There are a lot of adverts around for solid conservatory roofs, but you might not be sure if this is the right option for your home. If you do choose this type of roof, KJM Group advises you need to consider who you can get to install it for you as well. These are some of the considerations that you need to know about, but there are many others when it comes to choosing the right installer.
Is it a New Build or a Refurbishment?
A solid conservatory roof is lightweight because of the engineering and designing that have gone into them. This means that you can use these roofs for both new build conservatories and when you refurbish your existing conservatory. This refurbishment is often called a retrofit and it is something that a lot of people who already have conservatories are looking at. This is due to the transformation that it provides which turns your conservatory into a part of your home that can be used all year without any worries.
If you are building a new conservatory with a solid roof, you need a contractor who is able to do everything. This will include the building of the base and walls of the conservatory to fitting the frames before installing the solid roof.
Planning Permission and the Building Regulations
You generally do not need planning permission for conservatories that have solid, glazed or tiled roofs. This is due to them being part of the permitted development of your property. However, there are cases where there are limitations and conditions that need to be met regarding size and placement. To determine these conditions, you will need to visit the Planning Portal run by the government.
If you want to build an extension on your home, building regulations will apply, but this does not include conservatories. Of course, certain conditions will need to be met before this is the case. For your conservatory to not be classed as an extension, it will need to be separate from the main house with external walls, doors and windows that meet building regulations. It will also need to have an independent heating system that is controlled independently from the main house.
If you cannot meet these conditions, the conservatory will be classed as an extension and different building regulations will apply. Even when you meet these conditions, building regulations will need to be followed for the doors and windows.
Is the Workmanship Certified?
It can come as a shock to realise that not all work done by builders, contractors and installers is certified. The company will have to register with an UKAS accredited and government approved certification scheme for this to be the case. This is where the issue with cowboy builders will generally come into play. This is why you need to check that the installer is a member of a certification scheme before you agree to hire them.
Insulation and Energy Efficiency
One of the most important questions to ask a potential installer will regard the insulation and energy efficiency of the conservatory. This is particularly important if you are refurbishing your existing conservatory. In these situations, you want to ensure that the refurbished one is more energy-efficient than the current one.
The problem is that there is no thermal rating system in place for conservatory roofs. However, the installer will generally talk about a U-Value instead. This is a measurement that looks at the insulation effectiveness of a material. The thermal performance in these situations will be measured by the levels of heat loss.
A low U-Value means that there is less heat loss. This is what you will want to look for in the roof because it is a sign of good thermal performance.
Can a New Roof Be Installed on Old Frames?
It is possible for a new solid roof to be installed on the old frames. However, the installer will need to conduct a survey to determine if the frames are suitable for this. A solid roof should only be installed after this survey has shown that it is possible.
Do You Need New Doors and Windows?
The installation of a new solid roof will generally improve the energy efficiency of your conservatory. However, if the frames, windows and doors are all old, you will not get the full benefits and should consider replacing them as well.