Solid Roof conservatories and How to choose the right company!
Updated: Feb 4
The rise of the solid roof conservatory has happened overnight. In a short spell of time, solid roofs have quickly become a household topic of conversation. With lots of direct sales and marketing companies getting in quickly with no real research or understanding of the rules surrounding this type of work.
Solid roof conservatories have taken off because they solve a genuine and large-scale problem with the current crop of polycarbonate conservatories in the country.
The biggest concerns in the early years of this product are the ramifications for things like building control, planning permission, and structural safety. When solid roof conservatories came out in the early days, it was safe to say that there was a definite grey area concerning planning permission and building control. With questions such as is the structure classed as an extension if the conservatory roof was replaced with a solid one? Do you need to apply for planning permission again? What areas of building regulations are relevant?
A few years later and those queries seem to have been cleared up for the most part. Yet, concerns still remain about the structural integrity of solid roofs and the consequences on the rest of the structure. If you think about it logically, the existing conservatory was built to take a polycarbonate roof in most cases. Therefore the loading and stresses on the frames, walls, and base are engineered to that. Replace that with a solid roof with tiles, plastering, electrical works, lots of timber, steel, and insulation, it’s going to be greatly heavier than what it has been used to.
I’d love to believe that every company undertakes the necessary steps to check the existing base, walls, and frames to make sure that a heavier solid roof is suitable to replace a lightweight one. However, I suspect there aren’t, and my biggest fear is if some sales guy more concerned with his commission or a rogue installer plonks one on top covering an existing roof or construct one from timber usually in most cases with the wrong grade of timber! without really thinking about it properly, the worst-case scenario isn’t worth thinking about.
As with all products in our industry, there are varying qualities. At Complete Property Solutions, we didn’t rush into this arena without carefully considering the market and the vastly different ways that this market place is populated. We knew that as a young industry, there were mistakes yet to be made, with other companies covering up old roofs or homemade versions of an overweight house roof were plonked on to the framework of old conservatories using installers with no real training or experience in this type of work In the end, we decided that Prefix’s Garden Room and the Guardian warm roof were the ideal choices for us:
Solid roofs have changed over the years and in turn, have changed the industry. They now offer a genuine, quality alternative to the standard conservatory if done properly. Providing a great solution and blend between your home and garden.
They give homeowners a choice to have the look of an extension, combined with the aesthetics of an Orangery or a summer room. It need not cost the same as a full-blown extension, thanks to its pre-fabricated nature and environmentally friendly tile options. With the majority of the heavy work done in the space of a day or two.
The solid roof, combined with other new glazed extension innovations, is helping installers take on a market with a prefabricated engineered and structurally sound product giving peace of mind for both customer and company owners alike. Helping to re-energize an aging existing conservatory population.
Quality is key throughout. There are many risks and downsides to the cheaper, lower-end homemade solid roofs that come with all the claims but lack the follow-through.
Solid roofs are part of the wider future for glazed extensions, they’re here for the long term and they are a product that we should all be doing.