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Which is better for a conservatory roof, glass or polycarbonate?


Many homeowners keen to add value to their properties and maximise their living space are investing in a conservatory. As well as being incredibly functional, conservatories are also visually pleasing, serving as a stunning addition to any home. If you’ve been considering investing in a conservatory for your property, or you're looking to improve your existing conservatory roof, you will need to decide whether yours should have a glass or a polycarbonate roof. Let’s look at the features of both and compare them to find the right solution for you.

Polycarbonate conservatory roofs

The main draw of polycarbonate conservatory roofs is their price. On average, a polycarbonate roof is 3-4 times cheaper than a glass roof. They are much more affordable than glass roofs but are notoriously known for letting heat escape and an older option.

Although they do not provide the same level of insulation as glass roofs, it is now possible to buy solar inserts for polycarbonate roofing, which allow homeowners to enjoy the luxury of a warm, cosy conservatory but without the expense. Polycarbonate conservatories aren’t quite as aesthetically pleasing as glass conservatories, but this is something you would have to sacrifice for low cost and functionality. 

One common issue to bear in mind with polycarbonate roofs is that they offer very little in terms of noise reduction. Heavy rain and strong winds can easily be heard when inside the conservatory, making it difficult for some people to relax and enjoy the space.

Glass conservatory roofs

Despite costing more to install, the superior thermal performance of glass roofs means that you can enjoy a warmer conservatory for less. Glass roofs are also the more durable of the two options, which means there’s less likelihood of you having to replace your roof as soon as you would if it were polycarbonate. This will save you more money in the long term.

Glass is naturally more energy efficient, helps retain heat and will keep you warmer during the winter months. This can help save you money on your energy bills by ensuring you have little need for heating appliances like electric heaters. Another major benefit of using glass for your conservatory roof is that it is less prone to scratches and is weather resistant, which will be important during the winter months when weather conditions can be harsh.

The clarity of glass roofs means that it is easier to spot any dirt or grime that has accumulated on them from below. However, self-cleaning varieties of glass roof are available. These have a special coating on them which breaks down organic dirt when it reacts with ultraviolet rays before it is washed away by rainfall.

Other types of conservatory roof to consider

It’s also worth noting that there are other types of conservatory roof to consider if you don’t feel that glass or polycarbonate will suit your desired needs and/or aesthetic. 

Solid conservatory roofs

Solid roofs are versatile and suit a vast range of homes with ease. With one of these systems above your conservatory, you're able to control your home's temperature and light. That way, you can style it to suit your needs, and you and your family can enjoy the comfort of the space throughout the year.

Tiled conservatory roofs 

Tiled conservatory roofs give you all the benefits of solid options, but with a huge bonus: their look. With a modern tiled roof, you'll get a traditional design combined with advanced performance. These tiles provide a period look to any home, suiting modern designs as well as older properties and cottages. Also, for a bespoke look, you can customise your new roof tile-by-tile, creating unique patterns with vibrant colours and finishes.

Find out more about the features and benefits of both solid and tiled conservatory roof options here.

So, which style of roof is best for your conservatory?

This will depend on your individual requirements. If you are on a budget, or you only plan to use your conservatory during certain times of the year, a polycarbonate roof may be the more favourable option for you. However, in terms of long term value, a glass roof could be the more suitable option. Not only does a glass roof allow you to enjoy a comfortable conservatory all year round, but opting for a self-cleaning variant means you can forget about the need to perform regular maintenance and cleaning too.

Find your ideal conservatory roof today

If you’re considering a new roof for your conservatory, or you’re planning a new conservatory extension, fill in your details in the form below and an installer will contact you with a free no-obligation quote.



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