The cost of replacing a Conservatory roof with a tiled roof
The cost of a tile conservatory roof will depend on many factors such as the size of the roof and whether or not your conservatory will need any upgrading works or refurbishment to the existing structure. The choice of tile will significantly impact the estimate too but as an average to work on, a sensible figure would be somewhere between £4,000 and £8,000 for a new conservatory roof.
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If your glazed or polycarbonate conservatory roof is looking a little tired or has reached the end of its natural life, then it could be time to consider replacing your old roof with a smart new solid roof.
There is a real fashion at the moment to replace old-style conservatory roofs with new tiled roofs. There are three principal reasons for this:
- It can completely change the aesthetics of the building and make it look more like a structure that is integral to the man house rather than just an add-on
- A solid, tiled roof cuts out all the drawbacks and disadvantages of a glazed or polycarbonate roof
- There is a wealth of new roofing materials now available which means you don’t have to opt for full weight and size concrete tiles if the conservatory is too small or can’t take the additional weight or, your budget won’t quite stretch
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What is a tiled conservatory roof?
A tiled conservatory roof is literally, just that, a new roof fitted with modern tiles to match or complement the main house. New roofing materials mean that you don’t have to opt for traditional roof tiles but can find lightweight and more economical alternatives to standard concrete roof tiles and slates.
What are the cost factors?
There are certain key determinants which will affect the cost which include:-
- The size of the roof
- The choice of roofing material
- The style of the conservatory – a simple gable conservatory will require less work and therefore less labour than a more complex Victorian design
- Any upgrading works to the frame of the conservatory to cope with the extra weight
- Refurbishments to the existing building which many householders will do at this point
- Repair and renewal issues with the main frame which are going to increase the bill
- The installation of roof lights or Velux windows
- A flat finish inside the conservatory which will mean the addition of a suspended ceiling plus the cost of plastering and redecoration
- Planning permission which is required if your home is listed or within a conservation area. The average fee to obtain the correct planning consents is around £200 and if your application is complex or could be viewed as controversial then you may also need to employ the services of a planning agent to progress this for you
If you are working to a budget (and who isn’t) then it can be worth discussing the different options open to you with your builder. It is possible that by changing the roofing material or losing the Velux windows, you can alter the estimate to come in under budget without significantly changing the final outcome. Everyone is prepared to compromise somewhere on an estimate, it just depends on what aspects are really important to you on this project.
What do you get for your money?
Your builder’s estimate should show a clear split between labour and materials. This is important as you may want to change your choice of roofing material to suit your budget or delete or substitute certain items with different designs or alternatives. There should also be a separate statement for any hire costs such as scaffolding and the correct and legal disposal of the waste from your old roof. Don’t forget the VAT.
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Why would you want to replace your conservatory roof with tiles?
As anyone who has managed an old-style conservatory roof will appreciate, glazed or polycarbonate roofs have many drawbacks. Even with new types of materials and double glazing, these are not all resolved but a solid, tiled roof will remove just about every drawback you have experienced with your old fashioned conservatory roof.
A tiled roof will give your conservatory a major upgrade but will still allow you to keep that special sunroom feeling which is why you wanted a conservatory in the first place. Here are the advantages of replacing a glazed or polycarbonate roof with a new solid roof:-
- A solid roof will manage the constant problem of temperature control, thermal regulation and condensation. Having a conservatory which is too hot in the summer and too cold and damp in the winter will become a thing of the past
- The issue with glare is completely reduced leaving you free to control light as you wish with wall blinds
- Too much light can fade, even bleach, soft furnishings but this problem will be resolved with a new tiled roof
- Noise levels are drastically reduced – traffic or sounds from neighbouring domestic or commercial properties – plus the conservatory will be much quieter when it rains. A solid roof will insulate you from external sounds far more effectively than a glazed or polycarbonate alternative
- Your privacy is completely transformed particularly if you are overlooked by other houses
- You won’t have to worry about constantly cleaning a glazed roof which can quickly become a repository for leaves and small pieces of debris and is easily spoilt by dust, dirt, smudges and bird droppings
- A solid tiled roof is watertight so no more worries about cracking or leaky roof repair costs
- Glass is prone to cracking and polycarbonate to discolouration neither of which will trouble you with a solid tiled roof. If a tile or two become cracked or chipped over time, then they can easily and quickly be replaced without any major disruption or work
- The ambient temperature in the conservatory will be much more constant as a solid roof is a far better thermal insulator. Not only will the room become more pleasant to use but your heating bills will reduce as well because less heat will escape through the roof during the colder months
- If you opt for a flat ceiling within the conservatory then you will acquire some additional storage space
- Your new look conservatory will seem more like an extension rather than a bolt-on as many do, particularly the lean-to or wraparound style of conservatories. It will appear better integrated into the main house and will seem more like a solid room whilst retaining all of the advantages of light and aspect. It will be visually more appealing and will seamlessly flow from the original house
- Tiled conservatory roofs age more naturally than glass or polycarbonate alternatives which will degrade and discolour during their lifetime. A tiled roof will weather gradually and create a slightly comfortable and reassuring patina which will make the roof look like it has always been there
- A traditional tiled roof will last and last unlike some of the glazed or polycarbonate alternatives which tend to have a much shorter lifespan
- Some of the new synthetic plastic products available which mimic the standard slate or tile roof are much easier to install than a traditional conservatory roof opening up the job to the keen DIY enthusiast. They are lightweight and easy to work with and some of the plastic tiles feature pre-marked guides on each one which indicate the necessary overlap and appropriate fixing point. Some of the metal tiles interlock making for super easy fitting
- A tiled roof will require little maintenance during its lifetime rather like the roof on your main house. Compare this with your old glazed or polycarbonate roof which requires repeated cleaning and can be prone to leaking as it ages
- New style roofing materials mean you can still opt for the solid roof look with all the advantages of the design without having to break the bank or get involved in upgrading the framework of your conservatory
- Some tiling manufacturers will offer a guarantee of forty years on their products, compare this to a 15 or 25-year guarantee for glazed or polycarbonate alternatives
What are your tiling options?
You will have all of the choices open to you as if you were tiling the roof on a house subject to the structure of the supporting conservatory and the limitations imposed by the design of the conservatory.
As well as traditional concrete roof tiles and natural slates, there is a huge range of synthetic, plastic and metal tiles and slates which offer a whole catalogue of choices. New generation products provide materials which mimic a concrete pantile or classic slate finish without either the increased weight or the cost, ideal for structures which cannot support a more traditional roof or where you need to trim the budget.
- Plastic conservatory roof tiles – these are often referred to as synthetic roof tiles and are normally made from a mix of plastic and limestone; they not only lightweight but incredibly strong and durable with a surprisingly natural appearance.
- Metal conservatory roof tiles – normally crafted from just one metal, either aluminium or steel- metal roof tiles are very strong yet lightweight to work with. Usually coated in a weather-resistant paint and granules, it is very difficult to distinguish them from a traditional concrete roof tile
The colour choices of metal and plastic roof tiles are quite spectacular and can introduce an unusual and unique twist to your styling. Equally, if you have a period home with a Victorian or Georgian conservatory, then there are plenty of characterful and classic styles to choose from. Many of these options are also totally recyclable when they reach the end of their life. However, if you are after the environmentally friendly and 100% natural option then you can’t beat slate but it is one of the most expensive roofing materials you can choose (see our page on slate roof costs for more information) - the sky will literally be the limit.
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What are the Pros of a tiled roof?
For the householder, the main plus points are the changes within the internal space which a new tiled roof will create and the external appearance.
Temperature regulation is controlled and far more constant, avoiding the extremes of too much light and glare in the summer and off-putting cold and damp in the winter. The conservatory will become somewhere that you will use daily rather than occasionally, a room integrated into family life. You will be able to furnish it as you wish without the worry of light damage on fabrics and upholstery. Its functionality and purpose will also broaden as a solid roof creates privacy giving you the option to use the conservatory as a stylish dining room or a home study area or somewhere the kids can play.
A tiled roof will completely restyle the look of your conservatory so it will become much more integral to the main house, particularly if you match the roof tiles. A solid roof creates an air of permanency but without losing all of the plus points which attracted you to having a conservatory in the first place.
What are the cons of fitting a new tiled roof?
There are not too many drawbacks to fitting a new tiled roof but there are some significant issues which it is worth thinking about before you reach a final decision. These include:-
- Cost – tiles are expensive and if you go for natural slate then you really are looking at premium prices. A solid tile or slate roof is going to cost you more than replacing your current conservatory roof with a new glazed or polycarbonate alternative
- Structural upgrading – you may need to significantly upgrade the framework of your current conservatory to bear the additional weight and this can impact considerably on the estimate
- Loss of light – some people just find it too difficult to lose that view of the sky which is what makes conservatories so special and unique. And there are now new glazing options which can seriously solve some of the more intractable problems with old-style conservatory roofs which will be cheaper too. Your other option would be to consider installing roof lights but this will increase the overall cost
- Design – some small lean-to conservatories just don’t look right with a solid tiled roof, they look top-heavy and rather out of place
Other considerations to think about
The main factors to consider when changing your conservatory roof are what the new roof will look like visually and the practicality of the design.
The aesthetics of the roof and how it sits with the main property are very important; a poor roof choice stylistically will always look wrong and somehow at odds with the conservatory even if it is right on-trend and very expensive. If it is the wrong design for your conservatory and house then it will be eye-catching for all the wrong reasons.
The practicality of the design is also very important. You need to look beyond the style and think about the construction and whether your conservatory is going to support the new roof adequately otherwise you could be in for some costly upgrading. The other consideration is what you will use the conservatory for.
A new solid roof can totally revolutionise a room which may have become something of an afterthought due to the challenges of the old glazed or polycarbonate roof. A solid tiled roof will create living accommodation which is much more integral to family life – a dining area, a home workspace for adults or teenagers, a much-needed playroom for little ones. These options may affect your roof choice particularly if you are thinking about the addition of Velux windows or roof lights for evening dining or to increase natural daylight for children on gloomy winter days.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does the conservatory add value to my house?
Any conservatory will add value to your home – they are a design feature and increase the accommodation capacity thereby adding to what your home is worth. The not inconsiderable drawbacks of the old-style conservatories can be dealt with by the installation of a new, solid roof. Because of the upgrade in the aesthetics and style and, the removal of the commonly found drawbacks with glazed or polycarbonate roofs, your house will receive a boost to its value. At sale time, the increased energy efficiency the solid roof will give your conservatory means that the all-important energy certificate will not be found wanting.
Will I require planning permission to add tiles to my conservatory roof?
The planning rules were changed in 2010 to re-define the definition of a conservatory and one alteration was a change to roof materials. Previously, to be classified as a conservatory, the structure needed to have a roof which was at least 75% translucent – this is no longer the case. You shouldn’t need planning permission to upgrade your old roof to a new tiled roof but it is always worth checking this out with your local planning authority. If the conservatory is attached to a house which is listed and/or in a conservation area then you will need planning permission.
What are the best tiles to use?
The best tiles to use will be the ones that suit the design of the conservatory and the house to which it is attached and which fit within your budget. It also depends whether or not you are prepared to get involved in upgrading the original conservatory structure as some roofing options are heavier than your old roof and the frame needs to be able to bear the additional weight. For those who want a quick job or do not have the budget for a major refurbishment then it may be better to look at some of the lightweight, modern materials which give you the appearance of a tiled roof at a fraction of the cost and with far less work involved.
Can you install windows in a solid tile conservatory roof?
It is possible to add roof lights or Velux windows to a solid roof and many people do so that they don’t completely lose all of the natural light. This can give you the best of both worlds. Installing roof windows will increase the time it takes to fit the roof and the overall cost.
Can I add tiles to an older conservatory?
You can providing that the original structure will bear the extra weight. A full site survey by your chosen contractor can advise you whether your current conservatory will bear the added weight of the roof tiles you want to use. If it won’t then your options are first to upgrade the supporting structure; many people use the point of roof replacement to refurbish an older conservatory. Or you can choose one of the new generation materials which will look like roof tiles but are a fraction of the weight.
What are my finance options for a new roof?
Many builders are linked to finance companies; just like car dealers can offer finance when you buy a new or used car, so construction and roofing companies can organise finance for you to cover the cost of your new tiled roof. The principles are the same. A good credit rating is usually a prerequisite and your monthly payments will usually depend on how much deposit you are prepared to contribute. Some companies will offer zero-interest finance for two years but only if you contribute half the costs of the new roof upfront.
Some homeowners approach their mortgage lenders for a Further Advance or Home Improvement Loan. This can be a good route if you are thinking about doing other works to your property as well. The lender will only offer you funding if you have equity available in your property and you can satisfy their affordability criteria; it is a bit like the process you followed when you took out your original mortgage although normally quicker because you are an existing customer. Some people re-mortgage to a different lender to take advantage of a better rate and add in some extra capital at this point for home improvements.
For those older people who have paid off their mortgage, Equity Release schemes offer a chance to release some capital sums from the value of their property which can be put towards refurbishments and home improvements including a new conservatory roof.