Differences Between Conservatory and a Sunroom

It is common for a conservatory to be mistaken for a sunroom and vice versa. Both are in fact external rooms, which are designed to let in the sun, and so, they are perfect for enjoying a lovely summer’s day. Though the terms are often used interchangeably, there are key differences between the two, including their purpose, building material and the degree of sunlight they let in. Here we’ll take a look at some of the key differences between a conservatory and a sunroom.

What is a Conservatory?

A conservatory can be described as a small room, typically attached to a house on one side, and is used as a greenhouse or a sun parlor. It is also referred to as a greenhouse and was first introduced in the 16th century, and in the 19th century, became a common part of English gardening, where conservatories were used to shield plants from strong winds, frost and other extreme weather conditions. Conservatories are designed to facilitate sunshine with roughly 50% glass walls and roughly 75% glass roof.

What is a Sunroom?

A sunroom is a room that is either attached to or integrated into the primary building, much like a conservatory, with glass or screens on three sides that facilitate sunshine. It can be insulated and equipped with heating/cooling, or be a simple screened-in patio.

Purpose of a Conservatory and a Sunroom?


  • Designed commonly for horticulture use, to grow plants and add a bit of greenery into a home; It’s a great environment for plants to thrive, providing plenty of sunlight for plants to flourish.
  • Can also be a versatile space- office, extra sitting room, dining room, kitchen extension, breakfast room, playroom, etc


  • Used commonly for recreation
  • Designed to be an extension of your living space, such as a dining area, or lounge room



  • Feature more transparent materials, including glass, polycarbonate plastic to let in more sunlight than a sunroom


  • Typically have opaque roofs to minimize direct sunlight; some sunrooms might let in more sunlight than others



  • Can get to extremes temperature during the summertime because there is essentially little protection from the sun


  • Depending on the design, you may have the option of controlling the temperature

Texas Custom Exteriors has the best services and products for your conservatory or sunroom needs, providing top quality designs and professional installation that will add value to your home. Call today for a free consultation!

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