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What’s the Difference Between Garden Rooms & Conservatories?


There are many different structures that you can build in your garden, adjoining your home. Each one has its own name, but these words are often used interchangeably; for example, a conservatory, a sunroom and an orangery may all look exactly the same in your mind’s eye.

So is there any real difference between a conservatory and, say, a garden room? A lot of people have been adding ‘garden rooms’ to their properties lately — even more so since the coronavirus pandemic started forcing us to spend a lot more time at home — but is this just a trendy new name for a conservatory? Or does it mean something else?

Naturally, you’ll get different answers from different people, but the general consensus is that garden rooms aren’t the same thing as conservatories. Here are some of the key differences that you should consider before deciding which to add to your house:

Conservatories and garden rooms are constructed differently.

Most conservatories have a brick base. The windows and roof are made of glass or polycarbonate.

A garden room is simpler and more modern in its construction: there is no brick base, just glass from top to bottom. The garden room’s frame is usually made of high-strength aluminium.

This means that, of the two…

Conservatories take longer to build.

Garden rooms are quicker and easier to construct than conservatories. An experienced installer can often finish a new garden room in just a few days.

A traditional conservatory, on the other hand, commonly requires several weeks of labour.

You should also take into account that…

Garden rooms usually don’t require planning permission.

This isn’t universally true — a garden room may require planning permission if it is especially large or if the property is in a conservation area or holds listed status.

However, approximately nine times out of ten, a garden room can be constructed without applying for planning permission. There are some circumstances in which a conservatory may not require planning permission either, but this is less common.

partnered post • cc-licensed image by Jack Wright