Glass or Polycarbonate?

Conservatories from Dream Installations offer end users a wide array of roof options, with glass, tiled, and polycarbonate to choose from. All help to ensure that the extended living space stays as comfortable as possible throughout the year, yet each present their own perks and advantages such as improved heat retention, self-cleaning, and reduced glare. Depending on what you hold in high regard will likely inform your designated roof option.

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Dream conservatories made possible with glass from Pilkington and Planitherm

Most of our available roof options are sourced from reputable systems companies and industry heavyweights Pilkington Glass and Planitherm. Not only does this help customers of both a commercial and domestic nature believe in the conservatories we produce, but means they get to enjoy and experience the best light transmission, solar heat rejection, and U values possible. Activ Sunshade is the standard amongst our range in terms of glass, while the highly retentive 4S option is the premium choice.

The sections below explore each option in more minute detail for those who wish to explore it, covering the configurations possible should you wish your conservatory to be fitted with a pure glass or more traditional polycarbonate roof. Whereas 4S glass implements effective temperature balancing using solar heat reflection, polycarbonate roofs shouldn’t be discounted, utilising foiled inserts to achieve the same result.

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Glass roof

Self cleaning conservatory roof glass

Homeowners have two choices with regards to the panes used within their conservatory’s glass roof: Sunshade and Planitherm 4S glazing. The first of which acts as the primary option that comes as standard, integrating various self-cleaning features to substantially reduce the levels of maintenance needed. With this option allowing the panes stay cleaner for longer even in rainy conditions. Sunshade glass’ sheeting effect still allows for clear outside views in the event of harsh rainfall, with UV rays from the sun breaking down any grime or dirt left on the surface.

Upgrade to a Planitherm 4S glass roof and your extended living space will have a far easier time at balancing temperature levels, reflecting unwanted outside heat while still preventing the appreciated warmth that’s inside from escaping. In a double glazed capacity, Planitherm 4S offer U-values as low as 1.0W/m2K, resulting in some of the best energy efficiency levels around. As well as roofs, Planitherm 4S is also a favourite for use within the windows and doors of south-facing conservatories, providing the ultimate heat reflection defence against the sun’s rays.

Glass roof thicknesses can be adjusted on a property-by-property basis, acting as an acoustic defence layer between conservatories and the hustle and bustle the outside brings. Heat is also successfully reflected with every glass conservatory roof, and glare can be reduced by up to 57%. Protective measures such as these ensure that every conservatory can always be used to its fullest potential.

Conservatory U value
Conservatory Heat Reflection
Reduced internal condensation

Polycarbonate roof

Polycarbonate Roof

Polycarbonate roofs can be supplied in a choice of either 25mm or 35mm depths for greater flexibility, with tint shades of either Opal and Bronze as well as the traditional Clear. Glass roofing can equally be configured, integrating a choice of either ‘Activ’ or ‘4S’ glazing types, both of which work expertly to reduce heat intake and offer improved temperature balancing.

To help your new conservatory stay comfortable 365 days a year, foiled inserts can be integrated into roofs as an optional upgrade. This allows heat to better operate at a balanced temperature, preventing the extended living space from uncomfortably warming up, reduces costs, all while remaining environmentally-friendly. Once inserted, the polycarbonate foiled inserts will substantially reduce the likelihood of the space feeling too cold in the Winter and too Hot in the Summer.

Even without the addition of foiled inserts, ISO 9001 quality performance accreditation is guaranteed as standard across all roof glazing, with every unit tested for durability, strength, and weather-resistance.

Roof Comparisons

The table below gives a simple comparison between standard double glazing, polycarbonate, and high performance Pilkington Activ conservatory options.

Product Light Transmittance Solar Heat Rejection Colour U Value (W/m2K) Self-Cleaning Properties
Uncoated double glazing 4 mm / 12 mm air / 4 mm 0.82 22% Clear 2.8 N
25 mm polycarbonate 0.68 45% Clear 1.75 N
Pilkington Insulight Activ (4 mm Pilkington Optitherm S1 Plus inner pane 16 mm 90% argon filled cavity)
Pilkington Activ Sunshade Blue 0.27 80% Blue 1.0 Y
Pilkington Activ Sunshade Neutral 0.42 68% Neutral 1.0 Y
Pilkington Activ Blue 0.50 67% Blue 1.0 Y
Pilkington Activ Bronze 0.49 64% Bronze 1.0 Y
Pilkington Activ Clear 0.72 N/A Clear 1.0 Y


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I would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone

"Dream Installations fitted two new conservatories and a stable door to my home. They were most helpful when I changed my mind a couple of times regarding style and nothing was ever too much trouble. Everything was dealt with in a calm and professional manner and the fitters were polite, efficient and very tidy. I hope to use Dream again in the future to install their Firestone flat roofing. I would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone looking to improve their home ay a very reasonable price."

- Susanne

I am so impressed with my replacement bathroom window

"I am so impressed with my replacement bathroom window. An excellent match to the existing windows in my property. Adrian and Dave did an excellent job, taking great care to cover all surfaces and the house was pristine when they left. Thank you. I highly recommend Dream Installations to anyone who wants first class advice, workmanship and service."

- Bobbie

We are very pleased with the new windows

"My husband and I recently had all our bungalow windows replaced as the old ones were about 25yrs old and not a good fit. We are very pleased with the new windows and the front porch. We had Dreams to build our conservatory back in 2007 so we already knew how good they were. They work hard to get the job finished and their after sales service is also very good. We would recommend Dreams for their excellent choice of windows etc. and for the efficiency of their staff."

- Jennifer

Faultless service from beginning to end

"We wanted Mum to have a new conservatory but were a little concerned that it would be too much of an upheaval for an 87 year old! We needn't have worried, as Dream Installations delivered a faultless service from beginning to end. Their team were all so polite, hard working, turned up when they were supposed to and always tidied up behind them. As for the end product - Wow! Mum is delighted and is looking forward to enjoying the summer in her lovely new conservatory. Thank you Dream Installations, we would have no hesitation in recommending you to others!"

- Wendy

Many thanks once again for an excellent job

"Many thanks once again for an excellent job done by your team (especially Dave & Wayne). They were all hard working, conscientious, polite, friendly and very skilled and knowledgeable about the work being undertaken. It's also very satisfying to know that any 'after-care' needed with queries etc. is also dealt with efficiently and speedily. Once again, many thanks."

- Elizabeth & John

Installers of quality glazing products serving Norfolk, Suffolk & surrounding areas