You have probably seen all the solid conservatory roof ads in your local paper, on billboards around your town, around your area, and on the vans of local installers. The question is, how can you tell whether a solid roof conservatory is what you need in your home? And who should you choose to do the installation?
Below you will find the 6 critical considerations when choosing an installer to fit our solid conservatory roof:
1. Solid Conservatory Roof for a Refurbishment or New-Build?
The engineering and design behind a solid conservatory roof mean that it is lightweight. It means that besides being used for the construction of a new tiled roof conservatory, they also can be used for refurbishing your old conservatory.
People in the industry sometimes refer to this as ‘retrofit’ and many homeowners are choosing to do this to transform their old conservatories that are too hot in the summer and too cold during winter into spaces that can be used throughout the year.
If you would like a completely new conservatory with a new roof, you must find an installer that’s capable of everything, from building the walls and base to installing the solid roof and fitting the frames.
2. Building Regulations and Planning Permission for Conservatories
The vast majority of new-build conservatories with a glazed, tiled, or solid roofs don’t require planning permission, since they are covered under what’s referred to as ‘permitted development’. There are simply some conditions and limits regarding size and placement, details about which can be found on the Government’s Planning Portal.
Building Regulations usually apply if you wish to build an extension on your home, but not for a conservatory, if various conditions have been met. For the conservatory to be regarded as a conservatory as opposed to an extension, external walls and/or windows and doors that meet the Building Regulation requirements must be separate it from the main house. It must also have an independent heating system with a separate on/off and temperature controls to the heating system of the main house.
In case such measures aren’t in place, the conservatory is regarded as an extension and separate Building Regulations will be applicable. Even when the conservatory is constructed in-line with these conditions, the windows, doors, glazing, and any electrical work must adhere to specific Building Regulations.
3. Has the Installer’s Workmanship Been Certified?
You might be surprised to learn that not all building work done by contractors, installers, and builders is certified unless the installation company has registered with a government approved, UKAS accredited certification scheme. It is why you find ‘cowboy builder’ type issues arising and is why the most reliable, trusted, tradesmen that have the best workmanship standards choose to be part of a certification scheme.
4. What About Energy Efficiency and Insulation?
One of the most critical questions that you need to ask the installation company about has to do with the insulation as well as the resultant energy efficiency levels. After all, the vast majority of homeowners simply want a conservatory refurbishment since their current one is so incredibly inefficient, and they want to add in extras like soundproof windows.
Conservatory roofs don’t have any thermal rating system unlike doors and windows, but the installation company and product brochure will probably refer to U-Values instead.
What is a U-Value?
A U-Value refers to a measurement of how effective a material is when it comes to insulation. Simply put, thermal performance is measured by the heat loss levels and this is usually referred to as a U-Value. The lower the U-Value, the less the level of heat loss, which means that low U-Values are indicative of good thermal performance.
5. Can a New Roof be Fitted to an Old Conservatory Frame?
Yes, it is possible to install a new solid conservatory roof on an old frame. The installation company will undertake a survey and tell you whether or not your old frame is suitable to fit a new solid conservatory roof on.
6. Do You Also Need New Doors and Windows?
Installing a solid roof can be a great way to improve your conservatory’s energy efficiency, but if the doors and windows are too old and inefficient, you may not get the full benefits of the new roof.