Why do most conservatories have glass roofs?
It's a great question and one which has many people scratching their heads. Glass is a terrible material for a conservatory roof, so why do they use this substance?
Luckily, we have the answer as well as why it doesn't have to be that way. Nowadays you can get other types of conservatory roof and they are a whole lot better.
Conservatories have glass roofs because, until 2010, they had to have either glass or polycarbonate.
In some ways, the decision made sense. Regulators of course have a duty of care, so they had to ensure that the structure could support the roof, with conservatories often being relatively lightweight frames, this limited the roof options. A heavy tiled, slate roof would not have been practical.
Glass also has a lot of wonderful qualities. It is fairly cheap to produce, it can be made extremely tough and durable and it is also transparent of course - great foe letting the sunshine through.
However... It also has some less appealing qualities.
Chief among these is the fact that as well as letting the sun through, it lets the heat through, magnifying it and making the room unusable. In the winter, the opposite happens, no heat is retained and the conservatory is too cold to use.
There were always pros and cons with glass as a substance for a roof, the cons have always outweighed the pros but there's one other key factor. There wasn't a viable alternative.
Fine, the regulators might have said, moan about glass and polycarb all you want but what are we to do? There is no other option that would be more suitable.
The fact that so many conservatories had glass roofs perhaps also built a sort of safety in numbers type feeling.
Glass roofs must be alright, buyers would have thought, after all, they wouldn't sell so many conservatories if there was a problem. Then, when the temperature first goes beyond 20 degrees they realise there is a problem...
The only way conservatories were even going to stop being made of glass was if someone came up with a better alternative.
We did just that.
For years, we worked on the Guardian Warm Roof, a solid, lightweight tiled roof that can fit on to an existing conservatory, simply replacing the glass roof.
We had to show the roof was not only a safe replacement but also that it did what we built it for, namely to make conservatories usable all year round.
We worked with regulators and got full approval, in 2010 changes came in which allowed solid, tiled replacement roofs though effectively this meant our roof as the only one to have full Local Area Building Control approval,
There is a wealth of information about our roofs on this site, including a look at the range of styles and colours available. There is a roof to match every type of property.
And why are conservatory roofs mostly? It doesn't matter, they don't have to be!