Condo Blues: What Would You Choose: A Conservatory or a Sunroom?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What Would You Choose: A Conservatory or a Sunroom?

I hate that summer is leaving because I will miss drinking coffee on my patio in the morning and enjoying the warmer summer sun. I am really going to miss the fresh herbs growing on my patio during the summer too. A UK friend suggested that I build a conservatory.

“A sunroom?” I asked.

“No”, he said, “a conservatory. You have conservatories in America, don’t you?”

In my mind, a home conservatory is very English and sunroom is more American because most of the people I know have sunrooms instead of conservatories. Although to be fair, a conservatory can be sunroom but not all sunrooms can be conservatories.

Confused yet?

I was until I did a little research.

It turns out that the difference between a sunroom and a conservatory is that a conservatory is a room with glass walls and a glass roof. When I lived in Miami, we called them Florida Rooms.

This is a conservatory. It has a glass roof.

A sunroom is a room with glass walls and a solid roof. There are DIY conservatories just as there are DIY sunrooms. You can make both of them into a four-season room with the right insulating windows, which is very important for me because I have winter. I’m told that the conservatory’s glass roof also lets more light into the room than a solid sunroom’s roof during overcast or winter days, a plus in my book as long as the material can withstand an Ohio winter, which I’m sure it can. UK folks, do any of you have any experience with this?

Since a conservatory has a see through roof, you can use a conservatory as a greenhouse. I remember one house in Florida that had a swimming pool in a conservatory. Very cool.

With our fascination with multitasking and demanding things do double duty (when was the last time you just made a telephone call on a cell phone?) it seems like there would be more people adding conservatories to their houses as sunrooms and greenhouses instead of a standard one use sunroom. Price wise the DIY options look fairly equal.

The thought of growing fresh herbs year round and enjoying my coffee on the patio year around makes me a lean toward conservatory over sunroom. And while I’m dreaming I’ll take the style with a little dormer too. What about you?


Anonymous said...

If it doubles as a greenhouse, I think I would definitely choose the conservatory. Also, since I'm in Michigan I know I would like have the winter sunlight be able to come in wherever it could.

One problem--are you allowed to build on to your condo? (I know what my apartment complex would say if I started some major renovations...)


Erika Jean said...

a fried of ours technically had a conservatory, but we called is a solarium.

Vagablonde said...

I really like the idea of a conservatory. What a nice kitchen container garden you could have. Think of all the light it would even on a dreary winters day. I'mging morning coffee and a good book...ahhhh

Joella said...

I would love to have a conservatory! I can see myself sitting and sipping my chai tea with a good magazine or working on my newest jewelry design:)

Mary H said...

I love the idea of a conservatory. If I lived in a place with long winters I'd definitely want to have one. As it is, our summers are long and hot, so a conservatory would be like having a huge oven on all the time :)

Ctrl-Alt-Health said...

I agree with Mary. With my long, hot Texas summers, I would be absolutely roasting in a conservatory.

It's funny you mentioned Florida rooms. My husband is from Florida, and I had never heard of them before I met him. I wonder if they are called that anywhere else.

conservatories said...

I am also going for conservatory. It is really interesting to sitting in room and enjoy warm blow with hot coffee. Sounds good or not?

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