How much does a replacement polycarbonate conservatory roof cost?

Share this guide

If you are in the market for a replacement polycarbonate roof, the good news is that the cost is reasonable and of all the material options available, polycarbonate works out cheaper. If you are in the processing of buying a new house, this article should give you some information on what to expect if you should need to replace a conservatory roof on your perspective new property. If you have been wise and taken out home buyers protection insurance, the policy should help you redeem out-of-pocket costs. These cost can be substantial when you add in legal and survey fees.

By choosing polycarbonate as the material for your replacement conservatory roof, your choice is one of low costs that is also lightweight, strong and shatter-proof. It is easy to install and because of it is lighter than glass it will not add any stress to the overhead framing of your conservatory.

What is polycarbonate?

Polycarbonate is a long chained thermoplastic polymer that has been used since it was first made back in 1953. It has been tested to be 250 times stronger than glass and will remain translucent for up to 20 years. This is the same material bulletproof windows are made from, which makes it ideal as a roofing material. It can withstand impact from hail and anything else a storm might throw at it without damaging it.

Working with polycarbonate is easier than glass since it can be drilled, so screws can be used to hold it in place or epoxy can be used to secure it to the frame. It can also be cut easier than glass.

What advantages are there for using polycarbonate for your conservatory roof?

The big advantage is the low replacement polycarbonate conservatory roof cost when compared to other materials.

  • The cost of using polycarbonate is near 3/4th that of thermal glass when used as a roofing material.
  • It weighs less than half as much as its glass counterpart.
  • It is easy to clean by spraying soap and water on it. Dirt does not adhere to the surface.
  • This material is translucent not crystal clear. Being translucent means 90% of the sun’s rays penetrate the material with 10% reflected away. This filtered effect also deflects 10% of the heat which is desirable on hot summer days.
  • Reflects 100% of harmful UV rays from the sun.
  • Reflects light inside the conservatory from artificial sources.
  • Retains heat better than glass which can be appreciated in the cold winter months.

What disadvantages are there for using polycarbonate for your conservatory roof?

One of the big disadvantages is that it can be noisy, so while the low replacement polycarbonate conservatory roof cost may be tempting, take into consideration noise plus the following.

  • Polycarbonate is not scratch resistant and can be damaged in its appearance by falling tree limbs, rocks and other debris that lands on it.
  • It transmits noise better than glass because of the chemical structure of the polymer. This is especially noticed during downpours.
  • Retains heat better than glass which could make the conservatory hotter than desired on warm summer days.
  • Since it is translucent and not clear, the stars at night will be obscured.
  • Because it absorbs the UV rays of the sun, damage to the molecular structure of the polycarbonate occurs that will cause the material to yellow over time.

Do I need any special planning permission for a polycarbonate conservatory roof?

Whilst it is very unlikely that you will need planning permission to upgrade an existing roof to polycarbonate. These type of upgrades are classified as “Permitted Development or PD". With that said, it is also best to double-check with your local planning authority, particularly if you are in an area of natural beauty or a conservation area, 

How long does a polycarbonate roof last?

With continuing advances in technology, a polycarbonate roof can last a very long time. It does vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, but some will give a lifetime guarantee, whiles others will give 20 years or longer.

How difficult is it to install a polycarbonate roof on a conservatory?

The type of roof design on a conservatory determines how difficult it will be to replace the roofing panels. The easiest to do is the Lean-too roof, since all the panels will be rectangular and might not require any trimming of the panels. The Gabled roof is the second easiest, since most of the panels will also be rectangular. The only trimming will occur for the end side of the roof.

With the Victorian design, the panels will have some rectangular panels, but there will also be triangular shaped panels that need to be cut.

In the Edwardian design there are rectangular panels and those shaped like a trapezoid with an angle cut at the top.

The more the panels have to be trimmed or cut to fit into place will increase the difficulty in replacing a conservatory roof. It will also require more time and increase the cost of labour.

Will the roofing frame need to be replaced?

When replacing the conservatory roof panels, the frame that holds the panels in place should also be looked at and inspected. Depending on what the frame is made out of will determine what should be looked for during the inspection.

A timber framed roof has to be inspected for rotten portions of the wood. They should also be painted or coated before the new panels are installed. These are the most expensive and heaviest, but many homeowners think they look the best.

Aluminium is strong and does not rust. It can also be bent when taking off the old panels. These can be the thinnest framing material, which will provide a more modern look. They can be painted, but it is not a requirement. This type of frame has to be ordered and made by professionals, and it could be pricey.

The use of uPVC is the lowest in cost type of conservatory framing material available today. It is lightweight and durable to withstand the environmental condition in the UK. This material can be painted to fit the desires of the homeowner. It can also be cut using a simple hacksaw blade. Over time, the polyvinyl will become hard and can crack.

Unless you plan on doing the installation and inspection process yourself, a trained and qualified team of installers should be hired. When talking to a contractor, ask if they are FENSA or CERTASS certified. You should also get 3 or more quotes before deciding on a contractor. A good contractor will go to your home and look at your existing conservatory before they give you a bid. If the contractor just gives you a quote over the phone without seeing the conservatory, be ready for additional costs once the project has begun. Taking the lowest bid might save you money, but in most instances, it is not recommended.

By replacing the old roofing panels on your conservatory, it will not only look better, but the new panels will increase the value of your home. If you have any leaks or other problems with the framing, it can also be addressed at this time to help make sure the roof is structurally sound.

By using polycarbonate panels, the costs of the material and labour to install them will be lower than the thermal glass panels many already have. They are also shatter-proof so if a tree limb falls on it during a storm, the polycarbonate will get scratched, but that is better than having a room filled with broken glass and the interior of the conservatory being waterlogged.

Including Multiple Projects will reduce Overall Disruption

When you take on any big house improvement project, it is a good time to also consider including other projects such as a full house rewire at the same time. If this is a new purchase or a buy to let purchase, find out how much stamp duty that you may have to pay under the latest budget changes.   

Scroll to Top