There seems to be quite a bit of confusion around making a distinction between sunrooms, conservatories, and orangeries. So, if you’re trying to decide on the best option for your South Yorkshire home, allow us to provide some clear-cut examples that explain the subtle differences between each one.
What is a sunroom?
Also known as a sun lounge, garden room, patio room or sun porch, sunrooms are defined as
‘a room with large windows and sometimes a glass roof, designed to allow in a lot of sunlight.’
The term ‘sunroom’ originates from the U.S and Canada, which is probably where a lot of the confusion stems from. The similarities between sunrooms and conservatories tend to overlap, the most prominent differences being:
- Sunrooms comprise of 75-90% framed glazing.
- Sunrooms are typically installed in south facing positions. This allows them to capture the most sunlight possible, whilst providing effective shelter from the good old British weather.
- Sunrooms tend to feature pitched roofs to welcome the light in, but they can be designed with flat roofs too.
In the past, sunrooms have been differentiated by their attachment to the existing building and the inclusion of a slate or tiled roof. However, since planning regulations have been relaxed, with regards to adding solid roofing to conservatories, the lines between these have become slightly more blurred. With advances in construction and manufacturing techniques, it’s highly likely that what you think of as ‘a traditional conservatory’ (a glazed structure that keeps brickwork to a minimum) can actually be described as a sunroom.
What is a conservatory?
Conservatories have notably developed and evolved over the years. Originally built to protect delicate plants from adverse weather, early conservatories could only be used in Spring and Autumn as they were just too hot to use in summer and too cold in winter. But modern conservatories are incredibly energy efficient and can be used all year round, transformed into a popular way to extend one’s home without the hassle of building a full extension. Although very similar, the most notable differences between sunrooms and conservatories are:
- At least 50% of the walls must feature translucent materials.
- Although it’s ideal to build a conservatory facing south-east or south-west, modern conservatories can be installed in any position. *Subject to permitted development rules.
- Modern conservatory designs can include low brick walls or one or two full height brick walls.
What is an orangery?
Orangeries combine the finest features of conservatories and full-blown extensions to offer the best of both worlds. Originally built to protect citrus trees and other exotic plants, they are a grand alternative to a simple conservatory installation. The most striking difference between sunrooms, conservatories, and orangeries are:
- Orangeries are supported by solid brick-built pillars, low-level walls and/or an insulated internal pelmet.
- Orangeries tend to feature bright & airy roof lanterns, although these can be added to conservatories too.
- Orangeries tend to look more like an extension of the property, although bespoke conservatory designs can also achieve this sought-after effect.
Sunrooms vs conservatories vs orangeries in South Yorkshire
All three glazed expansions can be enhanced with an assortment of roofing options too. These include:
Whether you prefer the idea of an enlightening sunroom, a versatile conservatory or a sumptuous orangery, they all offer a constructive, efficient and swift way to enlarge you home and get the most out of it. Or if you require more space, a single or double-storey extension may be the answer.