Do you live in one of the four million houses in the UK that has a conservatory attached to it? I bet it’s a little bit chilly in there right now…
With the winter well and truly upon us, a conservatory can feel like wasted space in your home. Most of us shut the door to the conservatory between around November and March, aside from special occasions or particularly warm days.
And why not? The room is far more open to the elements than the rest of the house. Even the very best glazing provides only a fraction of the thermal insulation that solid walls and roofs do.
In fact, the average building’s windows account for roughly half of the building’s yearly heat loss. It’s clear that having an almost entirely glazed extension to your house isn’t great for your heating bills.
If, like me, you’re wondering if there’s a better way, a conservatory roof replacement could be the answer.
What Is a Conservatory Roof Replacement?
One of the defining features of a conservatory is the presence of a glazed roof. Most of the walls are either fully or partially glazed, too. As such, you are only protected from the elements by glass and polycarbonate.
A conservatory roof replacement is a relatively simple concept. The idea is to replace the glazed roof with something that is insulated.
By doing this, the room becomes useable again in the winter time and retains much of what you love about it in the summer.
Natural light will still flood in through the side windows but — crucially — this will be a truly year-round space for the family to enjoy.
Instead of having to pre-heat the conservatory before you step inside during the winter, it’ll feel as natural as walking from one room of your house to the next.
If the rest of your home is warm, the conservatory will be too.
Can I Extend the Life of My Conservatory Instead?
Another way of making your conservatory useable all year round is to fit the latest, highest-performing double or triple glazing, and reseal the joints between the glass and frames.
If you’re seeing a lot of condensation on your windows — whether in your conservatory or another part of your home — the imbalance in temperature between the conservatory and the rest of your home is taking its toll and it’s likely that this type of work will need to be done.
Learning more about your windows and home heat loss is really important when it comes to working out why your energy bills are so high every time winter comes around. Researching the average lifespan of your particular type of window is a good place to start, as you may be throwing money down the drain year after year.
If your conservatory windows are decades old, you won’t be getting any of the energy efficiency benefits that they had when they were first installed.
It’s easy to forget about the little things, as well. If you don’t keep the seals and joints around the glazing clean and free of debris, there’s a higher chance that the seals will wear out quicker and your conservatory will provide you less efficient insulation.
A regular cleaning and maintenance routine will improve the chances of your conservatory lasting longer in a good state, but this is never going to be as effective as replacing the roof with a solid, tiled and insulated alternative.
But What About the Aesthetic Appeal of My Conservatory?
Of course, the reasons for adding a conservatory to your home — or moving to a home with a conservatory that’s already been built — are usually to do with that wow factor that a fully glazed ceiling gives you.
This is especially true if you viewed the property in the summer. On a nice day, you’ll have likely been drawn to the conservatory straight away. It may have even felt a little too warm, but there’s no doubt that a conservatory in the summer is a joy to have.
A conservatory roof replacement won’t mean that you’ll no longer be able to enjoy this space in the summer, though, as roof windows will likely be installed as part of the upgrade and the remainder of the conservatory structure will still be in place.
You can even look at how to fit Velux windows yourself if you’re looking to save money on home improvement work like this. It can be a lot easier than you might think!
There’s always a balance to these things, and when it comes to having a conservatory, you have to weigh up the pros and cons.
Unless you’re resigned to it being of no use when the temperature outside starts to drop, installing a new insulated conservatory roof is the perfect way to save money on your heating bills. Say goodbye to having to crank the boiler up every time you want to sit in your conservatory!