The emergence of conservatories 2.0

Chris Baron
Chris Baron

The humble conservatory has taken a bashing in consumer channels recently, but with the launch of the next generation S2 glazed roof system from Sheerline, are we going to see a complete re-invention of the sector? Chris Baron, director of Prefix Systems certainly thinks so.

Back in the noughties, conservatories were the top of the wish lists of consumers eager to invest in their homes and the market grew significantly to around 300,000 installations per annum.

There were also a number of market players, and the media was saturated with advertising by the systems houses eager to build market share, with fabricators like Prefix Systems enjoying the fruits of the market dynamics.

At the time, conservatories were promoted as being cost effective extensions to the home that didn’t require planning permission and there was considerable investment and product development to stay ahead of the pack in the roofing sector. But over the years brands have disappeared – most notably K2 – but also the likes of Global, Newdawn and Park Lane.

So, while the market may well now have contracted to about 80,000 installations per annum, the emergence of the solid roof market has taken centre stage in terms of awareness, marketing and product development, including our own award-winning Warmroof.

But with little investment in the conservatory sector, it is no wonder that the market has declined.

The introduction of S2 however, promises to change that.

S2 has been developed by Sheerline using the proven K2 chassis, which in the latter years had moved on considerably from its early design into a highly regarded platform that was designed with bigger spans and greater structural stability in mind.

With larger openings for bi-folding doors and the increased size in conservatories and glazed extensions, this ground-up thinking is one for today and tomorrow’s more demanding markets.

The S2 system boasts both chambered PVC-U and thermally broken aluminium top caps with a distinctly modern square design, offering pitches from 2.5 to 37.5 degrees with the option of fixed or variable pitched ridges. There’s a dedicated low pitch eaves beam and cover, while the main box section eaves beam has been designed with an integrated bolster to accommodate large openings.

There are a full range of box gutters and adaptors, while the rainwater goods are catered for by the proven Polypipe Plus range. In addition, there’s an aluminium gutter shroud to provide a stylish superior finish, along with an internal pelmet to offer a ‘real room’ feel too.

But the overall design of current and future glazed extension has and will change too and we’re unlikely to see a plethora of top openers over fixed, and narrow French doors, rather a move towards full height glazing and both patio and bi-folding doors. The word glazed extension perfectly reflects this new product proposition too.

Prefix Systems is perfectly positioned to support customers in the new and evolving glazed extension market, full kit aluminum extensions can be sourced as a complete kit, or as a roof kit only for installation onto aluminum frames of your choice.

We have dedicated production facilities and world-class manufacturing processes to ensure product quality, consistency, and the upmost customer care are at the forefront of our offering. The days of a basic ‘one system fits all’ roof system are numbered, with consumers looking at bigger ticket items incorporating sleek aluminum profiles and bespoke upgrades, and colour options.

Consumers have a choice now in terms of extended living space and we’ve been a pioneer since 2006 and now offer a range of glazed, solid and Verandah solutions, along with a complete range of Opal aluminium windows and doors.

Our belief is that the market for glazed roofs hasn’t died yet, it just needed a re-think and a large investment programme, thanks to the considerable resources of Roger Hartshorne and Sheerline, to help re-position it for the demands of the modern design-led market.