Adding additional usage space to your property isn’t a simple process as there are many different methods to choose from. Examples of options include a garden room, conservatory, building extension, or loft conversion. In this article, I look specifically at the conservatory or garden room argument and try to discover which is the best option for you.
What is a Garden Room?
A garden room is a standalone building constructed in your garden, typically on a timber base or concrete slab. These structures are durable have excellent longevity and usually have a few windows and a door.
Premium garden rooms for sale have insulation and can be used all year round for a variety of purposes. Essentially, a garden room is another usable room for your property – just not attached to your house.
What is a Conservatory?
A conservatory is attached to your house – typically on the back facing out into your garden. Full conservatories have a frame with UPVC coatings, large windows (sometimes floor-to-ceiling), and a transparent roof made of either glass or transparent panels.
Conservatories offer direct access to both your house and garden but are typically only usable during the warmer months as during the winter they can be incredibly cold.
Which Should You Choose?
When considering a conservatory or garden room you have to look at the various factors involved such as the functionality, size, cost, and seasonal usage.
Garden rooms are usually timber or have external cladding and have less window space than conservatories. They may typically have windows on two or three walls and a main door. The roof is usually flat, and they stand alone in your garden on a dedicated base.
Conservatories are attached to your house and have a far greater window-to-wall ratio than garden rooms. Some conservatories or orangeries have brick bases for greater stability and insulation.
From a functionality perspective, garden rooms are the clear winner. Typically, conservatories have limited usage and are used as an additional living room, perhaps a dining room, or just a place to relax in the sun.
In contrast, garden rooms can be used for anything you can imagine! This includes a home gym, an office, a bar, plus, all of the things a conservatory can be used for. Think of a garden room as another room on your property whereas a conservatory is more of a niche space.
Size & Transportation
Conservatories are typically constructed on site and there could be a lot of disruption during the process.
The building materials have to be stored somewhere and there could be plenty of mess to clean up if you have a brick-base conservatory. Additionally, oftentimes a new door is needed to be added to the external wall where your conservatory is connected.
In contrast, garden rooms are often simply transported ready-made to your property and the only thing that needs to be constructed first is the base. There is much less hassle, mess, and disruption to your daily routine.
In terms of cost, there isn’t much difference. Leading conservatory supplier Everest states the UK average to be £15,000 and you can pay this for a garden room too.
These are just averages and both conservatories and garden rooms can cost considerably more and less than £15,000. The price depends largely on the size, the quality of the materials and construction, and the upgrades you have.
In terms of seasonal usage, the garden room is the definitive winner. I own a conservatory, and I can safely say that during the winter, I simply don’t use it. It’s like an ice box and even with a heater, it’s not great! However, in the warmer months, it’s glorious to sit and relax and bask in the sun.
In contrast, properly insulated garden rooms are usable all year round. You can feel perfectly comfortable and regulate the temperature properly any season in a garden room which makes it more usable than a conservatory.
Planning Permissions and Building Regulations
Both conservatories and garden rooms can be built without planning permissions but they must comply with specific building regulations such as the size and height of the structure.
This means that a conservatory or garden room are both viable options if you want to add additional space to your property without the hassle of applying for planning permission.
Plan Accordingly and Look at the Features to Find a Suitable Property Extension
A garden room undeniably offers better functionality and flexibility and you get all-year-round usage compared to the often limited use of a conservatory.
Also, garden rooms are suitable for a wider range of different purposes whereas conservatories are typically used for relaxing, reading, and as an additional living room.
So should you choose a conservatory or garden room? If you have the available space, a garden room has more potential. However, if you just want an additional living space and somewhere to relax, a conservatory can be a great option too.