Just like the transition of panel doors to composite doors, the days of the polycarbonate roof might be numbered.
Why do I say this? I say this because over the last few years the cost of glass roofs has come down quite significantly, with the difference between a reasonably sized polycarbonate roof now standing at just a few hundred pounds. If you have a customer spending £15,000 on a new conservatory, the dilemma of spending just a few hundred extra pounds on whether to have a glass roof instead of polycarbonate isn’t really a dilemma at all. They would just pay it.
This is of course a good thing. I think it is widely accepted that glass, as well as the self cleaning options and tinted sun protection options, are the far better product than the polycarbonate option. You don’t get the moss and mold problems, the view up top is way better, it’s a million times quieter and the self-cleaning options mean a lot less maintenance. The customer now knows a lot more about the product and knows the advantages.
Of course the latest developments in glazed extensions have also provided a boost to glass roofs. The launch of Loggia, as well as the Orangery have boosted glass roof sales. But then again, you can’t really have any other product than a glass roof with a Loggia or Orangery. Putting a polycarbonate roof on either of those options would be criminal and would look bloody awful!
So, given the popularity of the glass roof and it’s many applications, where does the polycarbonate roof stand in the market overall now? Well, I still think it has it’s place in the porches market. Those customers looking for a small little addition to the front or side of their property as a utility space may not see the need or justification for a glass roof on something they’re never going to sit in. Hence, the polycarbonate roof becomes the ideal option.
Polycarbonate still has it’s place in the conservatory market when it comes to insurance work. Insurance companies will only replace like for like, so whenever a polycarbonate roof gets damaged and a claim is made, polycarbonate is the material of choice when it comes to repairs.
However, over the last few years we are seeing a sharp increase in the number of conservatory roofs being replaced with more climate and energy efficient glass ones. Consumers who bought their original conservatory with a cold/hot roof which makes their glazed extension unbearable in a lot of weather conditions are now investing in a new, much better glass roof which totally transforms the look and feel of their existing conservatory without having to go to the expense or upheaval of a brand new structure.
What used to be an expensive luxury is now becoming the industry norm, and the polycarbonate roof’s best days certainly are behind them. But in the coming few years, I predict that glass and the new wave of solid roofs will become the absolute standard, with polycarbonate becoming the material reserved just for insurance repair work.