"Glass vs Plastic Conservatory Roof - Which One is Better?"

A conservatory can be a real luxury addition to a home. Not only do conservatories create more space, they are often flooded with light and feel in touch with the outdoors, whatever the weather.



When designing a new conservatory, it is important that conservatory roof options are included in the process of deciding on the style and structure of your home’s new addition.

If your existing roof is in a poor state of repair, or is many years old, then a replacement polycarbonate conservatory roof could be the answer, giving your conservatory a refreshing new feel. A replacement roof could also be full glass, or even partially glazed with some solid parts.

Polycarbonate technology has advanced since it was first used for conservatory roofs meaning that in some areas, such as its insulating qualities, it now compares much more favourably with glass. Glass still has the edge but a plastic roof may have enough advantages to swing your decision.

Some of the original advantages of plastic still hold true, such as the relative cost. Glass, on the other hand, is still less prone to ugly scratching.

The major differences between glass and polycarbonate roofs are :-
  • COST - Polycarbonate sheeting as a roofing material will almost always be cheaper, those on a tight budget will likely choose it on this basis. For those with more to spend, the saving could be used to install higher specification fittings on the conservatory.
  • DURABILITY - Polycarbonate will certainly scratch, any abrasive materials coming into contact could affect the clear appearance of the roof. Scratches will tend to be prone to harbouring dirt too, again spoiling the appearance. For this reason, glass is likely to retain its crisp transparency for much longer.
  • FRAGILITY - Glass is definitely the more fragile material, toughened glass is susceptible to breakage from a well aimed stone and will certainly shatter. A laminated safety glass will return its shape when shattering but will not be as strong as polycarbonate. The plastic option has a structure which is highly unlikely to be compromised by impact.
  • INSULATION - The more naturally insulating material is glass. Your conservatory will be far more likely to suffer from fluctuations in temperature with a polycarbonate roof as opposed to choosing glass. Advancements in the types of coating available for both materials means that a new conservatory roof could be surprisingly efficient.
  • INSTALLATION - The structural considerations are especially crucial if glass is your preferred option. A newly built conservatory will be constructed with the glass roof allowed for. If you are looking to replace a roof with glass you should confirm that the existing structure will support the weight of a glass roof. A glass roof will be unable to absorb any movement of the conservatory’s framework as well as polycarbonate.

Here at Orangeries UK we offer an array of conservatory styles and designs, and we are sure to find the perfect fit for your home.

To discuss your conservatory needs, or if you are looking for a replacement conservatory roof, get in touch and speak to one of our team about the options available to you.