What Is the Difference Between a Sunroom and a Conservatory?What Is the Difference Between a Sunroom and a Conservatory?

The terms sunroom and conservatory are often used interchangeably, but they actually refer to two similar yet distinctive structures. While both a sunroom and conservatory extend from the side of a house and are designed to provide a room with ample light and expansive outside views, a conservatory can be thought of as essentially a glass room that includes a glass-paneled roof and a lean frame of metal or PVC. If the word “conservatory” conjures up images of Victorian-era manor houses and the rolling British countryside, it’s because these structures became extremely popular in 19th century England as a way to cultivate exotic plants throughout the year. Conservatories back then were little more than attached greenhouses, without climate control or integration into the main building other than an entry door. Today, conservatories are used as living spaces, hobby rooms, entertainment centers, and yes, places to grow plants. With a variety of styles and glass packages to choose from, homeowners can customize these enclosures to perfectly complement the architectural style of their residence.

Sunrooms usually contain less glass than a conservatory and tend to be more fully integrated into a home. They are often heated and cooled by the same system that services the rest of the house and usually have a shingled or tiled roof that is either an extension of an existing roof or a separate structure that juts out from an exterior wall. Sunrooms can be constructed from scratch or they can be porches that have been enclosed by windows. In general, “sunroom” refers to a much broader category of structures than “conservatory.” Perhaps the easiest way to think about the relationship between the two is that all conservatories are sunrooms, but not all sunrooms are conservatories.

At Pacific Patio, we have been the sunroom and conservatory experts in Southern California for more than 30 years. If you live San Diego, CA, or one of the surrounding communities and would like to learn more about adding a sunroom to your home, contact us today to schedule a no-obligation consultation with one of our representatives.