If the time has come to replace the polycarbonate roof of a conservatory, there are two main types of materials that are available – tiles or glass panels. While conservatories have been traditionally made up of large amounts of glass, more and more homes can now been seen with tile roof extensions, and this trend has been driven by the desire for a uniform style across the whole property (all-glass outbuildings usually stick out from a distance). Although the external appearance of a conservatory is important, there are also considerations about energy efficiency – a key factor as more and more households try to save energy for financial and environmental reasons.
In the past, polycarbonate materials have been three of four times cheaper than purchasing glass panels, and so they have been the ideal choice for people that were working within a tight budget. Solar inserts have been available for many years, and these have helped to bridge the gap between glass and polycarbonate materials by harnessing some of the heating and illumination properties of natural light. When it is necessary to replace these panels, choosing glass will give the conservatory roof a greater level of resistance to damage, and it will also improve the energy efficiency of the whole building. Purchasing replacement glass panels may have a higher outlay cost, but in the long run there will be energy and repair savings that should compensate for much of this. (It is however worth noting that in some cases the extra weight of the glass may require some structural alterations to the existing conservatory prior to installation.)
Another option is to choose to replace polycarbonate with a tiled roof. This is a great way of extending the roofing style of the main building to the conservatory, and once the base has been installed, it is possible to add slates and tiles in a wide variety of different styles. Tiled roof systems can be installed quickly in comparison with a conventional home roof, and the only potential drawback is that some additional structural work may be required to support the weight of the roof. In terms of energy efficiency, roof tiles retain far more heat than glass, and there is no need to remove natural light fittings from the roof altogether – traditional skylights can be fitted to add even more value to the property. This flexibility in the roof design allows a conservatory to be multi-purpose in nature, and it can be an office space, living area or bedroom. conservatory roof insulation panels