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Eurocell's Easy Installation Roof For Homeowners

12 June 2007

Eurocell Building Plastics discusses how modern conservatory roof systems are reinvigorating the market for smaller conservatories.

“After a period of decline, lean-to conservatories are set to become a more attractive proposition, both for the consumer as well as the installer.

Pressure on land means that the homes of the future will be taller and narrower, and we are already seeing this with increasing number of townhouses being built. The growth in these types of dwellings and the rise in the number of one and two bedroom homes creates a challenge for fabricators – how can homeowners living in properties with smaller footprints take advantage of the full benefits that a conservatory offers? This was the basic premise that led to the design of our new IQ750 modular roofing system.

Taking into account the needs of both installers and the homeowner, it was essential that the new roofing system had to meet the requirements of both groups. Specifically installers are looking for conservatories that are both quick and easy to install whilst homeowners want finished rooms that are as light and airy as possible.

The design of the new IQ750 roof system involved a complete re-think of how modular roofs are currently supplied and fitted. The result is a ‘smart’ roof with many unique features that offer tangible benefits for both installers and homeowners.

The new roof is extremely quick and easy to fit and is available ‘off the shelf’ in all Eurocell Building Plastic depots across the country. This makes IQ750 a convenient and time efficient way for installers to tackle lean-to roofing jobs. Improved ordering and installation

There was a time when traditional lean-to conservatories were not an attractive proposition to fit as it often meant sourcing frames and roofs from different suppliers, which made installation time consuming and difficult to manage. Added to this was the fact that in some cases the roof could be on a five day lead time. Also, with multiple suppliers involved, often the margins available simply did not make it worthwhile. Fabricators and installers therefore needed to see definite improvements in installation time as well as time efficiencies in sourcing of materials for the new roofing system to be successful.

To develop a new roofing system that would meet with all parties’ requirements meant carrying out extensive research to make sure we came up with the right solution. We surveyed over 100 conservatory installers and realised that 750mm modules would be more appealing as it led to fewer glazing bars being required, improving the overall appearance of the conservatory roof. It also enables installers to complete the job much more quickly.

An added benefit for homeowners is that the location of the glazing bars also means the roof matches the position of 1500mm French doors perfectly. The overall effect of a well-matched frame and roofing system cannot be underestimated in improving the overall appearance of a lean-to conservatory. Fewer glazing bars also mean more light gets into the conservatory space, giving a modern airy feel to the room.

The amount of time spent on site is also a major factor, we knew that a new roofing system would have to reduce this to make it more attractive to installers.

Our research showed that installing a lean-to conservatory often takes four days or more, this meant that the roof, because it was on a five day lead time, had to be pre-ordered. This is not much different to what it would be for a much larger bespoke model, which makes it no wonder that lean-to’s had become so unappealing to installers! When the roof did arrive it was often a couple of days’ work in itself, so we were determined to launch a roofing system that would offer major time saving benefits.

By organizing each component in the roofing system into easy to follow packs, with simple step-by-step instructions, we have managed to significantly reduce the amount of time spent on site. As each component is already fabricated to specific sizes, there is no need for cutting to be carried out on site and because of this the roof fits together quickly and easily.

Our research also showed that installers didn’t want the headache of having to pre-order the roof then wait up to five days for it to arrive. Often with lean-to conservatories, the homeowner makes a decision more quickly than with higher ticket bespoke conservatories, therefore having a roofing system available ex-stock becomes vitally important.

Pre-ordering is now a thing of the past with IQ750 available in five different stock sizes – ranging in 0.5m intervals from 2m to 4m, which suits most requirements for smaller conservatories.

In the past, there could be issues with lean-to conservatories that did not have a sufficiently low pitch to fit on a bungalow or beneath an upstairs window of a traditional two storey house. We recognized that the pitch of the roof had to be very versatile and so introduced pitches of 2.5˚, 5˚, 7.5˚ and 10˚, which means that having a conservatory is now a possibility for almost every style of home.

Our research with homeowners showed that introducing light into the home was still one of the main driving forces in buying a conservatory, closely followed by a desire to make the best use of available space.

Our research showed that the market demanded a system with better sight lines, which maximized the amount of light that entered the home. The choice of Opal Polycarbonate was therefore carefully considered for the roof panel as we felt it had to be energy efficient, yet attractive at the same time. The polycarbonate gives a U-value of 1.4 and filters attractive soft light into a conservatory, another benefit that should be welcomed by homeowners.

From a functional point of view, lean-to designs still need to be sturdy and weather resistant. So we designed a structural aluminium firring support for the roof which enables French doors to be fitted to the side, as well as to the front– a major selling point especially if there is limited access to the garden. This gives flexibility of door placement without affecting structural integrity.

We are really excited about the opportunities this innovative modular roofing system offers to open up the lean-to end of the conservatory market. We have always believed that having a conservatory should not just be a luxury for larger homes, but should be available to the vast majority of homeowners.

We hope that by making these modular systems more appealing to installers, this will help reinvigorate the trend towards smaller conservatories. The future looks bright for a new generation of lean-to conservatories, which are more attractive, simpler to install and accessible to more homeowners than ever before.”

For more information on the IQ750 system, contact your nearest Eurocell depot on 01773 837490 or visit the website www.eurocell.co.uk.

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