Adding On a Customized Conservatory or Sunroom

by Rachel Laurendeau on June 18, 2012

Sometimes, I think I must have been a cat in a past life. I love nothing more than to curl up in a spot of warm sunshine with a good book or a crossword puzzle and my morning coffee. So of course, this leads me to dreaming of adding on a sunroom or conservatory to our home so that I wouldn’t have to chase the elusive rays but could instead have a room dedicated to this very thing.

What is the difference between a conservatory and a sunroom?
Although the words sunroom and conservatory are often used interchangeably, there are some differences between the two. The main distinction is that conservatories usually have a pitched roof made of glass or sometimes polycarbonate. Since the glass roof means there is even more light entering the room, conservatories are great for growing plants and small trees. That is why conservatories are sometimes adding to homes as personal greenhouses.

Also, depending on which home improvement expert you speak to some may refer to 3-season rooms as conservatories and all-season rooms as sunrooms. Not everyone agrees on this last point so make sure you clarify it with your contractor before signing on the dotted line.

Finally, the term conservatory is more commonly used in the UK than it is in North America.

3-Season vs All-Season
Depending on how sunrooms and conservatories are built and finished they may or may not be used all year round. In order to use a sunroom through all four seasons, it will need to be fitted with heating and cooling systems.

It is recommended that a 3-season conservatory or sunroom be separated from the rest of the house by using an exterior door that can be closed when not using the room. The all-season sunroom however, can be open to the adjoining rooms of the house.

Who needs a sunroom or conservatory?
• Avid gardeners who love to look outside and admire their gardens. The sunroom or conservatory is an ideal transition between home and outdoor garden.
• Green thumbs who need a spot in the house to use as a greenhouse to start their outdoor plants or to enjoy their collection of indoor tropical plants
• People who like to relax, enjoy the warmth of the sun, loads of natural sunlight and breathe in some fresh air
• Anybody who wants to increase the value of their home for future resale purposes
• Anyone looking to add square footage to their home for uses such as: living room, family room, dining room, breakfast nook, reading area, home office, children’s playroom….

A sunroom or conservatory can provide you with a cozy, peaceful spot to enjoy and unwind while adding to the overall beauty of your home. It can be purchased as a kit or your can hire an experienced general contractor who can customize it to fit the look and style of your home.

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