What’s the Difference Between a Sunroom & a Conservatory?

Posted on: October 17, 2018

The meaning of each of these terms, sunroom and conservatory, has become somewhat indistinct over time. If we look back at history, however, we can identify what makes each type of home addition unique. (Rest assured, if you choose an experienced home improvement contractor, you will get the indoor/outdoor room of your dreams, no matter what you call it. You can specify the details of your sunroom or conservatory.) That being said, let’s look at the different attributes of the conservatory and the sunroom.

Sunrooms & Conservatories: How They’re Similar

Both types of room are meant to marry indoor living space with the outdoors while keeping you completely comfortable—even as the seasons and weather (outdoor temperatures) change. Both structures are typically added to the rear or side of your home, providing expansive views of your exterior landscaping and tons of natural light.

These rooms provide a nice place to relax at the end of the day, in a comfortable chair with a book; or a place to have breakfast al fresco, without actually being outdoors. Conservatories and sunrooms can also offer a place to entertain friends or can even serve as your art studio or home office. You’re typically protected from insects, rain, and excessively hot or cold weather. Both types of structure can add value to your home and be designed to complement the style of your house.

The History of the Conservatory

Then: The conservatory rose to popularity in the UK in the 1800s. These protected outdoor rooms allowed British homeowners to grow beautiful, yet delicate, plants at almost any time of the year, even when the weather outside was less than ideal. The conservatory started as a basic greenhouse attached to the main residence, without any special features like heat or cooling.

Now: Modern conservatories, sometimes called four-season rooms, typically include tempered, safety glass walls (and often glass ceilings as well). Conservatories are designed to extend your living space, allowing you to cultivate plants if you like—but you can do much more. Your conservatory can have high-tech features like remote-controlled blinds, climate control, sound system, TV, and more. In some cases, a conservatory can be completely detached from the main house.

Defining the Sunroom

Sunroom is a broader term, and these rooms can be a simple but lovely, screen-enclosed porch. If you prefer, the walls may be glass rather than screens, or both glass and screens. The sunroom typically does not have a glass roof, however. Instead, the home’s roof is extended, if necessary, to cover and protect the sunroom. Deluxe sunrooms may still include features like automatic blinds, specially designed lighting, climate control, and more. In some cases, a sunroom is known as a three-season room.

Designing Your Perfect Indoor/Outdoor Room

As you can see, there’s no universally agreed upon, set-in-stone difference between a sunroom and conservatory, so the best builders will work with you to understand your needs, desires, and goals. At Total Remodeling Systems, we will consult with you to determine exactly how you intend to use the room, and then create a structure with the exact features you desire.

If you’re considering adding value and recreation options to your home with a sunroom or conservatory, contact the experts at Total Remodeling Systems today. We’ll make sure you get the indoor/outdoor room you’ve been dreaming of!

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