Conservatory or Four Season RoomWhen it comes to putting an addition on your home, adding a conservatory or sun-room is a popular option. These both allow you to feel like you are enjoying nature even while being inside.

But what is the difference between the two, and which should you choose? Keep reading to understand the differences.


Conservatory vs Sunroom Roofing

One of the biggest differences when you first look at the rooms is the roof you will see. A sun room has a solid roof that usually matches that of the building it is attached to and can be slate or tile. This is great to help control temperature and damage from storms.

A conservatory, on the other hand has glass all the way up, even for the ceiling. This is great for people who enjoy looking up and enjoying all that nature has to offer. Whether this is just the trees blowing, the clouds floating by, or the snow and rain swirling, it can be quite magical.



The temperature you experience is also going to vary quite significantly between these two types of additions. A sunroom is connected into your HVAC system, and will keep a fairly consistent temperature.

Conservatories, on the other hand, do not generally connect in for heating and cooling. That being the case, these rooms experience much greater temperature variations. When it is dark and cold outside, it will be dark and cold in here as well. However, it also means that when it is sunny in the middle of the winter, it could be warm enough to wear shorts and flip flops. Conversely, they will be come extremely hot during the sunny summer months.



There is also a difference in how long you will be able to use your addition throughout the year. Conservatories are generally only considered usable for three seasons due to the temperature variations.

Sunrooms are generally able to be used throughout all four seasons. However, due to tying them into the heating and cooling system, are going to maintain a more comfortable temperature. Unfortunately, that also means it will increase your energy bill to help maintain that temperature.



Expected Service Life

Not all additions are created are created to last the same amount of time. This is especially true with the difference between conservatories and sunrooms. Generally, you can assume a sunroom is not going to last as long as the building to which it is attached. Under normal conditions, you can expect these to last anywhere from ten to twenty years

On the other hand, a properly built conservatory is going to last as long as your home. Be sure to ask about this as you look at your options with your contractor.


Construction Quality

There is a wide range of quality in construction in both sunrooms and conservatories. However, sunrooms are generally a lower quality of the two. This is especially true when you look at the prefabricated structures. When you make something in a factory versus building it on site, it is going to be a lower quality and not last as long. It also means that insulation is not going to be as good, not retaining heat and air conditioning as well.

Conservatories are generally of high quality because they are built on site. However, be sure you know what the structure is made from. You want to avoid uPVC and any other type of plastic. Given the temperature variation in these rooms, plastic structures will warp and crack easily.


Cost Comparison

The final big difference in these rooms is the cost. If you were to get a prefabricated sun room, your installed cost would likely be between $30,000-$40,000. If you are having one stick built, you can expect it to increase from there.

Most quality conservatories are going to run in the neighborhood of about $50,000. As you can see, they are going to run a little more, but will last a lot longer in the end.

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