In the UK, sunrooms and conservatories are often mistaken for one another. The terms are used interchangeably without realising that there are some distinct differences between the two. One thing they do have in common is the fact that they are external rooms which are designed to take in the sun whenever possible. Owners of either room can enjoy a pleasant summer’s day in peace and quiet.
A conservatory is a glass room which is attached to the house but is considered to be a separate room. It is usually made entirely from glass or polycarbonate and this includes the roof. As a result, the sun will beat down hard on the room which is completely exposed. A sunroom on the other hand is actually like an extra room because it has a roof made from different materials such as tiles. In fact, a sunroom is often considered to be the same as a regular room in the home expect for the fact that it has more windows. The sunroom’s roof is solid and offers more protection from the sun if necessary.
Conservatories are well known for their seasonality. Essentially, this means that they are generally only used for three of the four seasons. As a conservatory has no connections to anything in the home, it becomes extremely cold during the winter and is not suitable for relaxation. In the summer, a conservatory can become incredibly hot because of the complete exposure to the sun. Expect temperatures in a conservatory to be considerably warmer than outdoors.
You can build a sunroom that is suitable for relaxation during all four seasons by connecting it to the heating and cooling systems in your home. As a sunroom is basically an extra room in the home, you can increase its temperature during the winter or lower it in the summer. The problem with this is the increase in your energy bill. If you are heating an extra room, it is obvious that you will be paying more for heating and electricity.
It seems to be the case whereby sunrooms are more functional because you can relax in them during winter by adding some extra heat. Although you will pay extra, this is an expense that most homeowners will gladly pay. After all, you cannot put a price on peace and quiet! That being said, conservatories are not without their charm and will appeal to certain people. A sunroom looks like an extra room while a conservatory is different. It makes your home stand out from everyone else’s and it has an air of class about it.
It should be noted that although planning permission may not be required in all cases, there is a possibility that you will need it if the sunroom/conservatory exceeds a certain size. Neither option is cheap when built from the ground up though there are ready made versions of either room which are available from hardware stores like B&Q and will cost you less than £2,000. A regular conservatory costs anywhere between £10,000-£20,000 while a sunroom may cost even more.