Energy Efficient DIY Conservatories

Adding a self build conservatory to your home is considered to be the most cost effective route to extending your permanent living space. Not only are conservatories cheaper to construct than a brick built home extension they often don’t require planning permission and can be built in days rather than weeks SK Windows.

However if you require your new living space to be usable all year round it is very important that you carefully check the specification of the conservatory you are about to purchase to ensure that it will provide additional space that can actually be used throughout the year.

There are many suppliers of self build conservatories including some leading DIY stores but unfortunately many of them still supply conservatories that are manufactured with little or no thought to energy efficiency. The basic specifications of these cheap conservatories are designed to keep the cost down so their products appeal to consumers buying on price alone.

However many of these cheap conservatories will actually prove to be uninhabitable in the winter because they will be too expensive to heat due to high levels of heat loss through the roof and side frame glazing. In the summer the internal living space can become so hot that they just cannot be tolerated with temperatures often exceeding 40 degrees centigrade in a south facing conservatory.

As most conservatories are still exempt from compliance with current building regulations there is no statutory requirement to ensure that they meet acceptable levels of thermal efficiency unlike most other home improvements. It is therefore important to be aware that if you want to make full use of your new conservatory throughout the year consideration must be given to the thermal performance of the new living space.

The two most important factors that will determine the thermal efficiency of your new room will be the type of roof glazing and also the type of glazing fitted to the windows and door that make up the side frames of the conservatory.


Polycarbonate roof glazing used to be the major choice for conservatory roofs and although it is still popular due mainly to it’s lower cost there has been a huge growth in the number of conservatories featuring glass roofs, particularly solar control glazing.

If you do intend to select a polycarbonate roof for your new conservatory ensure you specify 35mm thickness which currently offers the best performance levels of performance available. There are many suppliers who will still provide a 25mm thick polycarbonate roof because it is the cheapest option but the thermal and noise insulation values of the 35mm range are far superior for the small cost increase that is usually required.

A glass roof will increase thermal and noise insulation properties considerably whilst also allowing natural light to flood into your new living space. Most conservatory roof glass options are now available with self clean coatings that use rain water and daylight to help keep the glass clean which is especially useful for unreachable areas of the roof.

Solar control glass roofs are particularly important for conservatories that are likely to be exposed to direct sunlight as they are designed to reflect solar heat and help to maintain a comfortable climate inside the conservatory whilst also blocking UV rays that can damage flooring and furnishings. There are numerous solar control glass roof options available, some will have a pronounced tint and others virtually no tint so there is ample choice for whatever your specific requirements.

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