How To Insulate A Conservatory Roof

Insulate a conservatory roof

If you’re looking for a silver bullet that reduces energy costs, saves the planet, and helps you create a more comfortable home, insulation is a must. You can insulate several parts of your home, including your walls, floor, loft, and roof. But one part of the home that few people consider insulating – although it can be done – is your conservatory roof. 

If you’ve ever wondered whether conservatory roof insulation is a cost-effective option for your home, we’ve collated the ultimate guide to help you find out more.

Why Insulate A Conservatory Roof?

There are a few reasons why you might want to insulate a conservatory roof. Here are just a few of the main advantages of conservatory roof insulation. 

A more thermally efficient home

Insulation of any type is all about making your home more energy efficient. Not only does this save you money on your energy bills (the warmer your house stays, the less you spend heating it), but it’s also great for the environment. 

Most of us heat and cool our homes by using some form of energy that involves burning fossil fuels, so by reducing the amount of energy needed for temperature maintenance, we’ll reduce our carbon footprint. 

Improve your conservatory

Because a conservatory is a room surrounded by glass windows, it’s one of the biggest culprits of energy loss for your home. Not only is the glass freezing cold in the winter, but because of the impact of the sun on the glass, conservatories can be boiling hot in the summer. 

Even if your conservatory has a polycarbonate roof, as opposed to glass, polycarbonate roofs do degrade overtime, so the U-value of your roof can worsen over time.

Given that your conservatory plays such a big part in energy consumption, insulating it should be a no-brainer for those who are serious about conserving energy and making your conservatory warm and comfortable enough for use throughout the year.

Reduce sound 

If you’ve ever sat in a conservatory during a downpour, you’ll know just how noisy the pitter-patter of rainfall can be on a conservatory roof. One of the lesser-known advantages of conservatory insulation is that it can actually reduce the sound that comes in via your roof. 

You can wave goodbye to the sound of your neighbour’s children playing loudly in the garden during summer or the rain hammering on the glass during bad weather days. It all adds up to a much quieter room that you can use for whatever purpose you see fit.

Make the conservatory a regular room

If you’ve bought a property with a conservatory, the conservatory might have been viewed as a space that you can’t necessarily use year round. Installing a new roof on your conservatory, and replacing the glass conservatory roof, can make it feel more like regular extra living space, as the temperature can be better regulated so it can be used fully throughout the entire year.  

This is a better alternative to fully glazed or plastic or polycarbonate roofs that are less energy efficient and less effective at minimising noise.

What Are The Drawbacks Of Insulating A Conservatory Roof?

As with any type of insulation, conservatory insulation has its downside. Here are some of the disadvantages of this insulation option. 

Changes the look of your home

Insulating a conservatory roof isn’t as subtle as techniques like loft insulation. Plus, it’s a more exposed area of your house. If you opt to change the roof of your conservatory as a method of insulation, it changes the look of your home, which can be an issue if you’ve carefully chosen how your conservatory looks. 

If you’re worried about losing natural light as a result of your conservatory insulation, chat with your installer and see what they can do to retain as much light as possible. 

High costs

Insulating a conservatory is generally a more expensive option than insulating other parts of your home, such as your loft. It also doesn’t give as good returns in terms of energy savings as your walls, for example. That said, the cost can be worth it if you end up with a room that is more energy efficient and comfortable for use year round.

Why Are Conservatory Roofs So Thermally Inefficient?

Here comes the science part. When air particles are heated up, they tend to rise in a process that’s known as convection. During the winter, you’ll likely have your central heating, underfloor heating, or some form of electric heating system running to keep your house warm. 

Naturally this heat rises – but here’s the catch. Because conservatory roofs have thin windows as the roof and walls instead of traditional walls and windows, the warm air passes straight through the roof and leaves the conservatory. 

By installing insulation, such as insulated roof panels, you create a barrier that keeps the warm air within the space for longer, helping it to retain heat in the cooler months. 

During summer, conservatories suffer from the opposite problem. The conservatory undergoes a sort of ‘greenhouse effect’, in which sunlight comes through the glass roof and heats up the room exponentially. 

By adding insulation to your roof, you can prevent as much sunlight as previously from entering, reduce sun glare, and stop the room from building up excess heat.

How Do I Insulate A Conservatory Roof?

There are two ways to insulate a conservatory roof. You can either replace or cover the existing roof with a conventional roof made from tile or slate or install an internal insulation system made from a thin insulation material. Naturally, replacing the roof will have better results than installing internal insulation, but it does cost more at the outset.

If you choose to replace or cover the roof though, while you’ll spend more, you’ll save more in heating bills. Consider how much it will cost and weigh this up against the savings you’d make in the long run. 

If you choose to replace your conservatory roof, you’ll likely use slates or tiles and create a roof that replicates those seen on the rest of your house as closely as possible, with the same level and type of insulation. 

Since insulating a conservatory roof is on the rise, there are more companies currently on the market able to install this type of insulation than ever before. 

The alternative, lightweight internal roof insulation, alters the look of the conservatory less but has a worse U-value than a roof replacement. You might also find it slightly harder to find an installer in your area to put the insulation in. 

How Long Does Conservatory Roof Insulation Installation Take?

You can expect the process to take 1-2 days, depending on how large the conservatory roof is. Expect your conservatory to be potentially out of bounds during this time. 

If you’re concerned about mess, have a chat with your installer. They should clean up any installation residue after themselves once they’ve finished with your insulation. 

How Much Does Conservatory Roof Insulation Cost?

There are two ways of insulating a conservatory roof, so the cost will depend on which technique you opt for. 

If you choose internal insulation only – in which battens and insulation are fixed to the underside of the conservatory roof – you can expect to pay somewhere between £2,000 and £4,500.

If you decide to get a new roof that’s packed with modern insulating materials, you’ll likely pay somewhere between £5,000 and £8,000.   

The total cost, of course, will depend on a few other factors, too. Whereabouts you live in the country can affect how much you pay, as well as the size and pitch of the roof. If your conservatory is especially large, you can expect to pay at the higher end of the scale.

Getting an insulation quote with us could also help save money. All you need to do is enter your postcode in the box to the side and click ‘Get Quote’. We’ll take care of the rest. 

Do I Need Planning Permission For A New Conservatory Roof?

In general, solid replacement roofs do need approval from the council, but they shouldn’t need planning permission. Obviously, this may vary if you live in a Grade II listed property in a conservation area. 

Other things to consider before going ahead with the insulation include whether the existing conservatory can take the weight of the new roof, whether it comes complete with all the necessary Building Regulations sign-off, and whether your installer offers guarantees or warranties. 

Can I Insulate My Conservatory Walls?

In a conservatory, the walls are actually windows, so you shouldn’t attempt to insulate them as you won’t have the same results as wall insulation would give. If you want to warm up your windows, consider thermally insulated blinds or curtains. 

There is the option to remove and replace your conservatory floor with an insulated alternative, but this is costly and disruptive. Applying rugs on the hard surface is probably the best option if you’re worried about having cold floors. 

Are There Any Other Options For Stopping Heat Loss Through My Conservatory Roof?

There are a few other techniques you can use to make your conservatory more thermally efficient, but none of them have results as effective as insulation. Here are a couple of the most effective methods. 

  • Upgrade your roof. In some conservatories, you’re able to expand the glazing bars and install a thicker layer of polycarbonate. Doing so offers better insulation in cold weather. You can also add a thin layer of polycarbonate under the existing structure. 
  • Install solar control film. Solar control films are thin sheets of film that can be applied to the windows of a conservatory. The film absorbs heat, so it retains heat better from the conservatory. The main drawback of using solar control film is that the film tends to start peeling within a few years.

Can I Install Conservatory Roof Insulation As A DIY Project? 

If you’re replacing your entire roof with an insulated roof that matches the rest of your home then, no, you won’t be able to do it yourself (unless, of course, you’re a qualified builder!).

If you’re installing insulation under the roof, there’s a possibility this could be done as a DIY project, and it is possible to pick up a DIY conservatory insulation kit or buy insulated roof panels, but to ensure that it is done correctly, the job is best left to installers with experience of this type of insulation. 

Professionals not only have access to better materials and safety equipment, but they’re also much less likely to make mistakes. If you make mistakes installing your conservatory insulation, it could cost you big money further down the line, negating the money you would have saved by installing it yourself. 

Is Insulating My Conservatory Roof Worth It?

Before going ahead with conservatory insulation, it’s worth noting that it will change the look and style of your conservatory. If you bought a home with a conservatory to achieve that ‘indoor outdoor’ living style, insulation might change the feel of your conservatory to make it more like a regular room in your house. 

If your conservatory always feels slightly too hot or slightly too cold, you’ll benefit from a conservatory conversion that gives the room a comfortable temperature at all times. 

Insulating your conservatory isn’t the priciest type of insulation on the market (unlike external wall insulation, for example), but it doesn’t offer as much thermal efficiency as other forms of insulation. 

In short, whether you choose to insulate your conservatory or not depends, in part, on how much you’re willing to change the look of your conservatory, and how happy you are with it at the moment. Another option might be to replace your conservatory with an extension, but this would inevitably prove more expensive. 

Accept that whatever type of insulation you install, the sheer abundance of glass in the conservatory will always make it slightly less thermally efficient than the rest of your home. This lack of efficiency, however, is one of the biggest reasons why it’s worth considering insulating it in the first place. 

Insulating your conservatory not only makes it more energy efficient but can also make it a more pleasant space to spend time in – both in summer and in winter. 

How To Find A Conservatory Roof Insulation Installer Near You

Searching online for an installer is usually the easiest way to find somebody locally that provides insulation or replacement conservatory roofs for your area. You can use our insulation contractor finder and get a quote from conservatory insulation companies near you.

As always, though, it’s always a good idea to do your research to get an idea about the likely costs. Looking into reviews and testimonials can also help. Many installers have a profile on sites like Google or Yelp where you can see how highly other customers have rated them. Don’t be afraid to ask for qualifications or a portfolio of previous work, either, as well as information on their insurance policy or any guarantees or warranties. 

You’re making a big decision for your home, and it’s helpful to have all the information you need at your disposal before making it. Trust Insulation Advisor to help you find the right conservatory roof insulation installers for you and get your competitive quote today.

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