Thermotec versus Warm Roof Pro
A lot of people who decide to have a conservatory roof conversion do a lot of research online before chosing the system that is right for them. There are a number of things to take into consideration and it is often best to find independent advice from governing bodies such as CERTASS who have a specific competent workers scheme that oversees the tiled conservatory roof market.
In this blog, we take a look at a comparison between the Thermotec conservatory roofing system and the Warm Roof PRO tiled conservatory roof system based around a blog thread on Money Saving Expert.
The thread that was posted is below:
I have a 17 year old victorian style conservatory with a polycarbonate roof, approx. 3.6M x 4.5M, 9 polycarbonate panels.
Usual problems of too cold in winter, too hot in summer. So I was looking at replacement roof options. I understand about needing planning permission, loading on the structure etc., so not so concerned about feedback on those areas
Whilst looking I came across the Thermotec option, enquired and had the 90 minute sales pitch from one of their resellers GreenSpace
The product theory sounds ok, very low U value, slight concern that they look ugly, but I guess they do the job. However the price seemed ridiculous to me. I was expecting £5 to £6K as they emphasise fitting is quick and easy, and no planning permission needed. I was told that list was around £12K, but with discount it could be £9.5K.
Does anyone have any feedback on this option?
I also need to replace some windows so I will be looking at £10.5 to £11K.
I am in a Southampton SO postcode so any thoughts on other options or local installers would be useful. Obviously I want to avoid the "overcladding" option. It is a new roof I want, but there seems to be a lot of variation in quality on these and the price range again is £10 to 12K.
I have looked at replacement conservatories with an Active Glass roof from Conservatoryonlineprices and for an existing base they are quoting up to £9K, or £5 to £6K for a new glass roof (but I anticipate there will be some strengthening needed so extra cost).
Does anyone have any thoughts on a glass roof option? Do they leave you with the same internal temperature issues as polycarbonate?
Is it just me or does it seem mad that a new conservatory is less than a new roof?
Reading this post, it seems that one of the biggest issues with the Tiled and Solid Conservatory Roof industry, is that consumers are being 'sold to' in the same old fashioned way that the window and door industry used to do way back in the 70's and '80's. A saleman arrives with his samples and spends hours trying to convince the customer to buy their specific product with a modicum of bamboozlement and skirting around the major issues.
The main points of issue that can be focussed on from this post are:
- The relevance of 'U' Values when considering converting your existing conservatory roof
- The relevance of Building Control or Planning Permission when considering converting your conservatory roof
- Will a particular roofing system completely solve the problems that are prevelant in an existing conservatory.
Lets start with 'U' values.
This is definitely one of the key points that the various manufacturers of branded solid and tiled conservatory roofs compare each other with. In essence, the smaller the number the better, as 'U' Values measure the heat transfer from one side to another of various materials and of a conservatory roof as a whole.
What is a U‐Value?
A U‐Value is a measurement of how effective a material is at insulation. In other words, thermal performance is measured by levels of heat loss and this is commonly referred to as a U‐Value. The lower the U‐Value, the less heat loss there is, so low U‐Values equal good thermal performance.
Typically, solid conservatory roof U‐Values are below 0.20 W/m2K, which means they have very good insulation and will retain the heat in winter and keep cool in summer. You can learn more about 'U' Values and how they effect tiled conservatory roofs in our recent blog : does-a-tiled-conservatory-roof-work
In the case of a Thermotec roof, the sales man claimed that the product had a very good 'U' Value, but in fact at 0.26 W/m2K it is the highest of any branded conservatory roofing system on the market, so provides the worst insualtion of any roofing system! A warm roof, such as the Warm Roof PRO boasts a far more attractive 0.15 W/m2K , providing dramatically superior levels of insulation.
The high 'U' Value of a Thermotec system means that it falls outside the requirements laid down by Building Control, meaning a Thermotec roofing system would never be approved by local authority building control.
Certass are very clear in their advice in regards to planning permission and building control: Planning Permission and Building Regulations for Conservatories
Most new‐build conservatories with either a solid, tiled or glazed roof will not need planning permission, because they are covered under what is known as a 'permitted development'. There are just some limits and conditions regarding placement and size, which you can find details of on the Government's Planning Portal.
Building Regulations will apply if you want to build an extension on your home, but not for a conservatory, if certain conditions are met. In order for your conservatory to be classed as a conservatory and not an extension, it will have to be separated from the main house with external quality walls and/or windows and doors that meet Building Regulation requirements. It will also need to have an independent heating system that has separate on/off and temperature controls to the main house's heating system.
It is strongly advised that you seek a building control certificate for any conservatory roof conversions such as a solid or tiled roof, as failure to do so may require retrospective applications if you were to decide to sell your home. A building inspector will ensure that any conversion of your existing conservatory roof to a solid or tiled conservatory roof meets current building regulations and that the existing structure is suitable for the extra weight that may be added to the waindows, doors and foundations.
If these measures are not in place, the conservatory is technically an extension and separate Building Regulations apply. Even when your conservatory is built in‐line with these conditions, the doors, windows and glazing and any electrical work will have to adhere to specific Building Regulations. You can find out more details for your solid conservatory roof project on the Planning Portal.
In terms of giving advice on alternative types of conservatory roof, it is vital that conservatory owners have a very clear idea of what problems they wish to solve and what they intend to use the room for after the roof upgrade.
Glass roofs are undoubtably better than poly carbonate conservatory roofs in terms of thermal insulation, but they definitely fall short of the insulation values achieved by tiled or solid conservatory roofs. In terms of problems that wont be solved, sun glare is at the top of the list. If a conservatory owner is thinking of having a TV screen or computer screen in their conservatory, a glass roof and the sun glare issue will definitely cause problems on sunny days. Conservatory owners with glass roofs still report extreme temperature fluctuations within their rooms, with Summer months being particularly troublesome, with the temperature in their conservatories being significantly higher than outside their rooms. In a lot of cases, totally unbearable.
In conclusion, upgrading a conservatory roof should be a project that is only done once, and a solution should be found that eliminates all the problems in one go and also a product that conforms or exceeds current building regulations.
The Warm Roof PRO supplied and installed by Elite Warm Roofs ticks all of the boxes for customers looking for a perfect solution to problems experienced with poly carbonate and glass conservatory roofs. It is JHAI approved and exceeds all of the building control requirements and is certificated by local authority building control inspectors.
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