The most well known flaw of many conservatories is that they become uncomfortably hot on warm summer days.
There is one other major flaw too though, one that seems more immediately relevant as we close in on winter. Conservatories are notoriously hard to heat in winter, homeowners keep the heating on near 24/7 to warm them up and even that might not be enough.
That leads to an obvious question, what can be done?
How can a conservatory be turned into a cosy space during the winter?
Here, we look at a few of the common options, or rather we would only we don't believe that a range of options exist.
We believe that there is only one option that will make a conservatory a great space in the winter, other options might improve things a little but they are a sticking plaster on a major problem.
Only changing the roof will have the full, desired effect, replacing the existing glass or polycarbonate roof with a lightweight, solid, tiled roof.
At this point, we would expect a degree of cynicism on any reader's part. We are Guardian Warm Roof, we make replacement conservatory roofs, you would expect us to promote replacement conservatory roofs.
To that, we would say it's a fair cop, it is in our interest to promote replacement conservatory roofs. However, we can also point out a few facts that back up our opinion.
The issues with glass and polycarbonate conservatory roofs have been known for decades and yet until 2010 these were the only roofs that were permissible for conservatories.
What was needed was a roof that was a viable, better alternative, after all there would be no point making a replacement roof permissible if it had no benefits; homeowners would simply spend more money for no reason.
We developed a lightweight, tiled replacement roof and then had it tested. Could the roof deliver on its aim to make the conservatory a room that was a great space all year round and also be a structure that could be easily fitted to any existing conservatory, simply replacing the old roof?
Our roofs were proven to deliver on their aims and so in 2010 regulations changed, from that point it has been possible for conservatories to have lightweight, solid, tiled roofs. In effect this means that any conservatory can become what is essentially an extension, just without the cost of an extension.
As well as being the roof that saw regulations changed, the Guardian Roofs also have full Local Area Building Control (LABC) approval. These are roofs with full regulatory backing, roofs proven to deliver on their key aims.
A replacement roof also makes your conservatory cosier by changing the look of the room, with the addition of a skylight to a solid roof, it remains a room that is bathed in light but also keeps the cold out.
So efficient is it at keeping the cold out, independent research by AECOM found that the homeowner would save an average of £200 per year on their energy bill if they switched conservatory roof to one of ours.
Longer term, the work often pays for itself and more – any would-be future buyer is getting a room that is a great extension rather than a flawed conservatory, making it a room they are willing to pay for.
But what of other options? Conservatory blinds are popular, could these be a cheaper way of getting the same effect?
We wrote a post on blinds recently. While there are benefits of blinds, they can be attractive and reduce glare, they are not effective at either keeping the temperature down in the summer or retaining heat in winter.
Given the blinds come with a four-figure price tag, some quotes coming in at around £7,000 or £8,000, the fact they don't do much to tackle a conservatories main problem is a big flaw.
Heaters are an option too, though the key issue remains - the heat loss via the roof is rapid. Whereas a fan heater or similar in a bedroom could heat it up and the room might then remain cosy for hours, a conservatory with glass or polycarb is quickly cold again as soon as the extra heating is turned off.
Heaters can tackle the lack of warmth, but it will be an expensive option.
About Guardian Warm Roofs:
We have spoken of the benefits of a Guardian Warm Roof, but we also appreciate that potentially paying to have your conservatory roof removed and replaced is a major decision.
On this site, there is a wealth of information.
Please have a look round and do get in touch with any queries, you can call us on 0800 0665832 or use our contact form available here.