat outside will be increased inside, giving sauna-like conditions when ventilation is not in use.

Additionally, the plastic feel of polycarbonate will also create a ‘thin’ sound during rainy episodes, making it a noisy room as the water vibrates on the roof.

Glass conservatory roofs

Adding a glass conservatory roof will doubtlessly ensure more durability and better insulation.  

Many homeowners looking at replacement conservatory roofs tend to switch their polycarbonate one for this option, allowing them unlimited, all-year-round use of the space.

This glass option, with its thermal value, helps to retain a level of warmth during the winter too.

Equally, summer days can also be enjoyed in your glass-roofed conservatory as the panels reflect UV rays, reducing the chances of overheating.

This type of roof naturally allows the light to flood into the room and compared to its plastic counterpart.

A room displaying such a large ‘window to the sky’ clearly considers aesthetics as a priority.

Conservatory Roof view at night

An additional benefit to glass roof conservatories are that they are much more durable and less prone to leaks. 

A professionally-fitted conservatory in this style should last 20-30 years before needing a replacement roof, offering a good level of investment.

Tiled conservatory roofs

For those who want to dispose of the traditional conservatory look, the introduction of a solid tiled roof can totally transform your space into what feels more like a building extension.

It’s a less costly way to add another room of multiple purpose to your home, not to mention adding to its resale value.

A tiled conservatory roof will regulate temperature in the same way as the rest of your home so they’ll be no heat loss or overheating with this feature. 

Making this a well-used room in the home, means potential purchasers will see its benefit too.

More and more customers are choosing this type of solid roof or converting their existing conservatory into an extension. 

Due to its popularity, there has been an increase in colour and design variety of roof tiles.

Having this broad selection of style choices enable you to match with the rest of your house so that the conservatory feels like a natural addition.

If you are choosing to switch from a glass or polycarbonate roof to a tiled one, you will need to consider the reduction of light. 

Surprisingly, many people don’t anticipate this change. 

However, with a large expanse of glass – windows to all or most sides – this is still a great way to experience the view with a lovely link to the garden.

When selecting a professional installer for your tiled roof, ensure they are fully competent in certification and approval procedures.

Hybrid roof options

A hybrid roof will offer a more bespoke option to your home, as well as playing a large role in keeping the conservatory cool in the summer months.

In order that you can enjoy the benefits of a tiled roof yet still have the advantage of some skyward-facing glass, the hybrid will surely offer that wow factor.  

The hybrid roof option allows you to customise your home and play a major part in architectural design. 

That said, most companies who offer the hybrid roof will be able to provide great advice and design solutions to help you make that all-important decision.  

There’ll be no prizes for guessing that this choice of conservatory roof will be the most expensive. 

Tiled roofs allow for the addition of extras such as ceiling lights and glass sections may send you shopping for hi-tech blinds, so be aware that this stunning roof options comes at a cost.

Conservatory Roofs: Rules & Regulations

Prior to 2010, conservatories had to be at least 75% translucent to adhere to building regulation

UK legislation on conservatories has changed however, offering more choices that ever before.  

To allow you peace of mind, make sure you discuss building regulations with your conservatory installer and if in any doubt, contact your local council for more information.

Which roof type is right for me?

The first point of discussion should be around the usage of the room you intend to build or convert. 

  • Do you want this space to provide an extra bedroom?
  • Will it be a children’s playroom?
  • A dining room? 
  • What impact will light and heat have on that usage?

The shape of your existing conservatory may well dictate which roof type is suitable. 

If you are having a brand new conservatory installed, the shape may be indicative of your roof choice, depending upon your budget.

The decisions on design and style may be affected by the end look. 

Do you want the conservatory to look as though it is a sleek extension of your home, creating consistency and fluidity or do you want it to retain the look of a glass house feature?

In the current climate of high energy costs, we are all looking for great solutions that will help us out financially in the long run. 

If changing your roof or having a new conservatory installed, can help retain heat from natural sources, thereby lowering energy bills, this may score high on your wish list.

Impact of Conservatory Shape on Roof Style

As I’m sure you know, conservatories come in various different shapes.

Even the smallest of outside space can accommodate a conservatory of some description. 

So whether your home affords enough room for an Edwardian, double hipped or Victorian conservatory, or whether a small lean-to is your only option, the style of roof you choose is pretty much down to you.

Conservatories that are letter-shaped (P-shaped, L-shaped or T-shaped) will have a far greater area of coverage for example and therefore more expensive to roof.

Smaller conservatories such as a lean-to design, will be the cheapest to install and also more economical to modify.  

With so much choice, it’s recommended that you research styles and designs, making sure you consider your own circumstances. 

Get advice from other customers and use the resources available to you through your double glazing installer to fully understand the benefits and pitfalls of conservatory roof types.

Thanks to today’s stunning designs and advanced roof technology for conservatories, your house really can be beautifully transformed into a dream home.

Matt James
Matt James

Hi, Matt here! I started out almost 20 years ago as a teenager working in the family business fitting doors, windows and conservatories. I now run this website to share the best tips and advice for anyone looking to get a good deal on double glazing.

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