So here is our update on conservatory roof conversions! The last 2 years have seen a plethora of advertising from various companies offering to convert old conservatories into sunrooms for what seems like a very exciting and reasonable price, but is it too good to be true?
In most cases yes!
First and foremost if a conservatory is to be converted into a sunroom then the conservatory roof must, in its entirety, be removed and replaced with a much more substantial structure. And adding a new structure is only feasible if the windows and walls underneath have sufficient strength to carry the additional weight. So where does the confusion arise with all the different claims from different companies? Peter Clarke of Conservatory Designs explains some of these issues and offers food for thought.
Conservatory Roof Conversions Dublin
If you receive some advertising from a company offering you some excellent value conservatory roof conversions in Dublin or Leinster make sure you bear the following in mind. The below are sales pitches which are used by some companies to get business but none of them hold water.
Sales Pitch 1) “The new roof is no heavier than a glass roof so the structure is more than capable of carrying the weight as it has been ok with a glass roof.”
Well yes and no. Yes the new roof may not be any heavier BUT the existing roof is designed to flex and move in wind and snow and this is perfectly acceptable when using glass or polycarbonate but guess what happens when plasterboard flexes..yes correct it cracks and fractures, and this is a key point that people are forgetting, there can be NO movement when installing plasterboard or there will be problems. Adding timbers to strengthen the roof will not cut it, every rafter should be replaced along with the ridge board and valleys etc, this means a new roof!
Sales Pitch 2) “We have been doing this for a few years and have had no problems”.
Maybe so but what happens when we get the next big snowfall and suddenly the weight on the roof increase by 1.5 tons? People have short memories and 6 years ago we had significant snowfall which showed up weaker roofs causing ridges and hips to bow under the weight of the snow.
Sales Pitch 3) “We can provide an engineer’s certificate with the roof”.
This is an interesting pitch for a conservatory roof conversion and one that I have contacted several engineers about and the only way they can certify a roof is by carrying out the following:
- Have a hole excavated beside the conservatory foundations and clarify the depth of the existing foundations.
- A visual inspection of the window framing is carried out to ensure correct reinforcing has been added.
- Next they measure the room and calculate the loading on the roof, back at the office the various loads are calculated for the roof and a specification is issued.
- A final inspection is carried out at the end and a certificate is issued.
Remember if there is a problem your engineer is liable and they won’t issue a certificate without proper monitoring and calculations. A generic certificate amended for each address is not worth the paper it is written on, so if you are being offered an engineer’s certificate then ask for the engineers details and when they will be making site inspections so you can talk to them. Also make sure to check that the engineer certifying the work has professional indemnity insurance.
Please note we do not currently have an engineer who is willing to certify this work, there is too much liability and they are only prepared to certify new-builds.
Sales Pitch 4) “The conservatory roof conversion can be carried out in 3 days.”
I don’t think this is a realistic time-frame to do a proper conservatory roof conversion and ensure it’s correctly done and safe. Adequate time must be allowed to first ensure that the existing walls and floors are properly covered and protected. The structure must be removed and disposed of. The new roof cut and fitted. The roof has to be tiled and Velux correctly fitted. The ceiling must be insulated and then first fixed for electricity. The outside must be tiled and new lead lead flashing installed. Finally the ceiling has to be slabbed and skimmed, the wiring completed and the site cleaned. We take a minimum of 6 days on site to carry out this work correctly, safely and professionally.
Conservatory Roof Conversions Dublin
So, after that debunking of a lot of the sales pitches I see doing the rounds about conservatory roof conversions I’d like to give you an example of a conservatory roof conversion we carried out in Dublin. As you can see from the “before” photo above the initial conservatory was actually two conservatories joined together.
The roof of the old conservatory was removed and the new roof added in a lean to conservatory style. Great care was taken to maintain light back into the internal rooms of the house and as you can see from the “after” photo we installed 3 velux roof lights to ensure plenty of adequate natural light. The ceiling was spray-foam insulated to ensure air tightness and then plastered. This conservatory roof conversion has completely transformed the appearance of the house and the living space that the clients can now enjoy all year round.
If you’ve any questions about conservatory roof replacements or would like to get more information about our service please contact us or give us a call now on 045 844002.