Portal System

Conservatories that are extremely large and require extra support to take the weight of the roof and provide additional stability are known as large span or portal framed conservatories.

The uses for portal roofs are endless - from magnificent swimming pool enclosures to large commercial extensions; anything is possible due to the flexibility and advanced engineering of the large span system.

 What is a portal?

A portal frame is an aluminium box section 'skeleton' used to support a roof. It sits on the inside of the cill line and the windows and doors form a cladding to the external of the portal. The aluminium is usually powder coated to a RAL finish to complement the windows, doors, other materials and even surrounding buildings.

 When is a portal needed?

A portal frame is required when the roof may exceed standard sizes defined by Ultraframe or when the design of the roof cannot be supported by the window frames, frame stiffeners or tie bars. Even though the roof can be manufactured it does not mean we can always 'prove' the roof. Remember, all the roof loadings are passed onto the window frames and existing buildings. If these cannot provide the necessary and lateral support, then additional support may be required. 

Information needed for costing a portal roof


It is vitally important that we receive as much detailed information as possible prior to costing for a portal roof. Ideally, we would like the following information to be supplied in order for us to provide the most accurate initial quote possible:

  •  Full drawn style of roof, preferably to some scale in order for anomalies to be picked up
  • Connection to existing buildings
  • Full and complete dimensions including angles of splayed walling brickwork returns etc.
  • Facet sizes, IE stretched fronts to Victorian roofs
  • Glazing specification (if glass, detail glass unit spec)
  • Pitch of roofs
  • Indicate any full height brickwork to new conservatory - try to avoid it if possible
  • Height to eaves from finished floor level (height of windows)
  • Dimensions between ground and finished floor level (if sloping or lower ground level)
  • Any height restrictions
  • Fascia and soffit details of the existing buildings (bungalows etc)
  • Position of the doors (very important for portal layout)
  • Position of the windows and doors to existing buildings (just as important)
  • Full postcode or full address of the site for preliminary calculations
  • Details of any base works that may have already been undertaken, existing pools and sizes of pool, dimensions of pool in relation to the existing building.

 Please fax your answers to the above questions to 01200 452396 or email them to ralph.postlethwaite@ultraframe.co.uk

How you should cost your portal

As well as the budget quotation that you will receive from Ultraframe, you will need to look at additional costs in order for you to provide your client with a realistic quotation. These may include the following:

  • Windows, doors, glass for frames & roof if specified
  • Labour on-site
  • Tower scaffolding and lifting gear
  • Site survey (Ultraframe)
  • On-site assistance (Ultraframe)
  • Decking materials if the portal is for a swimming pool
  • Ground works
  • Structural engineers
  • Planning and Building Regulations Approval
  • Retentions
  • Flashings to main buildings
  • Flashings to windows and portal
  • Accommodation if required
  • Travel costs and petrol
  • One or two part installation schedule
  • Site maintenance
  • Power to site
  • Additional site visits 

How long will a portal roof take to install?

This is very much specific to each individual installation.