Glass or polycarbonate: which is best for a conservatory roof?

Glass & polycarbonate, two conservatory roofing options that epitomise the old adage of ‘tried and tested’. That being said, both have undergone significant improvements since they were first found atop conservatories all those years ago. But which material is best? Let’s have a closer look, so you can decide for yourself.

Is it worth replacing a conservatory roof?

Yes, a conservatory roof replacement is worth it! It is a cost-efficient way to improve the thermal efficiency of your conservatory and will ensure you can use it all year round.


Incredibly popular conservatory roofing choice and with good reason, glass roofs have enjoyed considerable refinement over the years. Their respective features includes:

  • Glass is transparent, ensuring the maximum amount of light makes its way inside. This ensures for a supremely well-lit internal space.
  • Self-cleaning glass is available, so the amount of maintenance required to maintain a pristine finish is reduced.
  • Thanks to modern innovations, glass roofs are able to retain heat exceptionally well. This ensures for a cooler conservatory in the summer and a warmer one during winter. This can also lead to reductions in your energy bills.
  • Glass roofs insulate your home from outside noise very well. This means they create a relaxing environment for you, your family and any guests to enjoy.
  • The glass used on modern conservatory roofs is resistant to both the weather and damage. This means scratches are less likely to appear, ensuring the visual appeal of the roof will remain high.

How long does a glass conservatory roof last?

The average lifespan of a glass conservatory roof is 20 years, however, how long it lasts will be down to numerous factors, including its positioning, the weather conditions, the quality of the installation, and most notably, the quality of the materials used. While you have no control over the location of your conservatory, neither can you influence the weather, you can ensure you use high-quality materials and is installed by experts. We have 20 years of experience in the industry, making us reputable and trustworthy. With a friendly and fully trained team, we always prioritise customer satisfaction.

Victorian Conservatory


Polycarbonate is made up of a number of sheets of plastics. Formerly found on conservatories all over the UK, polycarbonate roofs have improved significantly over the years. Those interested in one can expect to benefit from the following features:

  • Compared to older variations, polycarbonate roofs perform far better in terms of sound and heat insulation. Solar inserts are available to buy too, which provide a further boost to heat insulation. This ensures for a living space that maintains a more comfortable temperature throughout the year.
  • Polycarbonate roofs are very cost-effective. For those who are operating on a strict budget, they are a highly appealing option.
  • Supposedly, detecting dirt can be quite difficult on polycarbonate roofs, which is perfect for those after a low maintenance option.
  • Polycarbonate produces noise when hit by rain, which is a good or a bad thing depending on individual preference.
  • Polycarbonates are slightly opaque, although clear plastic is available, meaning they restrict the amount of light coming into a conservatory somewhat. This needn’t be a hindrance though, especially if you’d like a more dimly lit environment.

Are glass conservatory roofs better than polycarbonate?

This will depend on your individual requirements. If you only want to use your conservatory during specific times of the year and you’d like to be as cost-efficient as possible, a polycarbonate might be the best option for you. However, if you want to add long-term value to your home, a glass roof is the obvious choice.

Have you decided whether glass or polycarbonate is the right option for you? Well, Oakley Green Conservatories installs both options, as well as tiled variations. So, whichever you choose, you can expect to benefit from a professional service and exceptional quality products. For more information, a member of our team is available for a friendly chat on 01635 877 969. Or, you can send us an online message instead.