Whatever your reason, if you are seriously considering a change, then this guide should help a little.
Probably the biggest offender when it comes to having problems over time. Of the 6 points listed above, it’s not impossible for a polycarbonate roof to suffer from all of them at one point or another (or even all at once).
Because polycarbonate roofing for a conservatory is so cheap, it’s often fitted when the conservatory is first installed. However, it’s probably fair to say that It is the most replaced roof type in this field.
If you are low on budget and have to do a “like for like” replacement, then go for the thickest multi-chambered profiles that you can afford. Tinting can also help reduce glare and heat transfer to some extent.
Fitting roof blinds can help manage heat & glare also.
A single glazed conservatory roof is asking for trouble. Not only is it easily broken, but it has virtually no insulation properties when it comes to heat & cold. Double glazing is an absolute minimum standard here.
28mm gas filed sealed units will give the best energy efficiency for a double glazed installation (you could go to triple glazing, but this is unusual).
If you can afford the extra cost, use low-e glass. Pilkington have great products like solar glass & self-cleaning glass (http://www.pilkington.com/en-gb/uk/householders/types-of-glass/self-cleaning-glass ).
You may still have to manage glare or some element of heat build-up. Roof vents and blinds can make the room much more “user friendly” during hot or cold spells.
By far the most effective when it comes to energy efficiency and stopping your conservatory from being too hot or too cold.
A tiled conservatory roof will also dramatically change the overall look of your home. A solid roof on a conservatory makes it look more like a true extension rather than an “aftermarket add-on”.
Using regular concrete tiles (like you have on your house roof) will add significant loading on the side frames. This can cause problems if the supporting structure is not strong enough to easily bear the new weight. Have a proper survey done before proceeding with this solution.
On the other hand, lightweight conservatory roof tiling systems are readily available in the market. Lightweight tiles such as Tapco, Metrotile & Ultraframe all have excellent products for this.
What you gain in terms of heat insulation and noise reduction is offset by the reduction in natural light. You may think it makes your conservatory interior overly shaded. This can be compensated somewhat by the inclusion of Velux windows or some other form of “skylight”.
You could opt to just add an interior lining and fit a false ceiling. This is a relatively low cost option. However, the lining has to be ventilated properly otherwise it can create condensation problems.
It can also be difficult to access the original roof from the inside if there is a future problem, such as a leak.
If you are talking about keeping cost down, then Poly-carbonate is the option for you. Very low cost compared to any other solution.
If you want loads of natural light, then a double glazed conservatory roof is the obvious choice.
If you want a more permanent look, have a room that is guaranteed to be usable all-year-round (and have the budget), then the best option is to go for a tiled conservatory roof.