lean to conservatory

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What is the cost to replace a lean-to conservatory roof?

The average price for a lean to conservatory roof replacement will depend principally on the size of the roof and the choice of roofing materials. A good guide to work from would be £450-£850 per square metre for a tiled solid roof replacement; glass or polycarbonate could be cheaper at around £250 to £350. There are also solid roof sheeting options.

Last Updated: October 2022

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Conservatory Roof Replacement

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Lean-to conservatories have always been a popular choice where there is limited space at the rear or side of a property or under the eaves.  Many older style conservatories benefit from an upgrade with a replacement roof. Not only will this increase weatherproofing and thermal regulation and insulation with new roofing materials that weren’t around at the time of the original build, but it will also enhance and update the whole look of the structure, improving the aesthetics of your home.

This article covers:

  • Why are homeowners replacing their lean-to conservatory roofs?
  • What is the difference between a lean-to and other types of conservatory?
  • What are the lean-to conservatory roof options?
  • What is the process of replacing the roof on a lean-to conservatory?
  • How are the costs of replacing your roof broken down?
  • Frequently asked Questions



lean to conservatory cost

What is the difference between a lean-to and other types of conservatory?

Lean-to conservatories are so-called because they look like they are leaning against the side or rear of the house.  They are designed to maximise small or narrow spaces and so may create more of a corridor effect or just a small room like a porch.  The roof is either flat or angled/sloped to allow rainwater to run off whereas a standard conservatory would have a separate free-standing roof that may or may not be connected to the main house.

Why are homeowners replacing their lean-to conservatory roofs?

Some house owners are replacing the flat roof on their lean-to conservatory because it has reached the end of its natural life and is either no longer weatherproof or looks cosmetically unattractive. Additionally, there is also a range of roofing options which were not available at the time some of these conservatories were built. offering a chance to upgrade and improve both the actual structure whilst also benefitting the interior.

What are the lean-to conservatory roof options?

There are three main options available to re-roof your lean-to conservatory and these include:-

  • Glass – new glazing options are more thermally efficient than previously with features like self-cleaning and tinting for glare reduction to offset the drawbacks of glass panels.  Going with glazing obviously promotes natural light but the roof can be noisy and also lacks the privacy of a solid roof alternative in some locations
  • Polycarbonate – this is an opaque alternative to glass but Polycarbonate can still allow a lot of natural light into the conservatory. It is cost-friendly and requires little maintenance but does not offer the thermal regulation of a solid roof and only has a lifespan of about ten years
  • Solid roof – using either tile or slate, this is becoming increasingly popular as a re-roofing option.  However, it can look top-heavy on a small lean-to conservatory so it is dictated to some degree by the design of the original structure and whether or not it can bear the additional weight

The choice of roof replacement will ultimately be influenced by the light required, the use of the conservatory, ease of maintenance, the existing design constraints as well as budget. Use our roof cost calculator to work out how much your roof project could cost.

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How are the costs of replacing your roof broken down?

A detailed quotation should clearly show the division between labour and materials when assessing the cost of re-roofing a house or conservatory.  If you are not sure about pricing then ask for a quote with different roofing solutions so you can compare the difference.  If the contractor is VAT registered then this should be made clear on the written quotation and the VAT listed separately.

Are there any other cost factors?

There may be repairs required to the original structure before the new roof can be fitted.  Some people also take this opportunity to refurbish the existing walls of their conservatory.  Or, if you are opting for a solid roof, then the frame might need to be upgraded to support the additional weight.  This should all be provided for on the original estimate. 

There may be some professional fees in that you might need a surveyor to draw up and negotiate a Party Wall Agreement if your conservatory is located near the boundary of your property and/or the works are likely to be disruptive to your neighbours.  There should not be any requirement for planning permission and therefore the replacement roof should not incur any planning related fees.

What is the process of replacing the roof on a lean-to conservatory?

Following a site survey and your acceptance of a builder’s quote, the work will begin by removing the original roof from the conservatory.  This needs to be done with care. Any repair or making good to the structure is carried out before the new roof is fitted. Rainwater goods are replaced or renewed and waste from the old roof disposed of.

Lean to roof FAQS

How long will the replacement roof take?

Without extensive refurbishment of the main structure, the roof can be replaced within two to three days.

Can I put a solid roof on a lean-to conservatory?

Yes, you can, providing the conservatory can bear the additional weight of tiles or slates.  Not all lean-to conservatories look aesthetically pleasing with a solid roof, some can look top-heavy, it depends on the design.

Do I need planning permission?

Even if you are changing from a glazed roof to a solid roof, you should not need planning permission.  The definition of a conservatory at law changed in 2010 removing the requirement for a roof to be 75% glazed.

Can I change my lean-to roof myself?

In theory, there is nothing to stop you and on a small lean-to conservatory, it might seem a simple enough job.  But it is not as easy as it looks. It is hard to get a professional and watertight finish if you are not an experienced builder and your new roof will lack any guarantee or warranty that an established installer can provide.  Re-fitting a new roof can require specialist tools and equipment which can add considerably to your budget and may not be items you ever use again. Plus there are safety considerations, particularly when working at height. Play safe and let a professional do the job for you.  It’s far quicker and you can take advantage of all their skill and experience and without the worry of complying with building regulations.

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