Conservatory or Sunroom, which is better and what are the key differences?

Conservatory or Sunroom, which is better and what are the key differences?

Conservatory or Sunroom, which is the best room to build and what are the key differences?

The most common question we get asked is what is the difference between a conservatory and a sunroom and which is better. The first question is easily answered, a sunroom is basically a conservatory with a solid tile or slate roof and ceiling or to put it another way, it is an extension with lots of windows. A conservatory is basically defined as having a glass or polycarbonate roof, allowing more heat and light through.

The answer to the question which is better needs to be thought out carefully with a lot of issues to consider. The many forums online discuss this issue in detail but with maybe a lot of out of date information such as “Conservatories are too cold in the winter and too hot in the summer so a sunroom is better” . So here is my take on the debate.

The “Which is better” answer depends on what the client is looking for. At our showrooms we have two broad groups of clients; those who have growing families and stuck for space and those who have shrinking families, more time due to retirement etc but cannot enjoy their home or garden due to poor weather, poor house design etc.

For those who really require an extension to their home to create more space for family need a sunroom, why? because a sunroom can be used any day or night any time of the year, so if the kids want to watch TV in the new room on a winters night then they can. The sunroom must be designed to ensure minimal light loss to the existing internal rooms of the house.

For those who want more light, more an outdoors room, creating a room in the garden then a conservatory is the perfect answer. As someone who works everyday all year around in a conservatory I can certainly vouch for the positive effects of loads of natural sunlight and heat, helps keep us happy all the time! With modern glazing the conservatory is no longer prone to the temperature extremes that used to be such a problem. The costed glass we use reflects the convection heat in and reflects the solar heat out helping maintain a nice temperature all year around. We advise clients that they will have a perfect room for probably 48 weeks a year with the possibility of a heat wave for 2 weeks in the summer and a really cold snap in the winter making life a little uncomfortable. The other 48 weeks will more than make up for this though.

Conservatory with glass roof

Internal view of a Conservatory

The only downside that we point out to clients is that conservatories with a glass roof are not too cosy on a rough winters night and that people would not be enticed in there on a freezing night with hail showers, in this case the sunroom is the obvious choice, this of course is not a problem for those who as mentioned above do not have requirement for additional space as they can retire to the sitting room

Here are the key take-aways from this article

  1. Conservatories are no longer too hot in summer too cold in winter, they are perfect for 48 weeks a year

  2. For those looking for a home extension then a sunroom is more suitable

  3. For those looking for more sunlight and heat then a conservatory is more suitable

  4. Be careful building a sunroom they can block a lot of natural light from the house

Conservatory designs are the industry leaders in the design and construction of sunrooms and conservatories in ireland. The showrooms is open 7 days a week at Johnstown Garden Centre Naas/. Phone 045 844002