There are many articles offering DIY solutions for making your conservatory better in the summer and winter. As with any home improvement, the DIY option is one for the enthusiast or the more competent person. We explain some of the DIY conservatory roof panel options as well what to consider when fitting roof panels yourself.
DIY methods for improving your old cold conservatory.
First of all, it is helpful to look at some of the less attractive DIY conservatory roof panels improvements suggested for a very cheap price. While all of these can help improve the temperature regulation, none offer a long-term solution.
Fitting an extra layer of polycarbonate.
One solution is fitting an extra layer of polycarbonate sheet underneath the existing polycarbonate. Suggested fixing methods include carpet tape or very sticky double-sided tape. The glass and glazing industry already has specific tape for the fixing of glazing (or Georgian) bars as well as fixing glass units. These work best on a vertical method and not as a weight supporting method.
Other methods of fixing the suggested extra polycarbonate layer include screw fixing the sheet to the existing roof bars. While you get a more secure fixing, as a result, you ruin the internal aesthetic of the glazing bars with screw holes. Not ideal if you remove the polycarbonate sheet in the future. Furthermore, there remains a risk of internal condensation forming between the two layers.
Fitting DIY thermal insulation beneath the polycarbonate and glass.
Another method to improve the temperature of your conservatory is additional thermal insulation. The thermal insulation is cut-to-size to fit the existing glass or polycarbonate. This might help improve the thermal performance, but it does not address moisture underneath.
Therefore, damp patches from where condensation drops onto the insulation is inevitable. Furthermore, the insulation looks unsightly. You will also spend money on covering the insulation making it look better viewed from the inside.
Reflective laminate floor underlay.
Just like the thermal insulation option, suggestions include fitting reflective laminate floor underlay. The idea is that the reflective side faces outside, theoretically reflecting the heat out of the conservatory.
Fixing methods include carpet tape, double-sided tape or screws. Once again this is not one of the most attractive DIY conservatory roof panels replacements and still has issues with moisture on the inside of the conservatory.
Fabric blinds between the conservatory rafters.
Heavy fabric or conservatory blinds will help improve the temperature of the conservatory. However, and just like all the above methods, moisture and condensation droplets potentially stain the fabric. As a result routine cleaning of the fabric blinds is neither convenient or cheap.
Fitting polyurethane or polystyrene insulation.
Polyurethane or polystyrene is another suggestion to improve a conservatory. Again there is the decision to make whether to fix cut-to-size under the roof panels or to leave an air gap for potential condensation. This is a lightweight method but still poses a risk of potential mould between the polycarbonate and the polystyrene in the ‘dead area’ between the roof and the new insulation. Options exist to glue the insulation to the polycarbonate as well as leaving the air gap. However, once again the problem is not entirely solved. Neither is anyone sure how long-term a solution this is.
Therefore, while all the above solutions can help, none offer the benefits of insulated aluminium conservatory roof panels.
Fitting DIY conservatory roof panels yourself.
The option exists to buy insulated conservatory roof panels and carry out a DIY installation. This is not impossible to do. However, there are considerations.
- Unless you know how to remove the conservatory roof bars, you cannot obtain the accurate panel sizes required. This is best done by a professional survey.
- For old and discontinued PVCu conservatories, if you break the glazing bead, finding a replacement is usually impossible.
- Most conservatory roofs will not take weight unless it is evenly spread. Take care when working on your conservatory roof.
- You need to consider the size of the stepped edge or the roof panels will either not fit or look out of place.
- The cost of the additional survey and installation is not hugely expensive.
Above all, when you choose to buy DIY conservatory roof panels yourself and fit them, you do not benefit from any installation and broader product guarantee. Typically, you will only get a basic guarantee on the product. If you fit the panels incorrectly, there is, understandably, basic support from the company.
Remember that professional companies work with all manner of conservatories of all systems, brands and types. Therefore, take a headache out of fitting conservatory roof panels and benefit from a 10-year guarantee and a professional fit. Importantly, know where your new roof panels come from. Consider the company behind the panels, the application of the powder coated finish and the expertise of the business overall.
Finally, consider the safety implications of climbing onto your conservatory roof and having the correct tools to do the job.
Contact us for a free home survey and quotation.
If you are thinking about fitting DIY conservatory roof panels, we hope this article provides some useful tips and advice on what to consider before fitting yourself or using some of the other temporary methods. We understand many will have the skills to do the job but offer our survey, supply and fit service for added peace of mind.