With any product there are pros and cons, and modern warm roofs, better known as solid roofs with lightweight tiles, are no exception. Whereas double glazed conservatories are deemed temporary structures, so in the vast majority of cases don’t need planning permission or Building Regulatory Approval, solid roof structures are deemed by planners and local authorities to be permanent structures, so always require Building Regulations Approval and in addition need planning in most cases.
For example if you have a double glazed conservatory but are considering changing the roof from glass to a solid insulation ceiling with built in lighting and insulation, you are required by law to apply for “Change of Use” planning permission if your conservatory was built under planning permission. Sadly a new application is needed prior to carrying out the work to avoid the possibilities of having a planning enforcement notice served on you requiring you to replace the new solid roof with the original double glazing.
Nowadays there are specially coated and high performance double glazed sealed units that can keep the heat down in Summer and keep the cold out in Winter, but nothing can compete with a highly insulated, plaster-boarded aluminium and timber solid roof with lightweight plastic tiles. Apart from the red tape, greater cost and less light compared to glass roof conservatories, warm solid roofs are terrific if your priority is keeping as warm as possible in the Winter and you are not bothered about the loss of daylight.
Solid roof conservatories are available in with either double glazed aluminium or UPVC windows and doors, and with or without double glazing the roof structure itself. Warm roofs can have Velux windows or large fixed double glazed sections, it is all a question of design and choice, dependant on what you intend to use the new living space for.
When having a solid roof orangery or conservatory built from scratch you don’t have to worry about whether your existing base, walls, windows and doors are compatible with the new warm roof. However, it is not really sensible adding a solid roof to an existing structure unless a) the existing base is properly insulated, b) the existing windows and doors are thermally broken, c) any existing walls have insulated cavities and d) the existing windows and doors are structurally sound enough the take the added weight of a solid roof conservatory.
Frankly, there is no point in spending the considerable amount needed to have a modern well designed and built solid roof if any other part of the existing structure is not going to be up to the same standard thermally, as all that will happen is that the cold will find it way in via the least point of resistance. At Hazlemere Windows we believe it is the right thing to do to inform potential new warm roof clients who want to put a new solid roof onto a non-insulated base and onto non-thermally broken existing windows and doors, that the very thing they are looking to achieve by adding a warm roof, will not be done so if their existing base, walls, windows and doors are not compatible.
UK double glazing companies can be quick to blow their own trumpet, so it is wise to be careful in an industry that has a…
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