Raising the roof to upgrade conservatories
Once the preserve of the wealthy who wanted to cultivate exotic species of flora, today it’s estimated that around one in five UK homes have a conservatory.
Offering additional light, with relatively fast construction times, up to 200,000 conservatories were built per year during the height of their popularity.
However, some homeowners found that the full glare of the sun in summer and chilly temperatures in winter made older conservatories uncomfortable, with the only solution being a costly rebuild.
The good news is that building technology has moved on and, as with glazing, there are some thermally efficient roof options now on the market that can be added to the existing conservatory structure.
‘Activ’ glass roof
A straightforward upgrade for those who want to keep an uninterrupted view of the blue skies up above is to opt for a modern, low emissivity (low-e) ‘Activ’, energy efficient glass roof.
Helping to reduce the variations in temperature associated with older, traditional glass or polycarbonate roofs, ‘Activ’ low-e glass helps cut solar glare, protect furniture from fading and keep heat in during the winter months.
For even greater insulation there are now two solid roof options that can be retrofitted to an existing conservatory, without the need for significant structural modifications.
The new, lightweight, tiled roof takes its design cues from the slates and tiles found on most UK houses. As a result it works well on most properties and comes in a range of finishes to match any existing architecture.
Created using aluminium panels, with Kingspan insulation, these roofs can achieve a u value of just 0.18, similar to that of a normally constructed, modern roof.
With this option, the interior of the conservatory can include a plastered ceiling with down-lighters or even roof windows to keep the view of the stars.
For a more contemporary feel, there is a third option called the LivinRoof. This modern roof combines the sleek lines of a glass roof with the shade and thermal efficiency of a solid conservatory roof to create something that looks and feels very contemporary.
With the LivinRoof, entire panels can be replaced with glass to create a hybrid solid and glass roof meaning the homeowner can choose where to have shaded areas and where to have more light.
Once again there is the option to plaster the interior ceiling and add down-lighters. The LivinRoof also comes with the option of adding orangery detailing to enhance the interior and exterior styling of the conservatory.