Glass garden rooms vs. conservatories: Which is right for you?
Both conservatories and garden rooms function as extensions to the home. Though they have some similarities, they serve different purposes.
Conservatories are typically constructed entirely (or mostly) of glass. Garden rooms, by contrast, have fully insulated walls, flooring and roofing – while still letting in an abundance of natural light. This makes them much more temperature-stable and suitable for a wider range of uses.
In this guide, we’ll explain the key differences between garden rooms and conservatories, and discuss the pros and cons of each. Read on to find out which type of extension is right for you.
What is the difference between a garden room and a conservatory?
A conservatory is a glass room attached to the side or rear of a home, usually used as a sunroom or greenhouse. At least 75% of the roof and 50% of the external walls must be composed of glass (or translucent polycarbonate).
Though sometimes referred to as “glass garden rooms”, garden rooms are not made entirely of glass. Garden rooms are robust, multi-purpose extensions that are built outdoors – either attached to the home or as a separate structure. They can be used for almost any purpose, and fitted with a variety of features.
Both conservatories and garden rooms have large windows and let in plenty of sunlight. However, there are some important differences.
Garden room vs. conservatory: Construction
Conservatories are made almost entirely of glass. Because glass does not provide much insulation, conservatories can become unbearably hot in the summer and uncomfortably cold in the winter.
Garden rooms, on the other hand, benefit from full insulation. The roof is constructed from high-quality timber and strengthening steel, while the walls feature robust external cladding for better temperature control. With large windows and glass doors, garden rooms are still bright and airy spaces.
Furthermore, while conservatories are attached to the house, a garden room can be built as a separate structure. Free-standing glass garden rooms are more private, accessed by an external door.
Garden room vs. conservatory: Features and uses
Conservatories are sometimes equipped with basic electrics (such as a ceiling light and power points). Garden rooms, however, can be fitted with luxury features such as:
- Air conditioning (heating and cooling)
- Underfloor heating
- Security alarm systems
- Hard wired internet
- USB sockets
In terms of glass, garden rooms can be constructed with skylights and large windows for optimal natural light.
Unlike conservatories – which function best as garden sun rooms, or for growing plants – garden rooms can serve almost any purpose. A garden room could be used as a home office, gym, playroom or cinema room. It could even work as an annexe, complete with an ensuite shower and WC.
Garden room vs. conservatory: Appearance
While both conservatories and garden rooms boast large windows, the overall appearance of the two structures can be quite different.
Glass conservatories, with their gabled or hipped glazed roofs influenced by Victorian and Edwardian architecture, can appear dated. Conversely, garden rooms are contemporary structures based on fresh, innovative designs.
For example, the Concave garden room from Pegasus features a resin exterior, a bold canopy with concave pillars and external LED spotlights for an ultra-modern aesthetic.
Additionally, to keep a conservatory looking its best, the glass roof must be cleaned on a regular basis. Garden rooms require very little maintenance by comparison.
Should I get a conservatory or garden room?
A conservatory may be appropriate if you’re looking for a basic glass extension to use as a greenhouse or sun room. But if you’d prefer an all-purpose, fully insulated structure that can be used year-round, a garden room would be the better choice.
In terms of pricing, conservatories can be slightly cheaper than garden rooms. However, this is because they’re quite limited in their usability, and don’t offer as many benefits or features. As the old adage goes: you get what you pay for.
Garden rooms are considered the gold standard in conservatory alternatives. A wide range of garden room designs and sizes are available to suit a range of budgets.
Contact Pegasus Garden Rooms today for a free quote
If you’re searching for beautifully constructed garden rooms in the North West, look no further than Pegasus Garden Rooms. Our talented team has a wealth of experience in designing and building stunning, functional garden rooms for a variety of purposes.
Every Pegasus garden room features solid ground footings, maintenance-free external cladding and robust, fully insulated roofing. Choose from a selection of extras such as underfloor heating, plumbing and luxury electrical packages to create the garden room of your dreams.