Conservatories are often a flawed space and so the home owner can feel like they have only two options.
- They could add conservatory blinds and hope this makes the room more habitable
- They could have the roof replaced, changing the glass or polycarbonate roof for a lightweight solid, tiled roof
Actually – there are two other options – knock the conservatory down, or simply never use it. However, neither of those choices are particularly palatable so let’s stick to the first two.
Blinds and replacement roofs are in competition as the products people buy to transform their conservatories. Which one should you choose?
At this stage we should point out that we not only make the replacement roofs, we were the company who developed them and got legislation changed so that conservatories could have solid roofs.
We believe passionately in the advantages of these solid roofs, but we also appreciate that blinds have their benefits too. What follows is an honest appraisal which you should use as part of your information gathering process.
Blinds have benefits – but one huge flaw
Let’s start with the key point, whether replacement roofs or blinds make the conservatory more of a usable space. After all, the reason people don’t use their conservatory is because it is too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter, it therefore follows that any further investment in the room has to solve this core problem.
The problem with blinds is that they do little to tackle the temperature.
They might make the room a little cooler in the evening, they might provide more shade, but the key problem remains – that glass roof acts like an oven, baking everything inside. In the winter, the opposite happens, any heat simply escapes and the conservatory is almost impossible to keep warm.
This assessment of blinds is backed up by reviews on the independent Whatprice website. The overall review is fairly positive and we will come on the advantages of blinds, but it does say:
“I would say from experience that the one thing conservatory blinds are poor at is reducing the heat build up in the room.”
Anyone spending a considerable amount on blinds and hoping they will make the room more usable in the summer is therefore going to be disappointed.
Replacement roofs deliver on heating
Replacement roofs are the product that is proven to make the conservatory a great space all year round.
Until 2010, roofs had to be either glass or polycarb, for lightweight, tiled roofs to be permissible it had to be demonstrated that they hit two criteria – it had to be possible to fit them on to existing conservatory structures and it had to be shown to be worthwhile to do so. After all, there would be little point allowing homeowners to spend thousands on a replacement roof which had no benefit.
The Guardian Warm Roof was shown to have these benefits and so regulations were changed; it is worth noting that our roofs remain the only ones to have full local Area Building Control (LABC) approval.
Replacement roofs have also be shown to save the homeowner money, the greater thermo efficiency leading to energy bill savings of around £200 per year on a typical property (as shown in independent research by AECOM).
If regulating room temperature is the reason you are looking at either blinds or a replacement roof, the roofs have a huge advantage.
The aesthetic appeal
Blinds and replacement roofs both improve the look of the conservatory and at the same time give you a bit more privacy.
Blinds are perhaps a nice addition, a finishing touch to the conservatory, while the replacement roofs make a more fundamental change.
To see galleries of blinds, please have a look at leading suppliers.
To get a feel for what replacement roofs look like, head this way to our online gallery. One huge benefit of the roofs is that there is a full range of styles and subtle colours, this means that there is a replacement roof to blend in with every type of property. A replacement roof changes a conservatory from looking like a bolt-on to looking like a sympathetic extension.
It is easy to get an accurate figure for how much a replacement conservatory roof would cost, we have a quick quote form on this site – simply fill it in with as much detail as possible and we will get back to you asap.
With a replacement roof, the work often pays for itself and more besides, that is because any would-be buyer (should you ever look to sell) is getting a room that is of real value rather than a flawed space.
You would expect blinds to be a cheaper option, yet the price can still, perhaps surprisingly, run into the thousands.
The Whatprice website suggests the price can be anywhere from £700 to £3,500 – and that’s data from 10 years ago. Many of the users in the comments retell stories of being quoted figures of £7,000 or £8,000 by well-known blind producers.
To be honest, we find it hard to see where blinds have an advantage. You might expect us to say that, but the facts are heavily stacked in favour of a replacement roofs.
Replacement roofs make the room usable all year round – blinds do not do this. Replacement roofs also usually pay for themselves in terms of increased house value – again, this would not be expected of blinds.
That isn’t to say blinds have no benefits – they improve the aesthetic appeal of the conservatory and they also provide that bit of privacy; whether this is worth a cost of a few thousand pounds is debatable.
The roofs have had to prove their value under more rigorous testing.
In our opinion, the choice is to get a replacement roof or do nothing – perhaps if you cannot justify the expense against other priorities. Conservatory blinds feel like a halfway house that might still leave you wanting a replacement roof soon afterwards.
About Guardian Warm Roofs:
On this site, there is a wealth of information. Please have a look round and do get in touch with any queries, you can call us on 0800 0665832 or use our contact form available here.