Published On: Thu, Feb 12th, 2015

Metrotile raises the conservatory roof

Metrotile Lightweight Roofing has enjoyed 30 per cent growth in 2014, partly due to a significant expansion in the conservatory market

heritage building extension - conservatory roof 1Future Proof Roof for their new- build extensions, to self-builders installing a new roof on to an existing conservatory, the company is finding that sales of their lightweight steel roof tiles are progressing outside its usual markets of refurbished and new-build homes, commercial units, schools and leisure facilities. Aesthetic appeal combines with a several benefits stemming from the low weight of each profile – tiles which are up to seven times lighter than traditional materials without compromising security. The weight – or lack of it – gives full solid roof benefits without risking the frame and foundations of an existing or new conservatory. Insulation is improved, reducing energy bills, and security is improved against both vandalism and extreme weather conditions.

Fabricated in Belgium and sold for the past 30 years now in 60 countries around the world, the product is adaptable enough to incorporate PV panels, and it’s no surprise to Managing Director John Cunningham that Metrotile products have been appearing on a rapidly-increasing number of conservatories in the UK and Ireland. He said: “Many of our customers say that fully transparent conservatories are a great idea but in practice, they’re rarely usable, generally being too cold in the winter and too hot in the summer. We believe that lightweight steel roof tiles provide an excellent solution to this conundrum. As a Metrotile roof weighs up to one seventh of so-called ‘traditional’ roofing materials, a PVC-U frame conservatory is now able to have a full roof installed upon it. From Rafters and VPU for insulation, to Velux windows for natural light and even a plethora of lighting options installed into the conservatory ceiling – a Metrotile roof makes this all possible and means you don’t lose the space of your conservatory to the cold, damp winter months.

“Traditionally, conservatories were considered a summertime space – a room to enjoy during the brighter months of the year – yet with a Metrotile roof, the conservatory becomes a space that can be enjoyed all year round. Keeping the sliding doors sealed shut through the winter is a thing of the past.” Mr Cunningham also said that the improvement to insulation should not be overlooked: “UK energy prices have been increasing annually, squeezing UK residents for more money in exchange for less energy. By improving the insulation of your conservatory, you can keep your home warm at less expense while ensuring less of the money spent on energy is wasted.”

An example? In Buckinghamshire, an elderly couple decided their large, twenty-five year-old conservatory was in need of a refresh. Sporting a traditional glass roof, the conservatory was well used during the summer, but not during the cooler winter months. With eight young grandchildren visiting on a regular basis, year-round use became an attractive idea. The owners discovered Metrotile after an online search for ‘lightweight roofing’, saying: “It ticked the boxes – including the key factors of a lightweight, low-pitch design and the aesthetics to blend in with our existing cladding and roofing.“The light weight was ideal considering the extra materials we had to install on the conservatory roof.”

A challenge to be overcome on the job was a window located close to the conservatory roof, meaning the contractors had to install part of the new roof below the rafters and part of it above, using insulation board, a VPU and a Metrotile Shingle profile over that. The 50/50 split above and below the rafters ensured enough space was available for ventilation and also helped to achieve the 15 degree pitch, while giving significant clearance from the window above. The homeowners now enjoy the conservatory all year round with their family, even during heavy rain showers which would usually cause noise which prohibits use. It’s not just homeowners who are discovering the benefits. Developers and contractors are coming to terms with the alternative to traditional roofing materials, too. The owner of one company which specialises in the external and internal renovation of period and listed buildings likes the product so much that he has had it installed on his own home.

Although planning regulations stipulate use of certain materials on main rooftops of heritage buildings, the company uses Metrotile on all external buildings, such as conservatories, additional accommodation, visitor rooms or converted stables. According to the company director: “Whenever we are involved with a conservatory or outer building project, we insist on using Metrotile for the roofing. The rapid installation, security, soundproofing and aesthetics set the product head and shoulders above the competition.”

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