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What do I need to consider when replacing or extending my existing conservatory?


Do you have a conservatory installed at your home? Is it beginning to look a bit tired and dated? Have you noticed that it becomes far too hot during the summer and way too cold in the winter? Perhaps you’ve got a conservatory with an old polycarbonate roof that could do with replacing? Maybe you’ve noticed interior condensation on the window panes or cold spots and draughty areas?

When your conservatory’s seen better days and it’s no longer providing you with the year round extended living area you need, it’s time to do something about it. 

Replacement conservatories – are they a good idea?

The first thing you need to decide, is whether you want to completely replace your existing conservatory. Dismantling your conservatory and replacing it with a new, modern, and high performing alternative is a good idea if your conservatory is more than 20 years old. In the last two decades, conservatory standards have increased dramatically. If you decide on a full-scale replacement, you’ll be amazed at how much better your new conservatory is in terms of thermal performance, appearance, and security standards.

As you already have a conservatory installed at your home, replacing it will be far easier than if you were building a new one from scratch. Your existing conservatory’s foundations should be easily capable of supporting the new structure so no groundwork should be needed. If you’re keeping to the same size and style of conservatory, then you won’t need to worry about planning permission. Most conservatories are considered permitted development anyway – but more on planning permission later. Once you’ve decided on the type of windows, entrance doors, and roof system, your replacement conservatory project should prove a hassle-free experience when you use a reputable installation company.

Conservatory roof replacement

If your existing conservatory is relatively new and you’re generally happy with the overall feel, performance, and usability, you probably don’t need to opt for a full-scale replacement. If it’s just the roof that is causing problems – perhaps it’s polycarbonate or ineffectively glazed – then a replacement roof could be the perfect answer.

There are three options when you want to replace your conservatory roof. These are:

  1. Fully glazed conservatory roof – Great for bringing in an abundance of natural light and can be fitted with solar control glazing to regulate the sun’s warmth.
  2. Lightweight tiled roof system – There are several lightweight tiled roof systems available. Tiles are usually made from either slate, concrete, or composite materials. Have a look at our conservatory roof page for more detailed information.
  3. Polycarbonate conservatory roof – Although polycarbonate roofs are often considered to be dated and inefficient, they are by far the most cost-effective option. Modern polycarbonate roofs are also far better than their predecessors so may be worth considering.

Conservatory roof replacements are extremely popular with UK homeowners. They can bring a new lease of life to an existing conservatory and are an excellent investment in your property.

Can I extend my existing conservatory?

If you want more living space in your home, extending your existing conservatory could be the perfect solution. As mentioned above, planning permission is not usually required when extending your home with a conservatory. There are, however, certain restrictions when it comes to extending your home.

If your existing conservatory is already on the large side, extending it further could easily require planning permission if it exceeds the following criteria. To be exempt from planning permission, a conservatory must not:

  • Exceed four metres in height and be of more than one storey
  • Extend out from the back wall of the original property by more than six metres (semi-detached properties) and eight metres (detached properties)
  • Cover more than 50% of the land around the property
  • Extend from the side of the property by more than half the original property’s width

For more detailed information on planning permission restrictions surrounding home extensions in the UK visit the Planning Portal.

Replacing or extending your existing conservatory are both great ways to get the most out of your home. When you’ve decided that this is the best home improvement plan for you, have a read of our next blog to find out all about the conservatory styles which are available.

Once you’re ready for a quote on your conservatory improvement plans, fill in your details in the form below and an installer will contact you with a free no-obligation quote. 



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