Case Study: Changing an Ultralite 500 System to New and Better Panels:

Are you looking at changing your old Ultralite 500 system to a newer, more modern system that can reduce the effects of the temperature variation in your conservatory? That is what our customer here wanted to do.

In August 2022, the UK received one of the hottest heatwaves on record. Many with conservatories found that the heat was unbearable, and that the conservatory couldn’t be used. However, our customer changed the panels before the heat wave hit, so got the experience the benefit of our Stadur panels and his conservatory.

Here we document the procedure that our customer Frank used:

On the first day of the project, Frank removed the original polycarbonate panels and installed the Stadur panels. He did require some help with lifting so did employ a local trader to help. The panels are “remarkably light and easy to work with”, removing any reservations that Frank had about the ability of the existing system being able to support the newer panels. With a 40-tooth all-purpose blade for a small circular saw, Frank was able to cut the panels to the width and rebating the ends, which in his opinion was quite straightforward.

As a company, we generally recommend that the panels are cut on site as you can use the old panels as a template when cutting on the new panels. As Frank found out, cutting the panels on site was of “sound advice as the conservatory end frames were slightly out of square”. He was also able to cut the two end panels slightly out of square to produce a constant overhang to each of the end frames.

For the Ultralite 500, Stadur create a special Stadur Top LT panel that are designed to be self-supporting and to be an exact replacement for the original panels. Frank had 85mm thick panels originally and was able to order 80mm thickness in the Stadur Top LT panels. This is great as you do not have to “waste money on any reconstruction of the conservatory”, as if you were to change to glass panels, you would have to change the structure of the frame to be able to support the weight of these new panels.

“The existing wall plate received the panels perfectly with the plastic closure of the Ultralite system trimmed to allow sealing at the wall pate with CT1”. This is great as you “don’t even have to disturb the existing lead flashing”. This both saves you money but also saves you time on building the structure. It also allows you to retain the existing end furring panels. Frank also removed “a small plastic upstand nib” to “produce a flat sloping surface for the new panels”. Frank also rebated the ends of the Stadur Top LT panels and was “able to completely re-use the existing UPVC rainwater gutter and Ultralite gutter support bracket system”. Frank did opt out of the D mould cover strips for the panel joints. He also decided to use a “proud CT1 mastic joint outside and a slightly recessed mastic joint inside” as Frank believes it “looks neater”.

There are many competitive businesses within the conservatory industry and most companies don’t offer a direct replacement for the Ultralite 500 system. Instead, most conservatory roof replacement specialists that had quoted Frank had included “stripping the old roof off, back down to the 3-sided frames” and was then “being charged for new wall plate and lead work, new end furring panels and new rainwater goods” when this is not needed. “One company was even manufacturing 70mm aluminium insulated panels with rebated sides to be weathered into new roof support bars! Crazy, as this considerably increased panel costs and potential for roof system to leak”.

In the long run, by simply replacing the panels, it can save money by keeping the original structure. This has become ever-more important with the constant change of the economy and the ‘cost of living crisis’ that we deal with during 2022. To quote Frank “I am very, very pleased with the end result (and so is my wife which is the most important). I’m also ecstatic with the amount of money I have saved!”

Frank did the majority of the work himself as a keen DIY-er and he had a few words to say:

“Replacing the Ultralite 500 polycarbonate roof with Stadur solid insulated panels is well within the capability of a competent DIY-er” and “You have the satisfaction that you carried out the work yourself and know for certain that it will not leak.”

So, if you’re thinking about changing your Ultralite 500 conservatory roof and are thinking about doing it yourself, it is achievable! Don’t take our word for it! Take Franks!