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Why have a solid conservatory roof over glass?

Why you need to upgrade to a solid conservatory roof system

A solid conservatory roof installation is a cost effective way of expanding and breathing new life into your home. It’s a good solution to making better use of spaces you may be wasting.

No space to waste? Solid roofing systems can help

Have you ever become trapped in the continuous battle for space in your home, not knowing, quite when all the cupboards grew from full to bursting? A glass conservatory makes the perfect day room but may not always be the best option for daily usage. A solid conservatory roofing system can transform the space and make it functional as a kitchen or living extension, allowing you the extra space you need, creating a smooth transition that fits with the rest of your home.

Conservatory roofing options: what can they offer?

Of course with a roof constructed entirely of translucent material, there can be the issue of being overlooked solid roofing can offer more privacy and can be particularly useful for anyone in terraced housing. This type of roofing installation allows you to maintain the open feel of a glass conservatory whilst offering the privacy and versatility of a tiled conservatory roof extension..

Lightweight conservatory roofing for easy installation

If you’re thinking about installing a solid roofing system you will need planning permission. Any structure over 70pc glass is not classified as a liveable space, but the replacement conservatory roof panels change this. Unlike a glass conservatory, the structure must abide by building control regulations. But to make life easier for you, all roofing systems supplied by us come pre-approved. This means you have nothing to worry about, and once you’ve decided and purchased your roof, you’re ready to go. As the solid roofing systems are lightweight, installation is easier and quicker. The roof can be fitted to a pre-existing structure eliminating the need for material removal before construction begins.

Cost effective home expansion

By re-using and re-energising existing elements of your home, a solid roofing system can save you a lot of money. It is a cost effective method for improving your home and making the most of the space you have. You can enjoy the benefits of a brand new extension but for a fraction of the cost. The improved insulation of the inner roof of the conservatory will also help you cut the cost of your annual energy bill.

Best conservatory roof materials for a bespoke finish

Our Ultra Roof 380 conservatory is a tiled conservatory roof system that offers you a bespoke design solution with all the benefits of a tiled roof and solid building extension. You can choose from two designs of solid roofing: panelled or mock-tile. Both are modular roofing systems which provide some options when it comes to lighting. Unlike tiled conservatory roofs, a solid roof can support full length window panels. When it comes to choosing your design, there are more bespoke options allowing you to personalise the finish. It also means there are better lighting options that some extensions can offer. With full length windows, plenty of light can come through to the room that will really open up the space. Clients can speak with the team, either on the phone or by visiting the showroom in Upminster to discuss style options.

The Ken Rhodes Group

As a family run business, we know the importance of working closely with clients. We are dedicated to offering a quality high standard service that our customers can rely on. We are dedicated to every project we take on and make sure to see it through until the very end. If you’re interested in upgrading your roofing system or want to find out more, pop in and see us at the showroom, explore our website for virtual tours of our products, or give us a call on 01708 227777.

Five Reasons to Upgrade to Double Glazing

Five reasons to upgrade to double glazing

Five Top Tips When Getting a Double Glazing Quote

With so many variations of double glazed windows on the market it is important to have a clear understanding of what you want your new windows to achieve and which style and type best suit your requirements prior to shopping around for quotes

1. Increased Security Like many things, technology has advanced and improved double glazing options.Models over 15 years old will most likely be fitted with a two-point locking system, meaning if the latch is compromised it’s easy to gain entry to your home, and will be externally glazed, meaning if someone pops the glass from outside then you’re in trouble. The Ken Rhodes Group modern double glazing designs now have a 12 point lock system, UPVC window for additional strength and will be installed with external glazing, providing additional safety and security for your home and belongings. The house in the street with shiny new windows will present more of a struggle to gain entry to and will deter any potential break-ins.

2. Double glazed, money saved -The Ken Rhodes Group only install A+ rated windows that offer the best energy efficiency currently on offer, with virtually no heat loss. Older frames are far less effective at insulating your home, but with better-rated panes, there will be less need to have the heating on, and when it is, for far less time, which will help reduce your annual energy bill and your carbon footprint.

3. Regain access to your home -For many who installed a conservatory at the back of their house many years ago, they can find access to the room very restricted. This is because of poor glass temperature control making it ice-like in the winter and scorching and uncomfortable in the summer. What many may not realise is that replacing the glass of the walls and the roof with contemporary double glazing will fix this, giving you back access to your home, and for a quarter of the price of a new renovation. The Ken Rhodes Group specialises in window, door and conservatory glass fitting.

4. Increase your property valueIf you’re looking to sell your home replacing the windows can be a great way to give it that added little boost you need. It will add to your curb appeal, cleaning up a drab exterior and with plenty of options on styles and frames, you can tailor and customise it any way you want. The Ken Rhodes Group offer an aluminium frame that will apply a clean, neat finish that requires little maintenance, is protected against issues of swelling and cracking throughout season changes and can be spray painted any colour. If A+ rated windows are used this will improve your home’s energy efficiency on the home buyer’s report, which in turn will make it more attractive to potential buyers and bump up your home’s value.

5. It’s not as expensive as you think With so many options on finishes and design, it’s easy to achieve a high-end look at an affordable price. The Ken Rhodes Group work closely with their customers, getting to know them and therefore what products will be best for their home and bank accounts. They also offer customers finance, allowing them to spread costs over three years, interest free or the ability to join the buy now, pay later scheme. It’s worthwhile working closely with installers so they can get to know you and deliver exactly what it is you are looking for.

What’s the difference between a Conservatory and an Orangery?

What’s the difference between a Conservatory and an Orangery

What’s the difference between a Conservatory and an Orangery?

The main difference between a conservatory and an orangery is the material the roof is made from and the way it is constructed. Typically an orangery will be constructed as follows:

1. Solid flat fibreglass roof with central glazed roof lantern

2. More brickwork to the front and side elevations than glass

3. Decorative cornice gutter instead of standard U shaped guttering

4. More brickwork to the front and side elevations than glass

5. Brick piers to front of the building with an internal perimeter pelmet

It is a question we get asked a lot from our customers and can be the source of a lot of confusion. If you were to ask your average person on the street you are likely to end up with whole host of difference answers. So what are the differences between a conservatory and an orangery?.

History and Origins of Orangery’s

The term orangery dates back to the Renaissance period of the 15th and 16th century and was used to describe a standalone permanent structure used to house and grow citrus trees. These often grandly designed buildings, usually built by the wealthy upper class, were often constructed with brick and stone walls to protect the plants inside from the harsh British winter with a glass lantern within the roof to allow the plants to receive sun light to help them grow. As time went on and agricultural technologies advanced these building were used less for growing oranges and became more a status symbol with members of the upper class adding them to the rear of their homes to connect their houses with their gardens.

History and Origins of Conservatory’s

Again owing their heritage to agricultural conservatories began being built during the 17th century and were used to grown tropical plants and fruits withing European countries such as here in England. Advancing upon the typical brick built design of the earlier orangeries conservatories were typically constructed from iron and single sheets of glass with sloping roofs to allow as much light and heat to enter the room to help the plants typically grown in warmer climates flourish. As technology in glass progressed and insulated double glazed units came into production around the 1970’s homeowners began building smaller domestic versions of the Victorian style conservatories and adding them to the back of their homes.

Modern day Orangeries and Conservatories

Fast forward to the 21st century and both conservatories and orangery’s are now very much common place within British households and come in a huge variety of shapes, sizes and colour combinations and with new advances in glass technology and the thermal efficiency of the frames they have become more like glazed extensions rather then upmarket greenhouses.

Due to the similarities between the two it can be difficult for the average home owner to know the difference between a conservatory and and orangery which can be the source of a lot of confusion when deciding which of the two best suits their needs and requirements.

So, what is the difference between the two? We have outlined the main characteristics and benefits of both which hopefully will help to distinguish between the two and point you in the right direction


Main Characteristics

1. An orangery is typically constructed with a flat roof with a central glass roof lantern meaning that less then 75% of the roof area is glazed. Due to this as the structure is classed as a habitable room meaning you must apply for building regulations permission for its construction.

2. Internally the roof of an orangery is plastered and typically has down lights installed into the pelmet around the perimeter.

3. Due to the roof being flat orangery’s tend to have a decorative cornice around the top of the brickwork in front of the main gutter to give it an ornate finish.

3. Orangeries tend to be rectangular in shape or with additional brickwork to the front elevation entrance forming a T formation.


An orangery is a great choice for the homeowner who is looking for an extension on their home that has the added benefit of natural light brought in by the central roof lantern. Due to the construction of the roof, orangery’s do tend to be be more expensive than a conservatory of a similar shape and size therefore this is something to take into consideration when budgeting for your home improvements.


Main Characteristics

1. Unlike orangery’s conservatories come in a variety of shapes such a 3 or 5 faceted Victorian’s, rectangular Edwardian or a traditional Lean-to sun room.

2. Conservatories do not come under building regulations due to the roof being more than 75% glazed meaning it is not classed as a habitable room.

3. Although over the years homeowners has been requested more and more brickwork on their conservatories typically they are constructed with dwarf walls to the front and side flanks with windows and doors meaning they are made up mostly of glass


A conservatory is a great choice for the homeowner who is looking for a variety of options in terms of shape and design and is looking for a new room that seamlessly blends their outside space and their home.

Five Key Benefits of a Solid Conservatory Roof Replacement

Tiled Roof Conservatory

Adding a conservatory to any house comes with its numerous advantages, such as extra space, increased light and air flow, but many homeowners aren’t using them to their full potential. The problem often comes down to seasonality, as conservatories can be too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter, and with the UK’s famously unpredictable weather, this can also be a deal breaker for those looking to extend their properties and can result in the conservatory being unused.

By replacing your existing roof with a solid conservatory roof you can instantly transform you unused conservatory into a year round usable room. In addition to this solid conservatory roof replacements also offer the following benefits;

1) Thermal Efficiency

They are extremely thermal efficient with a U value of 0.16U which is fifteen times more thermally efficient than 16mm polycarbonate or conservatory roof glass used for conservatory that were installed some years ago helping you to save money on your heating bills

2) Building Control Compliant

By removing the glazing from your roof and replacing it with a solid panels or tiles the building is no longer classed as a conservatory and therefore requires building regulations. The good news is is the solid roof systems are all fully compliant with building control meaning that all that is required is a simple application form before the work starts and a visit from an inspector once completed.

3) Cost Effective

A brick built, flat roof extension can not only be very disruptive and take months to complete but they can also be proved to be very costly. By converting and making us of your existing conservatory you can achieve the same outcome for a fraction of the cost!

4) Add value to your property

By replacing your conservatory roof and turning your disused room into a new glazed extension that can be used year round you can potentially increase the value of your home and therefore recuperate the cost of the work.

5) Improved Acoustics

The added insulation not only keeps the temperature more consistent, it also improves the acoustics by keeping unwanted noise out so whatever the weather you will still have peace and quite in your new glazed extension

When getting quotes

The quality of products and overall packages can vary considerably. Hopefully the following will give you an indication of what to look out for when obtaining quotes. The difference between the products companies can offer and their quality can be vast. Research from consumer protection groups such as ‘Which?’ has shown the common misconception amongst the public is the larger the company the better the product. Always ensure you view first hand either a sample of product or request to see a previous installation. Also ensure the company has showrooms you can visit to enable you to view their products. What to look for when viewing the product: • Security – are the windows internally glazed? External glazed windows are a burglars dream • Are the transom bars below the fan lights welded? If not mechanically joined, then it’s a cheaply produced window • Insulation values – Is the actual window frame itself without the glass energy ‘A’ rated? • Did the company demonstrate with a heat lamp the ‘A’ rated glass? • Will you get an independent BFRC energy rated ‘A’ certificate on compensation of works? • Guarantees – Is the guarantee for ten or fifteen years? And deposits insurance backed? • Do you receive an independent insurance back guarantee from a recognised body like the CPA? Please be aware your FENSA certificate isn’t an insurance guarantee • Are the sealed units included for the duration of the guarantee? The British public are renowned for politeness with their manners which pushy salesmen have been known to us to their advantage. They also often employ dishonest selling tactics by offering so call fantastic offers such as: • “If you order now we can knock off ‘X’ amount” • “Just let me phone my manager to get you a discount” • “We can give you ‘X’ amount off for a show house if we can leave an advert board behind” • “We can do you a better deal if we put your order through as trade or commercial deal” • “You are in luck, to get our figures for the month then an order now will be ‘X’ discount”. As is usually the case, the so called discount has been secretly added on to the quote at the start Hopefully the above gives you a guide regarding what to look out for regarding quality and service. If you have any further questions, please contact us as we will be only happy to help on 01708 227777.