With spring upon us and energy costs showing no signs of falling significantly, homeowners across the South West may be considering upgrading their conservatory to make it more thermally efficient ahead of next winter.
In recent times, energy efficiency has become of overriding importance and the technology involved in making conservatories warmer has improved considerably. Once upon a time, conservatories were chilly places in winter – but not any more. As the demand for all-year-round use has increased, the conservatory has had to become a place where warmth is guaranteed.
Older glass and polycarbonate conservatory roofs are well-known for thermal inefficiency and if you’re considering a revamp, a tiled conservatory roof is an excellent option. They’re popular with UK homeowners because they have great thermal and acoustic insulation and look stylish into the bargain.
Unless you live in a listed building or a conservation area, the answer to the question of planning permission is ‘no’. Planning rules were changed in 2010 to allow conservatories to have a tiled roof, as long as the height of the existing roof isn’t altered.
If you DO live in a listed building or conservation area, the most sensible approach is to check with your local authority to see if conservatory planning permission is needed, before you make concrete plans or begin work.
Building Regulations set out standards for the design and construction of buildings to make sure they’re safe and comfortable to use. If you’re replacing more than 25 per cent of your roof’s overall area – which is highly likely if you’re planning a conservatory roof replacement – you will need to submit a building regulations application. In terms of safety, you’ll need to establish whether the conservatory structure is capable of supporting a solid roof, and whether its weight is likely to interfere with the safety of anyone using the structure.
Our range of tiles is exceptionally lightweight, which means they can provide your home with lower energy bills and improved soundproofing without putting any strain on the structure of the conservatory. That said, we will survey your existing conservatory before any work begins and will take care of any building regulations issues for you. We’re a family-run business, and it matters to us that you feel safe in your home. Whatever regulations are required to get your extension up and running, we’re here to guide you through every step.
Another consideration to bear in mind when you’re thinking about a new tiled roof is that from June 2022, the law on building conservatories changed. Now, any conservatory installed from that date needs to prove that it will not generate excessive ‘solar gain’ or ‘leak heat’. Solar gain refers to the increased temperature of the conservatory, while heat leak means exactly that – improved thermal efficiency to keep heat in.
Rest assured that we at Conservatory Makeovers are always several steps ahead of changing legislation. All of our new conservatories and our energy-efficient conservatory roof replacements meet these regulations to help keep your heating bills down in winter and prevent your living space from overheating during the summer months too.
Our conservatories come fitted to reduce “unwanted solar gain” as standard, achieving U-values as low as 1.5 W/m²K down to 1.2 W/m²K – far below existing British requirements. We achieve this through the use of efficient double glazing, multi-chambered uPVC frames that better trap heat, and firmly fitted roof types that let in natural sunshine without warming up the inside space.
For example, let’s take a look at our Ultra Warmroof. This is one of the strongest and most thermally efficient conservatory warm roof systems available today. It is A-rated for energy efficiency, can achieve U-values as low as 0.12 W/m²K and is guaranteed for 25 years for both replacement and new-build projects.
The Ultra Warmroof is compatible with all types of composite lightweight tiles and we work closely with each customer to provide a fully bespoke system to meet their exact specifications. Crucially, the Ultra Warmroof is compliant with Building Regulations and can support up to 0.8 tonnes per square metre.
If you’re keen to add glass panels to your new conservatory roof to make the most of natural light, there are several options available. Both skylights and fixed light windows can be installed, with either centre pivot or top opening hinges with a free opening handle. We can even install them with trickle vents – which allow air to trickle into your house at a steady flow so that you will not feel a draught – for background ventilation when required.
In short, issues around planning permission and building regulations need to be addressed before any building work is started. However, given that we’ve been in business for more than 30 years you can rely on us to provide top-quality advice and help, followed by the very best in thermally-efficient and attractive replacement roofs for all common conservatory types. For more information contact us or call us on 0333 1889 141. Or, for a free quote complete our online form and one of our expert installers will be in touch to discuss your options in more detail.