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Decking vs. Conservatory: What to Build in Your Garden

Posted by Bridgman on

Spending time in your garden is healthy. Breathe plenty of fresh air and soak up the sunshine while lounging on the decking or relaxing in the conservatory. Many UK homeowners want to create comfortable outdoor living space that echoes the features and styling of interior rooms. You have several options for creating a ‘garden room’, below I will be comparing decking & conservatories. Weigh the advantages and disadvantages of these options against your lifestyle and property to make the best selection. With the right design and accessories, both will create an impressive living space you can enjoy for years.  

Pros and Cons of Decking in the Garden

Modern deck design goes well beyond the standard wooden platform, and includes features that add functionality, visual appeal and convenience. However this garden structure also limits the amount of time you spend in the garden, strictly by design.  


Decking is an affordable option that can be designed in nearly any shape and size. Build a deck or veranda off of the upper floor bedroom or create a private area for al fresco dining with decking under an old willow tree. Traditional decks are connected to the ground floor, with access from your French doors or sliding patio doors. But your property boundaries are the only limitations on design and location. Use decking in various places around the garden to create outdoor rooms. Set up a garden sofa on a small wooden deck near the pond, and you will still have room for the entire family with a larger deck near the patio door. Your home also remains virtually unchanged with deck installation, while conservatories often need to be seamlessly incorporated into the building design.  


Rain, wind, sleet and snow will effectively keep you off of the deck. Many home-owners consider patio awnings or canopies to create shade, but lounging on the deck leaves you vulnerable to the weather. Decking also requires more maintenance than standard conservatories. You’ll need to wash the wood planks at least once a year to remove mould and organic build up. Staining or painting is not required, but protects the wood from rot and provides a more attractive appearance. Plan to reapply paint or stain every few years.  

Pros and Cons of Building a Conservatory in the Garden

Conservatories grace countless homes around the UK, providing an ideal space for comfortable ‘outdoor’ living. However, homeowners are limited in terms of design and budget, making a conservatory impractical in certain circumstances.  


Your conservatory can be used as a dining room, sitting room or family room, providing an affordable and attractive addition to your home. The expansive windows and roof glazing allow plenty of natural light in, and warm up the temperatures in the space at any time of year. Conservatories require less maintenance than decking, simply because they are enclosed and protected from the elements. Use rattan furniture on both decking and conservatories, but you can enjoy your conservatory furniture rain or shine within a beautiful conservatory. This space can be used for any activity, making a conservatory more adaptable and practical for any family.  


Expect to invest a significant amount of money in a conservatory, especially when compared to wooden decking. These structures tend to add more value to your property, as long as they are properly installed and built from quality materials, but the initial investment can be prohibitive. Bespoke conservatories provide greater design flexibility, but standard styles of Victorian conservatories, orangeries and contemporary conservatories may be challenging to fit onto your property. Installation often requires roofing work, and might call for brickwork or repairs to your exterior siding. All of this adds to the cost and length of the installation.  


Think about how you plan to spend time in the garden. Would the natural exposure and freedom of decking work best, or does it make more sense to invest in a conservatory you can enjoy all year round? Consider your budget and property details before making a final decision. No matter what you decide, both of these structures create a more enjoyable, attractive garden you can enjoy for years to come.   Image credit: Image 1, Image 2  


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