You have been seeing adverts for solid conservatory roofs in the local paper, on billboards all over town and on the vans of local installers driving around your neighbourhood, but how can you know for sure if a solid roof conservatory is the right option for your house? And who should you hire to install one?
Below, we have compiled the top 5 factors you should consider when selecting an company to install a solid conservatory roof.
1. Do You Need a Solid Conservatory Roof for a Refurbishment or a Newly-built House?
The engineering and design that backs solid conservatory roofing systems mean that this type of roof is lightweight. It also means that it can be used to refurbish an old conservatory in addition to being used to construct a new tiled roof conservatory.
Some professionals in the industry and many homeowners refer to this as ‘retrofit.’ It allows old conservatories to be transformed that are too hot during the summer and too cold during the winter into an area that can be used all year long.
If you would like to have a new conservatory that has a solid roof, then you will need to find an installer who is able to do everything for the project, from building the walls and base to fitting the frames and then finally getting the solid roof installed.
2. Will You Need to Have New Doors and Windows Also?
When a new solid roof is installed it can really help to improve your conservatory’s energy efficiency. However, if the doors, windows, and frames are inefficient and old, you may not enjoy the full benefits that a new roof can provide. In this case it’s best to install new Solidor composite doors and new windows also.
3. Building Regulations and Planning Permission for Conservatories
A majority of new-build conservatories that have either a glazed, tiled or solid roof do not require planning permission since they are covered under what is referred to as ‘permitted development.’ However, there are some conditions regarding size and placement. The Government’s Planning Portal has details on this.
Building Regulations apply when you are planning on building an extension on your house, but as long as certain conditions are met they do not apply to a conservatory. For a conservatory to be classified as a conservatory instead of an extension, it needs to be separate from your main home with external quality walls and/or doors and windows that meet the requirements of Building Regulation. It also will need to have its own independent heating system with separate temperature and on/off controls to the heating system in the main house.
If those measures are not met, then technically the conservatory is an extension which means that separate Building Regulations will be applicable. Even when you have a conservatory that is built in-line with those conditions, any electrical work, glazing, window, and doors will all need to meet specific Building Regulations.
4. Is the Workmanship of the Installer Certified?
You may be surprised to learn that not all building work that is conducted by contractors, installers and builders is actually certified. An installation company must register with a government approved, UKAS accredited certification scheme in order for this to be the case.
That is where ‘cowboy builder’ problems can occur and why the most reliable and trusted tradesmen with the best workmanship standards are the ones who decide to participate in a certification scheme.
5. What About Energy Efficiency and Insulation?
Insulation and the energy efficiency levels that result are among the most important questions that you need to ask your installer. One of the major reasons why most homeowners are interested in a conservatory refurbishment in the first place is due to their current one being inefficient, so this is definitely an important consideration.
Unlike doors and windows, conservatory roofs do not have a thermal rating system. Instead, the product brochure and your installer will probably discuss the U-Value of the roof.
The U-Value is a measurement of how effectively a material insulates. Thermal performance measures levels of heat loss and that is often called a U-Value. The lower that a U-Value is, the less heat is lost, so good thermal performance will have a low U-Value.
6. Can a New Roof Be Fitted on the Frames of Your Old Conservatory?
Yes, a new solid conservatory roof can be installed onto your old frames. The installer will conduct a survey and tell you whether or not they are well-suited to having a new solid conservatory roof installed on them.