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For those who appreciate the difference

A Guide to solid roof conservatories & orangeries

The benefits, design ideas and inspiration


Updated: 15th January 2024
A guide to solid roof conservatories and orangeries

When it comes to choosing the right roof for your conservatory extension, the decision between a solid roof and a glass roof is a key consideration. In this article, we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages in comparison to glass roofs and other design choices for solid roof projects.

Advantages of A Solid Roof

Example of a solid roof project

Enhanced Insulation

Solid roofs provide superior insulation compared to glass roofs, making the conservatory a more energy-efficient space. This feature ensures a comfortable environment throughout the year, minimising temperature fluctuations.

Increased Privacy

Solid roofs contribute to a more private atmosphere, shielding the interior from prying eyes. This is advantageous for homeowners seeking create a cosy and secluded space. This is especially relevant for densely populated surroundings, such as cities and built-up urban areas.

Increased privacy on a solid roof conservatory
Solid roof conservatory with reduced sun glare

Reduced Glare and Sunlight Control

Homeowners who prefer a more shaded and private space will appreciate the reduced glare and improved sunlight control offered by solid roofs. This can be particularly beneficial in conservatories used as home offices or relaxation spaces and also for projects situated in orientations with challenging sunlight conditions.

Disadvantages of A Solid Roof

solid roof orangery example

Reduced Natural Light & Sky Views

One of the primary drawbacks of solid roofs is the diminished natural light compared to glass roofs. Homeowners who value abundant sunlight and a brighter interior may find this aspect less appealing.

Solid roofs limit the view of the sky, which can detract from the open and airy ambiance associated with conservatories. This may be a crucial consideration for individuals who want a closer connection to the outdoors.

Less Flexibility

Unlike a glass roof lantern, that can be shaded with blinds and permits the opening of roof vents for ventilation in warmer months, a solid roof provides less flexibility to change the suit the varying seasons.

glass roof lantern with blinds
stargazing possibilities with a conservatory

Loss of Stargazing

While solid roofs provide comforting shade and privacy, there's a forgotten disadvantage which some homeowners may miss out on. Transparent roofing options like roof lanterns allow those who love to gaze at the stars to do it from the inside comfort of their home.

Design Considerations

Material Options

Solid roofs can be finished in various materials, including tiles, slate, and the highly favoured lead finish among our clients. The choice of material contributes to the distinctive aesthetic appeal, allowing you to achieve your desired look.

Orangery with a slate roof
Conservatory with a tiled roof
Garden room with a lead roof

Other Design Options

Choosing a solid roof for your conservatory opens the door to various design elements. Below are a few options that allow for to different aesthetic preferences on your project.

Flat roof orangery from outside
Flat roof orangery from inside
A flat roof

Opting for a flat roof, as opposed to a pitched roof, provides an alternative choice that presents a sleek and minimal profile from the exterior.

Hybrid roof design

In projects where applicable, homeowners may explore a hybrid roof option. This could involve a combination of solid and glass roofing or a design featuring varying solid roof sections.

Example of a small garden orangery
Multiple roof sections

Additionally, a design may incorporate multiple separate roof sections. For example, the adjacent images illustrate a solid roof section with a roof lantern, either joined or separated to form a different part of the room.

orangery roof with both glass roof and solid roof
orangery with two roof sections
conservatory project with a lead roof and glass lantern
close up of lead roof with additional glass roof lantern
Glass roof lantern

A glass roof lantern can be added within a solid roof structure, either with the same roof finish or with a glass top. This is a thoughtful design choice, introducing an architectural element that not only enhances the design visually but also facilitates the flow of light and ventilation within a room.

Internal finishing

As an alternative to a standard plaster finish on the underside of the roof, the option to choose decorative timber panels and trimmings to create a more appealing interior.

underside of the roof with timber trimming
orangery design with a solid lead-topped dome
orangery interior with solid roof dome
Dome Finish

For a more intricate and refined finish, the design can include a lead-topped dome, adding an element of sophistication both internally and externally to the overall aesthetic.

More Design Inspiration for Projects with a Solid Roofs

solid roof orangery with a gable
inside of a solid roof orangery
orangery with two roof sections
solid roof conservatory design
solid roof orangery on a old stone cottage
orangery with a solid roof

Speak to our design team or request a brochure

Vale Garden Houses have the expertise to help you design and build an extension to your home that meets your needs and complements your property. We have over 40 years of experience designing and manufacturing bespoke conservatories and can work with you to create a conservatory that suits your style, space, and budget. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you bring your project to life.

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Complete our online form to download or receive by post our inspirational 108-page brochure featuring an extensive collection of conservatories, orangeries and rooflights.

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What is an orangery?

Understand the difference between a conservatory and an orangery by reading our comprehensive article on the differences.

Learn More