By Paul Zec, Founder of Parish Conservatories
When buying a conservatory there are many choices of glass to use in the structure. Most companies use tempered over tempered clear as the standard glass in their pricing module for both the side and roof glazing.
Some areas will require tempered over laminated glass in the roof as well. This is always true for commercial use, pool covers and some states. Tempered over laminated means the top piece is tempered but the bottom is simply two pieces of annealed glass laminated together. The point of laminated glass is to keep broken glass from falling into the room. There is a new film that is being touted to turn tempered over tempered glass into what building departments will accept as tempered over laminated glass. The advantage of using a film is that tempered over tempered glass is much stronger than tempered over laminated glass. Before installing any films check to see if it affects your warranty on the glass.
Some less expensive conservatories especially pvc manufacturers offer different types of polycarbonate in the roof as an option. These are sometimes clear and sometimes have a honeycomb shape inside of them. These companies also sell many conservatories without any type of venting system in the roof. You may be sorry if this is the way you go because the room will be unbearably hot if it gets a lot of direct sun and shades may cost half as much as the original conservatory and may not be enough if the room is not properly vented. Many people do not understand what buying a conservatory without roof vents will mean to them until after they are living in the space.
There is no best choice of glass for everyone. You need to understand the choices you are making prior to ordering your conservatory.