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The Best Conservatory Roofs in 2024

Author: Samuel Beckingham
Updated: Jan 01, 2024
6 minutes read
  • Types of conservatory roof available
  • Issues faced with conservatory roofs
  • Building Regulations Approval for tiled roofs

If you’ve had a conservatory for a while, you might be wondering if you chose the best roof for it. The most popular conservatory roofs include polycarbonate, glass and roof tiles. They each come with their benefits and drawbacks, including price and light permitting properties, but it’s usually best to consider what your conservatory will be used for in order to decide which roof is best for you. For example, do you want more natural light or better insulation?

The type of conservatory roof you have not only changes the appearance of your conservatory, but also how it behaves in different weather. Climate control is important as this will affect when you want to use your conservatory during the year. There are ways of controlling a room that’s gained too much heat in the summer and doesn’t retain heat in the winter.

A conservatory with a polycarbonate roof

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Reasons to Upgrade a Conservatory Roof

You may be experiencing some or all of the below in relation to your conservatory over the years:

  • Too hot

  • Too cold

  • Excessive noise during rainfall

  • Leaking roof, mould buildup or excessive condensation

  • Fallen out of love with it

No one wants a leaky conservatory or one that hasn’t got a consistent temperature throughout the year. If not remedied, you’ll be left with a part of your home that you don’t use and will have no inclination to. Conservatory roofing is so important as it has a real impact on both the aesthetic and its performance in different seasons.

Fortunately, there are solutions to these problems as most of them can be caused by a bad conservatory roof. Replacing the roof of your conservatory is a good way of resolving many of these issues and you may find yourself falling in love with how different your conservatory feels after it’s had a facelift.

Interested to know more about conservatories? Read our complete guide on conservatories.

Conservatory Roofing Choices

Polycarbonate Conservatory Roof

Polycarbonate Roof

This is the most affordable conservatory roof option as it’s inexpensive to produce, but is durable enough to withstand the UK climate. The insulating properties of polycarbonate aren’t the greatest, which may make your conservatory colder in the winter. Heating can be added to the conservatory if you want to get around this.

A polycarbonate conservatory roof is capable of letting in plenty of sunlight, but not as much as a glass roof. It’s rigid enough that it will last a number of years, but it doesn’t soften the blows of any raindrops. In a downpour, it amplifies the sound to a distracting volume. What’s worse, you will usually find yourself with a room that’s too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter due to a lack of thermal efficiency.

You can get around the issues of a polycarbonate roof with the help of conservatory roof panels. While you will suffer from a lack of sunlight, the insulation and thermal efficiency will improve immensely. These conservatory roof panels are effectively sandwiches of solid lightweight insulation that can be installed in the roof within a matter of hours. Though there will be less sunlight, you’ll experience a much cosier conservatory than before. In the winter, heat will be retained, and in the summer, extra heat gain can be greatly reduced.

Glass Conservatory Roof

Glass Conservatory Roof

Typically double glazed, the glass conservatory roof is even more durable than polycarbonate and offers better soundproofing and insulating properties. Able to bring in the most amount of natural light, the glass roof has an emphasis on the outside. People usually choose a glass conservatory roof because it makes the room feel much bigger. It’s also a good home for houseplants as they get the benefit of sunlight, heat and room to really grow.

Thanks to Low-E glass, the heat in your home is kept on the inside while the excessive heat from the outside isn’t let in as much. You can save on energy bills with an energy efficient glass conservatory roof as you won’t have as much heat escape. Thermal damage can also be stopped through the installation of tinted glass, helping protect your interior from any UV rays.

Conservatory Roof Tiles

Tiled Conservatory Roof

Tiling your conservatory roof gives you the greatest amount of flexibility. You can use it year-round as the insulating properties are far superior to the other options. Although it does reduce the amount of sunlight that can come through, a skylight can always be installed. However, a standard conservatory cannot support the weight of a tiled roof, so additional support will need to be installed first. This support, however, allows for superior insulating qualities.

Fitting roof tiles on your conservatory roof will make it feel like a proper extension of your home. They also have a much better lifespan than the other two options, at around 50 years. If you consider that they will need to match the roof of your house, you can essentially have some spare tiles if you get enough.

Will Planning Permission Be Required?

If you have an existing conservatory and wish to change the roof, this will be okay, as long as you’re not wishing to install roof tiles. If you had planning permission in the past for your conservatory, your permitted development will not need it again. For those that built a smaller conservatory without planning permission, you might need to apply for it.

Planning Permission

You will, however, need to worry about Building Regulations. This concerns safety standards and is meant to ensure you don’t end up with a conservatory that’s top heavy. While a conservatory is seen as a temporary structure, a solid roof tiled conservatory roof will change its classification to a permanent one. You will need to submit an application for Building Regulations Approval as this will need to happen before you can upgrade to a solid roof.

Prices for Your Conservatory Roof

Even though the material has a strong bearing on cost, the size will also impact what you’ll be paying. Prices can start from £2,500 and go beyond £7,000, although this will depend on which conservatory roof you have opted for. Polycarbonate is cheaper than glass and glass is cheaper than roof tiles.

How much does a conservatory cost?

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