Up until 2010, homeowners could only have a glass conservatory roof or polycarbonate roof for their conservatories. Nowadays, there is a broader choice of roof options. However, glass roof conservatories still remain one of the most popular choices in the UK.

If your conservatory roof looks a little worse for wear and you want to change it, you might be putting some serious thought into getting a new glass roof. But, what are the advantages and disadvantages of doing so? Take a look at the top pros and cons of glass roofs so that you can make the right choice for yourself when it comes to your conservatory roof.

Different Conservatory Roof Options

There are many different options to consider for your new conservatory roof or replacement roof.

Here are the main 4:

  1. Glass roofs
  2. Polycarbonate roofs
  3. Tiled roofs
  4. Hybrid roofs

But as Britons, we’ve become accustomed to making the most out of what little good weather we receive and inevitably favour roofing systems that give us the most out of our garden views and offer maximum light and warmth all year round. Glass roof conservatories do just this and is the reason why the classic conservatory remains so popular.

Glass roofs fit perfectly in with modern British design and architecture, offering protection from bad weather conditions while still allowing you to enjoy your garden all year round. When it comes to transparency there are only 2 real options to consider: glass or polycarbonate roofs. But what about the benefits and drawbacks of these two popular materials?

Glass or Polycarbonate?

Whether you’re planning a new conservatory as a beautiful, light-filled extension to your home or thinking of upgrading your existing conservatory with a new thermally efficient roof, the first decision you will be making is the choice of material.

Some people might suggest that you consider polycarbonate conservatory roofs instead, as it’ll work out cheaper. But, such a choice can mean you won’t enjoy all the benefits of a glass roof. Still, you must bear in mind that this is an investment in your home.

Polycarbonate Conservatory Roofs

Although a polycarbonate conservatory roof doesn’t transmit as much light or warmth they do offer a cheaper alternative to a glass roof, so can keep the initial expense down. However, the lack of durability can lead the homeowner to have to pay out again for a replacement sooner than would otherwise be the case of a glass roof conservatory.

Disadvantages of Polycarbonate Roofs

  • Heat regulation – heat build-up in polycarbonate roof conservatories is pretty well documented. Left unshaded a hot summers day can quickly turn your relaxing happy place into an unbearable sweatbox, rendering it unusable. So you should definitely consider some window blinds to help regulate the heat.
  • Unattractive – this is obviously subjective and possibly an unfair common criticism, especially with new technologies coming out all the time to improve the reputation, performance and aesthetics of polycarbonate roofs. However, traditionally polycarbonate roofs tend to look exactly like what they are, a cheaper plastic alternative. We all know you get what you pay for, so if the aesthetics aren’t quite up to your liking you’re going to have to consider paying a little more for that quality glass finish.
  • Noisy – there’s no getting away from it. When it rains and the drops hit your polycarbonate roof, it can create can lot of noise. Now some may enjoy the relaxing sound of the pitter-patter of raindrops in the evening but as long as you know, depending on how heavy the rain is, it can create quite a racket.

Glass Conservatory Roofs

Glass Roofs offer many benefits that can be appealing for homeowners including noise reduction and lower maintenance costs but like anything can also have some drawbacks such as higher initial installation costs and susceptibility to breakage if not installed properly by a professional contractor.

It is important for homeowners who want a glass roof conservatory option to understand the advantages and disadvantages so they can make an informed decision about which type will be the best solution for them.

The biggest appeal towards glass is that it’s a natural material that offers total visibility with greater transparency and light transmission to really open up a typically smaller space of the home. It is also often considered more aesthetically pleasing than a cheaper alternative polycarbonate.

Glass roofs are not only aesthetically pleasing but also effective at keeping our homes warm and cosy too while being suitable for most types of properties. Glass roof conservatories have a unique look and feel, unlike conventional roofs, making them a versatile option for traditional or modern homes that fits in with your existing home décor style.

Glass roofs reduce noise from the rain hitting against the glass which makes them a particularly attractive option in built-up areas where noise levels are high from passing traffic on roads near your home. Glass roof conservatories can also be tailored for warmer climates as they can be glazed to provide insulation against high temperatures during the summer months and allow your house to stay warm and cosy when it’s miserable outside, which means you can enjoy your new home space without having to spend money on expensive electrical bills.

Advantages

There are many benefits that make a glass conservatory roof a highly desirable choice.

Here are 3 of the main reasons you’d consider a glass roof:

PROSCONS
Noise Reduction  Temperature Extremes  
Energy Efficient  Public Perception  
Self-Cleaning  Cost

Pro: Noise Reduction

Perhaps one of the most significant benefits of having a glass roof on your conservatory is that it makes it quiet. Compared to polycarbonate, the sound insulation properties of glass roofing are much better. Glass conservatory roofs, therefore, keep the noise from outside to a minimum.

One point you need to bear in mind is that, as we know, it often rains in Britain. When it does rain, you probably won’t want to hear the raindrops on your conservatory roof sounding like marbles getting thrown onto a sheet of metal. Glass conservatory roofs offer the reassurance that when it starts raining, your conservatory will be just as silent as you want it to be.

That’s because you can enjoy up to 50% noise reduction compared with some other roofing alternatives so although it’s still very difficult to completely block out the sound of rain, it’s certainly lessened.

Glass roofs are great for homeowners seeking to enjoy the benefits of a conservatory without unwanted noise. Meaning that you can relax in your new space and enjoy a civilised conversation without having to talk over the noise of your surroundings, even when it rains!

Pro: Energy Efficient

Glass roofing lets in more light than other materials such as polycarbonate. It’s not just the amount of light you have access to but the quality of it. Glass conservatory roofs are superior to any other roofing material when it comes to the clarity and richness of the light within your new glass conservatory.

Another advantage of having a glass roof conservatory is that you’ll enjoy the benefits associated with energy-efficient double or triple glazing. Glass roofs on conservatories offer insulating properties, resulting in lower energy bills during the colder months of the year.

When you get a new glass roof for your conservatory, the glass can also help to reflect the sun’s rays during the warmer months. That’s great news for keeping your conservatory cool during the middle of a heatwave, for example!

Savvy homeowners will also benefit from using the “greenhouse effect” to their advantage. You can enjoy the heat during the summer months and also manage the heat with the use of blinds, shading or tinting if it gets too tropical for your liking, and utilising it during the winter by letting the sun warm your room during the day and leave it cosy for you at night. This of course saves on heating bills as well, and who doesn’t like to save money on bills?

Pro: Self-Cleaning

Last but not least, did you know that you can have a new glass roof for your conservatory that contains self-cleaning properties? Surely that sounds too good to be true?

But it’s a thing! Certain glass brands offer products that contain a dual-action, microscopic coating.

The way they are dual-action is simple:

  • Firstly, the coating reacts with sunlight to break down organic dirt, and…
  • Secondly, rainwater that hits the glass spreads evenly and runs off, taking that broken-down organic matter with it.

Pretty clever, huh?

Now, not all roofs are going to be able to contain this extra coating. Glass conservatories that are pitched in a certain way can already achieve the effect of taking advantage of rainwater run-off. So, many companies build these with staggered slopes in mind, therefore giving them the flexibility to run water off to one side.

However, others should definitely consider glass roof panels that contain the above-mentioned material in them. Glass roofs with this special coating all operate on the same principle, meaning they can all benefit from taking advantage of this technology for self-cleaning glass conservatory roofs.

Disadvantages

Every roof type will have its own set of disadvantages and glass roofs are no different. Here are a few things to consider when deciding if a glass roof conservatory is the best to suit your needs.

Con: Temperature Extremes

Have you ever walked into a glass greenhouse during the summer months? If so, you’ll probably remember that it felt like a sauna inside. Similarly, that same greenhouse can become colder inside than outside during the winter.

A similar disadvantage applies to a glass roof conservatory.

Glass roofs are effective at keeping heat inside during colder months but can lead to overheating during warmer months unless the glazing is tinted or you have a shading solution or blinds. However, the problem can get rectified with a few simple additions or changes.

As already mentioned, you can install blinds on your glass roof to keep your conservatory cooler during the summer months and let the sun’s less potent winter rays warm the room during the colder months. If it is still a bit nippy you can install a central heating radiator to make for a more comfortable living environment along with the rest of your home during the winter.

Con: Public Perception

A glass-roofed conservatory can be a great addition to your home, and its design and worth it adds to a house are subjective, so it might not be the best choice if you want to sell. Potential buyers might see this as an eyesore and be put off because of a conservatory’s poor reputation and a lack of understanding of the product.

So if you’re looking to sell in the next few years you might want to consider your options, especially if you’re hoping to recoup your investment.

Con: Cost

There are many advantages associated with glass roof conservatories. However, one fact that lets the concept down in some ways is the price. That’s because the cost is inherently more expensive than alternative roofing options.

Some people might suggest that you consider a polycarbonate roof instead, for instance, as it’ll work out cheaper. But, such a choice can mean you won’t enjoy all the benefits of a glass roof. Still, you must bear in mind that this is an investment in your home and glass roofing can last decades rather than just a few years before needing replacement.

The downside of glass roof conservatories is that they can’t come cheap relative to perhaps a polycarbonate alternative. Glass roofs are built with strict specifications and made from superior materials, so this is rightly reflected in the price tag.

Is a Glass Roof Conservatory Your Preferred Choice?

Glass roof conservatories offer a unique and aesthetically pleasing way to enjoy your home during the summer months, but they aren’t for everyone. There are so many benefits to glass roof conservatories, which is why they are still so popular and well worth considering depending on what you need from your home space.

As the majority of conservatories in the UK have glass roofs it comes as no surprise that there are many, many builders and installers capable of providing you with this type of conservatory and roof. You will have no problem finding a long list of local and national businesses that can supply you with countless quotes for comparison. 

But who has the time to call around and compare quotes? Smart Home Improvement People will find you the best quote for your new glass conservatory or replacement glass conservatory roofs.

To find out more contact us today