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The difference between conservatories and orangeries

Large white uPVC orangery

At Plan-it Windows, we understand that the choice between a conservatory and an orangery can be a tough one. Both are designed to increase the living space of your home and provide a seamless connection to the outdoors.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the differences between an orangery and a conservatory so that you can make the best decision possible for you and your home.

What is an Orangery?

White uPVC Orangery

An orangery is more solid than a conservatory, with a flat roof and brick/stone base. They were built in the 17th and 18th centuries as a way to cultivate citrus trees during the winter months, but they have since evolved into an elegant and practical way to expand your living space.

What is a Conservatory?

Golden oak effect uPVC Victorian conservatory

A conservatory is a mainly-glass room designed as an extension of your living space. They have a fully glazed roof and walls and are typically connected to the main house. They were first popularised in the 19th century as a way for wealthy homeowners to grow exotic plants.

What’s the Difference Between an Orangery and a Conservatory?

While both orangeries and conservatories share some similarities, there are some key differences to consider when choosing between the two:

  • Construction: Orangeries have a brick or stone base, while conservatories are typically built on a timber or uPVC frame.
  • Roof: Orangeries have a flat roof with a lantern light, while conservatories have a fully glazed roof that may be either flat or sloping.
  • Glazing: Orangeries have less glazing than conservatories and more solid walls, providing a greater sense of privacy and insulation.
  • Style: Orangeries are more formal and elegant than conservatories, with a classic look that complements traditional homes. Conservatories are often more modern in design and can be customised to suit a variety of home styles.

When Does a Conservatory Become an Orangery?

The line between a conservatory and an orangery can be blurry, and some structures may fall somewhere in between. However, generally speaking, a conservatory becomes an orangery when the following characteristics are present:

  • A more substantial structure, with a brick or stone base
  • A flat roof with a lantern light
  • Solid walls with less glazing

Is an Orangery Cheaper Than a Conservatory?

The cost of an orangery or a conservatory depends on several factors, such as the size, materials, and design. Orangeries are generally more expensive than conservatories due to their more substantial construction and the use of more expensive materials.

Is an Orangery Better Than a Conservatory?

The choice between an orangery and a conservatory comes down to personal taste and practical considerations. Some people may prefer the classic elegance of an orangery, while others may prefer the modern look of a conservatory.

Do I Need Planning Permission for a Conservatory or Orangery?

In most cases, conservatories and orangeries fall under Permitted Development Rights, meaning that you won’t need planning permission as long as they meet certain criteria.

However, there are some exceptions, such as if your home is a listed building or located in a conservation area. It’s always best to check with your local authority before starting any construction.

Are Orangeries Warmer Than Conservatories?

Both orangeries and conservatories can be comfortable spaces with the right heating and insulation. However, if you’re looking for a space that you can use year-round, an orangery may be a better choice due to its superior insulation.

Choosing between a conservatory or orangery

Here are more factors to consider when deciding between an orangery and a conservatory.

1. Heating and insulation

While both orangeries and conservatories can be heated, orangeries tend to be better insulated and therefore retain heat better. This means that they may be a better choice if you’re planning to use your orangery or conservatory year-round.

2. Lighting

Orangeries tend to have more natural light than conservatories, thanks to their larger windows and often glass roof lanterns. However, conservatories can still be very bright and airy spaces.

3. Functionality

What do you plan to use your orangery or conservatory for? If you’re looking for a space to relax and enjoy your garden, a conservatory may be the better choice. If you want a more versatile space that could be used as a dining room or kitchen extension, an orangery may be more suitable.

4. Cost

The cost of an orangery or conservatory will depend on factors such as size, materials, and features. In general, orangeries tend to be more expensive than conservatories due to their more complex construction and the use of higher-end materials.

Looking for a home improvement expert?

Home improvements are a big decision, so you’ll need an expert you can trust. From uPVC doors and windows to conservatories with tiled roofs – no matter the job, we’ve got hands-on experience in it all. Whether you’re in Bolton, Bury or the Manchester area, give our team a call and we will give your home the perfect finishing touch.

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