What is a garden room? – How is it different from a conservatory?

It is helpful to describe a garden room by comparing it with a traditional conservatory.

In the UK, a garden room (meaning part of a house rather than a section of garden), is best described as a living room closely associated with a garden. It has been termed a glass-walled living room. However, when marketed as a ‘package’, it can also be termed a solid-roof conservatory, as distinct from a traditional glazed-roof conservatory.

In the UK, historically, such a structure with a bay-window form has been known as a Georgian-style conservatory. More recently, when associated with a pitched roof, it has been termed a Sun Lounge.


In North America, a garden room, which is part of a house, may have a lightweight roof made up of opaque, insulated panels over clear-glazed wall panels. A room with a traditional, solid roof over clear-glazed wall panels is termed either a garden room or, more recently, a patio room.


In the UK, the external roof finish of a garden room may have a variety of traditional materials, including slate, tile, mineral felt or lead depending on the slope. More recently, on flatter roofs, metal sheets or plastic skins (e.g. in aluminium or vinyl) and high-tech paint systems, requiring varying degrees of skilled application, have replaced mineral felt and lead.


What are the benefits of a Garden Room?


While a Garden Room may not be able to offer that “living under glass” feeling that so many like about a conservatory, it does however have an impressive list of benefits for those of us who want something closer to a traditional extension.


  • More comfort in winter. A solid, insulated roof helps to maximise insulation, reducing heat loss and down-draughts to make the space warmer in winter and the occupants more comfortable.
  • Lower heating costs. A smaller radiator is needed and heating bills are smaller.
  • More comfort in summer. A solid, insulated roof gives more protection from solar gain, keeping the space cooler in summer and the occupants more comfortable.
  • Lower cooling costs. Fewer opening windows are required and there is no need to buy roof blinds.
  • Less ultra-violet degradation. Reduced direct sunlight gives more protection to sensitive materials.
  • No roof maintenance. There is no need to clean the external roof surface.
  • More privacy. A solid, insulated roof gives increased visual and aural privacy.
  • Extended use. It is a more usable, ‘four-season’ space in most climates.
  • Resolves low-roof problems. Its all-round, low eaves height makes it ideal for a bungalow or a house with a low roof.

A garden room is more like a house extension than an 'add-on' structure, in both use and appearance. Also, compared to a traditional brick-built house extension a ‘package’ garden room can have a simpler construction and a lower cost.

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