The problem with conservatories is they are not designed to be proper extensions of the home, lacking heating, quality insulation and a solid roof.
It’s a shame because conservatories are meant to connect our homes to the outdoors, making our gardens accessible from within.
But the combination of no heating, poor insulation and a glazed/polycarbonate roof means that most conservatories are too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter.
Even worse is glare – the constant, intensified light from the sun – which makes the space unusable. Glare is the biggest issue facing conservatory owners because it affects the space at all times of the year.
How to make your conservatory a 24/7 space
You can turn your conservatory into a 24/7 space with a few changes. Rest assured that all solutions (even when combined) work out way cheaper than knocking it down and building an extension, which is expensive and disruptive.
Upgrade to a solid roof
The single best solution for transforming your conservatory is replacing your glazed/polycarbonate roof with a solid roof.
A solid conservatory roof is a lightweight tiled roofing system that mimics the appearance and performance of your house roof.
It cuts out 95% of glare and provides exceptional insulative qualities – it will block the sun’s heat in summer, and in the winter, it will stop heat from escaping. Your conservatory will be temperate all year and feel like the rest of your home.
Upgrading to a warm roof conservatory does not require planning permission because it falls under permitted development. However, you still need Building Regulations approval, which the Leka Roof has as standard (the Leka Roof is Jhai certified, so it complies with building regulations by design and doesn’t need signing off).
The Leka roof is made with glass-reinforced plastic (GRP) insulated with PIR insulation boards, giving you incredible performance.
A cheaper option is a solar film – this is compatible with glazing and will reduce glare, but it won’t improve your conservatory’s insulation.
Heat and cool the right way!
Getting central heating into your conservatory is expensive, and you may have to comply with more extensive heat loss regulations (conservatories are only exempt when the heating system is isolated from the rest of the house).
The best heating solution is an electric radiator which you attach to a wall in your conservatory and plug into a 3-pin socket. Most conservatories are served well by a 1,500W (1.5kW) to 2kW electric radiator.
The trick is to get an electric radiator with a timer so you can set it to turn on with your home thermostat to regulate temperature. This will ensure your conservatory heats up with the rest of your home on the cheap.
Another way to heat your conservatory is with electric underfloor heating, which is compatible with vinyl, laminate, hardwood and tile flooring. Underfloor heating eliminates the need for a radiator and improves comfort.
For cooling, get a portable air conditioner. A portable air conditioner will reduce the temperature in your room by 10-15 °C. The downside is they are expensive to run, and you need to make a hole in the wall for the vent hose.
Just remember – heaters and air conditioners are not optimal solutions for 24/7 temperature regulation; you need to improve insulation to make your conservatory lovely and temperate. The best way to do this is with a solid roof.