Opening times: Monday to Saturday 9am to 5pm

Customer Service

Up to 50% Cheaper

Than High Street Retailers

Nationwide Delivery

For Select Products & Locations
Trustpilot Reviews

Get in touch with Us

When selecting a suitable material for your roofing needs, the decision often comes down to either polycarbonate or glass.

Both materials offer unique benefits, from enhancing natural daylight to offering robust weather resistance, making them popular for various applications, including conservatories, carports, and garden verandas.

However, understanding their cost, durability, and thermal efficiency is critical to making an informed choice that aligns with your requirements.

This article will comprehensively compare polycarbonate and glass roofing, examining their pros and cons to help you decide the best fit for your project.

Keep reading to uncover essential insights that will guide your decision-making process.

Key Takeaways

  • Polycarbonate Roofing Offers Excellent Impact Resistance and Thermal Insulation, but May Have Aesthetic Limitations
  • Glass Roofing Provides Transparency and that Aesthetic Appeal, Yet It Is More Vulnerable to Breakages and Can Be More Expensive
  • Both Polycarbonate and Glass Roofing Materials Have Their Own Unique Set of Advantages, Including Energy Efficiency and UV Protection, but Each Comes With Specific Considerations for Cost, Durability, and Maintenance
  • Choosing the Right Roofing Material Depends on Balancing Factors Such as Budget, Aesthetic Preferences, Climate, and Long-Term Maintenance Requirements
  • Glazing Systems LTD Provides a Wide Range of High-Quality Polycarbonate Sheets and Expert Advice for Various Roofing Projects; Ensuring Customers Find the Best Solution for Their Needs

Polycarbonate Roofing

Known for its impressive strength and versatility, this material offers a compelling alternative to traditional glass for those contemplating constructing or renovating their roof.

As you dive into the pros and cons of polycarbonate roofing, you’ll discover that this thermoplastic material offers durability against extreme weather conditions like hail and snow and exceptional thermal insulation.

However, it is also essential to weigh these advantages against the potential drawbacks, such as its higher cost than some other materials and the possibility of less aesthetic appeal for particular design preferences.

Understanding the balance of these factors is crucial for making an informed decision that aligns with your specific needs and preferences for your roofing project.


When considering the properties of polycarbonate roofing, its resilience stands out. This robust thermoplastic can sustain substantial impacts — from hailstones to falling branches — without succumbing to damage. Its construction, which cleverly disperses energy upon impact, ensures that this material remains a steadfast protector of your space, come rain or shine.

Moreover, polycarbonate roofing excels at filtering ultraviolet (UV) radiation while allowing abundant natural light to permeate through. This unique ability to diffuse sunlight without the risk of UV damage offers an optimal environment for your interior spaces, striking a balance between brightness and protection. Its thermal insulation properties create comfortable indoor temperatures, regardless of the external climate conditions.


Exploring the advantages of polycarbonate roofing material, it’s clear that its superior durability sets it apart. Unlike glass, polycarbonate can withstand extreme conditions like wind, rain, and occasional stray cricket balls without sustaining cracks or breaks. This characteristic makes it a wise investment for those seeking a roofing solution that reduces the risk of unexpected repair or replacement costs.

Another noteworthy benefit is its lightweight nature. This aspect of polycarbonate simplifies the installation process and reduces the overall load on your building’s structure. The lower weight can be particularly beneficial for projects where this is a concern, allowing you to achieve a spacious and airy room or veranda without compromising safety or structural integrity.


While polycarbonate roofing boasts notable benefits, one potential drawback is its aesthetic versatility. Compared to traditional glass, which exudes a timeless elegance, polycarbonate will generally only work with specific architectural designs or preferences. This factor could be particularly relevant if your project aims to enhance the visual appeal of your property or if you’re situated in a conservation area where the appearance of building materials is tightly regulated.

Another aspect to deliberate on is longevity in terms of clarity and appearance. Despite its robustness against physical damage, polycarbonate is prone to yellowing over time when exposed to sunlight. The degradation can affect your roof’s translucence and overall look, necessitating additional treatments or replacement earlier than you might expect with glass. It’s important to weigh this against the initial cost savings and consider your roofing material’s long-term aesthetics and maintenance requirements.

Glass Roofing

Shifting focus towards glass roofing provides a traditional yet sophisticated alternative.

Glass, known for its clarity and timeless elegance, offers a distinct set of properties that can dramatically transform the atmosphere and aesthetics of your space.

As you explore the realms of glass as a building material, it’s essential to consider its strengths, such as the unmatched transparency that floods your interiors with daylight and the benefits of using safety glass varieties such as tempered or laminated glass for enhanced durability.

However, understanding the limitations of glass also involves understanding its vulnerability to weight, impact, and the potential for higher energy costs due to its thermal conductivity.

This section aims to delve into the nuanced advantages and challenges of glass roofing, guiding you to a decision that harmonises with your architectural vision and practical needs.


This material invites daylight into your interiors, creating a brilliant, illuminated ambience that enhances the spaciousness of any room or veranda. The natural light that permeates through glass roofing not only elevates the aesthetics of your space but also promotes a healthy, vibrant environment for plant life and enhances the overall mood of the occupants.

Additionally, the strength and safety offered by variations in glass roofing, such as tempered or laminated glass, provide peace of mind. These types of safety glass are engineered to resist breaking under impact, and even in the rare instances when they fail, they shatter into small, blunt pieces that significantly reduce the risk of injury. This aspect of glass as a building material introduces an element of robust security without compromising the clarity and elegance inherent to glass roofing designs.


Embracing glass roofing brings a touch of sophistication to your property that few other materials can match. Its unparalleled transparency allows daylight to flood the interiors, enhancing any room or conservatory’s aesthetics and perceived size. This feature makes it a standout choice for creating an inviting and luminous environment.

Another significant advantage of opting for glass in your roofing projects is its thermal efficiency. Glass roofs, especially when treated with the proper coatings, can significantly reduce heat loss in winter while reflecting excessive sunlight in summer, contributing to a more stable and comfortable indoor climate year-round. Integrating such glass solutions can lead to substantial energy savings over time:

  • Increased daylight reduces the need for artificial lighting during the day.
  • Special coatings can minimise ultraviolet and infrared light, which manages the temperature without heavily relying on heating or cooling systems.
  • Choosing safety glass varieties such as tempered or laminated glass enhances durability and improves safety, reducing the risk of injury during breakage.


Despite the aesthetic appeal and numerous advantages of glass roofing, it’s essential to consider its susceptibility to breakage and higher costs. While offering unparalleled clarity and elegance, the glass may not be the best fit for areas prone to severe weather conditions like heavy snowfall or strong winds, as the risk of breakage increases dramatically under such stresses.

Moreover, the installation and maintenance costs of glass roofing are significantly higher compared to polycarbonate alternatives. This is due to the need for specialised installation to ensure safety and durability and the potential need for more frequent cleaning to maintain its clear, aesthetically pleasing look:

  • Increased vulnerability to breakage, particularly in extreme weather conditions.
  • Higher initial installation and ongoing maintenance costs.
  • Frequent cleaning is necessary to preserve clarity and minimise the appearance of wear.

Polycarbonate vs Glass Cost Comparison

When choosing between polycarbonate and glass roofing, your budget is pivotal in guiding the decision. Initially, polycarbonate emerged as the more cost-effective solution. Its lower price point is beautiful for larger projects or those with a tighter budget, allowing for significant savings without compromising durability.

However, the long-term benefits of glass roofing should be considered despite its higher initial costs. The investment in glass roofing can be justified by its potential for energy savings, thanks to its superior thermal efficiency and ability to reduce the need for artificial lighting during daylight hours.

It’s also worth considering each material’s maintenance and replacement costs. Polycarbonate, while less expensive upfront, may require additional treatments or sooner replacements due to its tendency to yellow over time when exposed to sunlight. This factor could offset some of the initial cost savings.

Ultimately, the choice between polycarbonate and glass roofing hinges on balancing short-term expenses with long-term value. Each material presents a unique set of financial considerations, from installation and maintenance to energy savings and the aesthetic impact on your property’s value. Careful deliberation of these elements will lead you to make an informed roofing decision that aligns with your aesthetic preferences and financial constraints.

Practical Considerations

When delving into the practical considerations of choosing between polycarbonate and glass for your roofing needs, remember that the installation process plays a critical role. Polycarbonate is renowned for its ease of installation due to its lightweight nature, enabling quicker and more cost-effective setup, a vital consideration for managing project timelines and labour costs.

Think about maintenance and longevity as well. With its inherent durability and resistance to yellowing over time, glass demands less effort in upkeep to maintain its pristine appearance. This could mean fewer disruptions and expenses for you in the long run, making it an appealing option for those prioritising longevity and ease of maintenance.

Consider the climate and location of your property. If you reside in an area prone to extreme weather conditions such as hail, strong winds, or heavy snow, polycarbonate’s superior impact resistance and ability to withstand such adversities without damage may sway your decision. Its resilience could be the difference between a robust, lasting roof and one that requires frequent repairs or replacement.

Energy efficiency is another aspect not to be overlooked. Glass roofing, especially when equipped with thermal and UV coatings, can dramatically enhance your property’s energy efficiency, reducing the need for artificial heating and cooling. This could lead to substantial savings on energy bills, an essential factor for those looking to minimise their carbon footprint and operational expenses over time.

Where to Buy Polycarbonate Sheets?

Identifying a reliable supplier for polycarbonate sheets becomes crucial once you decide to proceed with polycarbonate for your roofing project. Glazing Systems Ltd stands out as a distinguished supplier and installer. Specialising in high-quality building materials, they offer various polycarbonate sheets suitable for different requirements, including carports and garden verandas.

Their expertise is more comprehensive than providing polycarbonate sheets. Glazing Systems Ltd also offers comprehensive support in choosing the suitable materials for your project. This is critical: selecting the correct type of polycarbonate not only affects the longevity and performance of your roof but also impacts its aesthetic appeal and thermal efficiency.

To further assist in your decision-making process, consider the following table outlining some key offerings from Glazing Systems Ltd:

Product Type Applications Features
Multiwall Polycarbonate Sheets Roofs, Greenhouses, Carports Lightweight, Thermal Insulation, UV Protection
Solid Polycarbonate Sheets Skylights, Windows, Windshields High Impact Resistance, Clarity, UV Protection
Corrugated Polycarbonate Garden Verandas, Walkways Flexibility, Lightweight, Easy to Install

By sourcing your materials from Glazing Systems Ltd, you benefit from their wealth of experience and range of top-tier polycarbonate sheets and access to invaluable advice and guidance. This will significantly ease the process of integrating polycarbonate roofing into your project, ensuring a solution that efficiently meets your practical and aesthetic needs. Contact them directly via email or visit their website for the latest updates and offerings.

Are You Considering Whether Polycarbonate or Glass is Optimal for Your Roofing Project?

You’re not alone. Many homeowners and builders grapple with this decision, balancing durability, aesthetics, cost, and thermal efficiency. It’s essential to align your choice with the specific demands of your project and your long-term objectives for the space.

One question often arises about the impact of sunlight exposure on both materials. Polycarbonate offers superior protection against ultraviolet radiation, safeguarding your space and its occupants. Glass, while also capable of filtering UV rays, might require additional coatings to achieve the same level of protection, which could influence your budget and the project’s total cost.

Polycarbonate’s resilience is unmatched regarding the risk of damage from extreme weather, such as hail or heavy snow. Its high impact resistance ensures it remains intact in conditions that could shatter or crack glass. This makes polycarbonate an especially suitable choice for areas known for unpredictable or severe weather patterns.

Finally, the matter of thermal insulation is critical in the decision-making process. Polycarbonate provides a barrier against temperature changes, contributing to more stable indoor climates without excessive reliance on heating or cooling systems. Glass can also be effective, mainly when treated with insulating coatings. Yet, it generally requires more energy to maintain comfort levels, affecting long-term energy expenditures.

Shop Clear Polycarbonate Sheets


Read the related articles:
    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop