What Is The Difference Between A Conservatory And A Glass Box Extension?

Many homeowners dream of adding an extension to their property and conservatories are popular choices. There are good reasons for this – not only do conservatories add living space to your property, they provide a bridge between indoors and outdoors that allows you to enjoy the benefits of sunshine and natural light more of the year round. They also add value to your property.

Increasingly, however, homeowners are overlooking traditional conservatories and opting for glass box extensions instead. On the face of it, you might ask what the difference is between a conservatory and a glass box extension – both essentially involve adding an extra room to your home with prominent windows and a glass roof.

In fact, there are some important differences between conservatories and glass box extensions that can make a significant difference to the choice you make.

What is the difference between a conservatory and a glass box extension?


Conservatories follow a fairly standard method of construction. They are made up of window panels, traditionally wood but more often uPVC these days, mounted on a dwarf wall with a glass pitched roof. They usually also incorporate one or more patio doors, often one leading into the rest of the home and one into the garden.

Glass box extensions are sometimes called frameless conservatories because they do not rely on the same window frame construction. Instead, they are often comprised of a stainless steel or aluminium support structure fitted with glass panels. Entirely frameless versions can be constructed using extra strong structural glass. Glass box extensions also more frequently feature a flat glass roof, hence the ‘box’ in the name.


Partly due to the way they are constructed, partly due to the fact that the design has been standardised, conservatories do not lend themselves as readily to innovation as glass boxes. With a conservatory, you more or less know the style and shape of the extension you will get.

Glass boxes are far more adaptable. The metal frames which support glass box extensions can be crafted into all manner of shapes. Not only does this give homeowners more freedom to stamp their own style on their extension, it also means they can make more efficient use of space. Funny little nooks and corners that you just would not be able to fit a traditional conservatory into can easily be incorporated into a glass box extension design.


Despite the fact that glass boxes incorporate more glass than a traditional conservatory, there are good reasons to believe they are more durable and long-lasting. As with uPVC (or wooden) window frames, conservatories only have a certain shelf life before they become prone to draughts, while the pitched roofs can be susceptible to wind damage.

With modern construction methods, steel or aluminium glass box frames are extremely durable and sturdy. Combined with laminated thermo-treated glass panels, they create a structure that is both tough and energy efficient.

Now you’re clear on what is the difference between a conservatory and a glass box extension, get in touch with Glass & Stainless to discuss your options.