20th May 2022

If you are considering conservatory roof replacement options, please read this first.


If something is too good to be true, it usually is.

That’s why we’ve taken the time to help you understand potential pitfalls within the conservatory roof replacement process and make an informed decision. Good quality replacement roofs are often more expensive than cheaper ‘Clad over’ alternatives. In this post, we explain the differences and why they are worth paying for.

What is a Clad over?

A Clad over roof is often sold as a conservatory roof improvement for energy efficiency reasons. It can take many forms but never involves removing the old structure. This is not good practice because conservatory roofs are only engineered for their original purpose. There are three different types of Clad over:

1. Internal Clad over: Adding an internal layer of insulation usually by attaching batons to the internal bars, packing with insulation and boarding over with plasterboard.

2. External Clad over: Timber batons or ply board is screwed to bars, glazing is seldom removed before imitation tiles are fitted to the timber. With little space for insulation the impact on thermal performance is the lowest of all these options.

3. External & internal Clad over: This is a combination of 1 & 2 above, although glazing may be removed first. Plastic internal cladding is often used on this product because the structure can be susceptible to moisture ingress.


Things to consider

Weight: Clad over solutions can be too heavy for the existing frames as they use heavy timber, insulation materials and tiles. Any old conservatory needs to have a roof that is lightweight. The lightest solid roof systems weigh around 31KG/M ². Tip: Always ask your installer for the total weight of the replacement conservatory roof?

Structural integrity: conservatory roofs were originally designed to specifically work with glass or polycarbonate panels to withstand high winds and heavy snowloads and manage the resulting deflections. Solid roofs need to be much more rigid and so original bars and beams should always be removed and completely replaced to avoid leaks or cracked plaster. Tip: Stay at home or ask a neighbour to observe the early part of the installation to ensure the entire roof is removed.

Fire Safety: Clad over systems are never effectively fire-tested as the entire roof structure must be tested. The original structure varies from job to job which means that only the components could be tested. Solid roofs must be classified as AC, AB or AA in accordance with BS476-3. Tip: Ask to see the fire safety certificate of the entire roof system before you commit to the project.

Building Regulations: Clad over systems do not generally get Building Regulation Approval due to their low thermal value or structural integrity. Do not confuse this with planning permission which is often not necessary. You are required to notify Building Control if you are making a change to any structure (including replacing a glass conservatory roof with a solid roof) who will ensure the new roof is structurally sound. Tip: Check that local Building Control has been informed before the conversion starts. Obtain a Building Regulations Conformance Certificate and file in a safe place.

Payback on your investment: Only Building Regulation approved roofing systems will add value to your property because they officially recognise your new room as additional habitable living space adding to the saleable foot print. You must provide evidence of approvals during the conveyance process to ensure this value is added to the sale price. Tip: File your Building Regulations Conformance Certificate with the deeds of the house to pass onto the next buyer.

Warranty: Not all roofs are guaranteed, and not all guarantees are backed up with insurance to ensure a payout. Tip: Always ask for proof that your product has a fully transferrable guarantee for at least 10 years.

Structural calculations: Any roof needs to be able to cope with extreme wind and snow loads which vary considerably by postcode. Some roofing systems use standard snow and wind loads which can be insufficient in some locations and some use none at all. Tip: Always ask you installer for the wind and snow loads that the roof was designed for and how these have been calculated.

Fixings: Any existing conservatory roof has no obvious fixings for a clad-over solution and any drilling to the existing roof structure to create fixing points can adversely affect the original roof structure. Tip: Always ask your installer about the fixing method and how this affects the original structure in terms of weather proofing and product life.

Condensation: Using original aluminium bars and beams together with over-cladding carries a very real risk of condensation along the bars because there is no thermal barrier in place. This can result in damp, leaks and cracking plaster. Tip: Ask your installer to identify the thermal breaks in the roof.

Natural Light: Solid roofs without any glazing panels can make your room and the interior of the rest of your house very dark, because in your existing conservatory the roof lets in three times as much light as windows. For a bright room filled with natural light, add glass panels where you need them. Tip: Discuss glazing location and panel size with your roof designer.

Bryant and Cairns have been designing and installing conservatory roofs in Scotland for over 20 years. Both WARMroof and our WARMroof Extension roof have been engineered specifically to work as a replacement conservatory roof.

A Bryant and Cairns replacement conservatory roof gives you peace of mind when it comes to product quality, red tape and more importantly adding value to your home.

Smart Glass PLUS+

Smartglass Plus is the ultimate material when considering the glazing options for your conservatory roof.


With its excellent solar control and self-cleaning properties, Smartglass helps maintain a comfortable environment so that you can use your conservatory all year round. You can also save money on window cleaning in areas that are often difficult to reach.


• Up to 72% of heat from the sun is reflected for a cooler interior in summer months
• Subtle solar control reduces uncomfortable glare by over 50% • Lets in lots of natural light
• Permanent dual-action self cleaning coating reduces maintenance
• Self-cleaning properties makes it ideal for hard to reach areas
• 100% noise reduction compared to polycarbonate roofs
• Exceptional ‘U’ Value of 1.0W/m2.k means warmer in winter


WARMroof Tiled Conservatory Roof Collection

WARMroof by Name WARMroof by Nature. Before now homeowners had the choice of either a conventional extension or a conservatory. But now with our AWARD WINNING WARMroof you have the choice of the combination of the two giving you the best of both worlds.


This provides you with a flexible and luxurious new living space for both new installations and conservatory replacement projects. Meaning this room is engineered for everyday living all year round. The award winning WARMroof technology can be used in a garden room, sun room, single story extension and other extended living spaces. Therefore, ensuring that every roof offers the very highest level of thermal efficiency. From the inside your new living space will be far more energy efficient and soundproof than a typical conservatory, great when you want a room to entertain or relax in all year round. From the outside the extension to your home is designed to incorporate the features of the main house in terms of brickwork, roof tile colour and roofing pitch.


Built to last the award winning WARMroof technology is robust and structurally tested. The WARMroof is fully guaranteed for 10 years with tiles carrying a 25 or 40 year warranty. All this results in a modern roofing solution that is designed and engineered to withstand the very harshest of climates.

Finally the WARMroof comes with a number of finishing touches to make this as individual as your home. Lighting is important and the WARMroof can offer downlighters to the inside of the roof and even outside with the canopy and corner detail options. There is also an option to add stylish pelmet section which can also house valuable additional lighting as well as a place to fix window and door blinds.

LivinRoof Hybrid Roof Technology For Conservatories and Extensions


For a modern, contemporary crossover between a conservatory and extension, then the must have product is the LivinRoof Hybrid Roof from Bryant & Cairns.

The LivinRoof Hybrid Roof is a truly multi functional addition to any space, creating a pleasant and relaxing space or alternatively as a family room. The LivinRoof combines the external look of a contemporary conservatory, mixing slimline design and minimal grey panels. The LivinRoof provides the look and feel of a solid roof extension, but has the capacity to integrate special shaped glass into the design, creating a more unique, 'hybrid' internal ceiling.

This creates something that is neither conservatory nor extension. It combines all the benefits of the former in terms of light and then fuses this with the solidity and feel of an extension. This effect can be played up or down depending on whether glazed walls or masonry walls are used.

The LivinRoof Hybrid Roof can be used in a range of shapes from Victorian, Georgian, Lean-to and Gables. There is almost no limit to the design you can have. To further enhance the usability of the LivinRoof, down lighters and speakers can be built in to the perimeter roof, so the homeowner can truly stamp their mark on this living space.

Top-tips for transforming your conservatory

Beware of low prices. If one quote is much lower than the rest, you may be inadvertently buying a Clad over roof. Ask for more details about the roof construction.

Always compare roof weight, U-Values, plus wind and snow load tolerances across quotes.

Don’t forget to design in glass panels within your solid roof, to ensure your new room is bright as well as warm and cosy.

Always ask to see a copy of your building regulations conformance certificate BEFORE the build starts. You will need this if you ever sell your house.

Plan to be at home during the installation, be vigilant and ensure all beams and bars are removed BEFORE any materials are added.

Do your research. Look for accreditations, endorsements and reviews.

Make sure you’re covered. Ensure your roof and the installation are both guaranteed and that the guarantees are backed up with insurance to ensure a payout should the worst happen.


Refurbish My Conservatory From Bryant And Cairns

If your conservatory is starting to look a bit tired, a Conservatory Refurbishment from Bryant and Cairns could be just the answer.

If you have been considering replacing your existing conservatory, you may not have to start from scratch. With our range of award winning roof products and with our long standing experience in the area of refurbishments, our team of experts could help you find the perfect option for you and your home in Edinburgh or the surrounding areas. Select from our Performance Glass Roof or completely transform your space into a seamless extension with our stunning solid or hybrid WARMroof or LivinRoof Hybrid roof options. As we coordinate everything in-house, our team of dedicated designers, architects and installers can help you every step of the way and create a package that suits your budget.

Our refurbishment options are a more cost effective way of bringing your existing space back to life and turning that old conservatory into a modern, thermally efficient space that can be used all year round.

Better still, we wont ask you to pay a single penny until the installation is fully complete.

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