Choosing between a conservatory and an orangery extension

Picture of the interior of an orangery, decorated with a dining table and a stripy rug

Planning your next home improvement and aren’t sure whether you want to invest in an orangery or a conservatory? We’re here to help.

In this blog, we cover everything you need to know about the key differences between orangeries and conservatories, as well as the pros and cons of each. We also delve into the cost of installing both, and where you can find more information on when and how to apply for planning permission.

Once you decide which you want, speak to a skilled tradesperson in your area to request a quote.


Picture of a conservatory with beige furniture

What is the difference between a conservatory and an orangery?

The biggest difference between an orangery extension and a conservatory is that orangeries are more substantial structures (a mid-way point between a conservatory and an extension) because they’re built out of brick pillars and have a solid roof.

Though both are designed as glass-wall extensions for your home, conservatories tend to be made entirely of glass (including a glass roof) whilst orangeries are partially made of brickwork and have a central glass roof lantern.

As well as this, orangeries tend to be used more widely as living spaces (such as dining rooms and offices), whilst conservatories are better equipped as relaxation areas and sunrooms. This is because conservatories aren’t as good at regulating temperature, meaning they tend to be cold in the winter and hot in the summer.

Lastly, conservatories are more affordable than orangeries, and can sometimes be built without obtaining permission. Orangeries, on the other hand, are more likely to require permits before you can get one installed. Check out our planning permission guide for more information.

Have you decided whether you want a conservatory or an orangery? Speak to a skilled conservatory specialist to request a quote.


Picture of an Edwardian conservatory

Is an orangery better than a conservatory?

Both conservatories and orangeries have a lot of pros (as well as some cons), but which you choose will depend on your preferences, and what you need your new space for. Your budget will also play a role, as orangeries tend to cost more to install than conservatories.

We’ve summarised the pros and cons of both to help you decide which you should get:

The pros of choosing an orangery include:

  • More energy efficient than conservatories and offer better insulation
  • Considered more elegant and aesthetically pleasing than conservatories. Due to their brick base structure, they also tend to blend in better with your property
  • Due to their solid roofs, they tend to offer a more comfortable indoor environment. This also makes them more versatile than conservatories as they are better equipped to serve as living spaces, year round
  • Orangeries tend to add value to your home, and are seen as highly desirable to potential buyers

The cons of choosing an orangery include:

  • In general, orangeries tend to offer less natural light than conservatories, though you can get yours installed with large windows
  • Orangeries are more expensive than conservatories to install
  • More upfront design work is needed before you can install and integrate an orangery, though this tends to result in them looking more aesthetic than conservatories
Picture of a conservatory being built in a rear garden

On the other hand, the benefits of choosing a conservatory include:

  • A huge amount of natural light, creating a sun-soaked environment
  • Usually creates a connection to your garden, making them the perfect garden room
  • More affordable than conservatories
  • Lots of different designs and styles mean they can suit every type of home

However, the cons of choosing a conservatory include:

  • Not as energy efficient than orangeries, meaning they tend to get quite cold in the winter and very hot in the summer. This can be countered by purchasing the right frames, glazing, and insulating your conservatory roof

Orangeries are better suited for older homes, whilst conservatories blend in better with modern designs. Which you pick will really depend on your budget and needs. Speak to a skilled tradesperson in your area to request a quote.


Picture of a conservatory with a dwarf wall

Is it cheaper to build an orangery or a conservatory?

In general, conservatories are cheaper to build than orangeries, as orangeries have a brick structure and roof, as well as other design considerations that ramp up the price.

On average, you can expect to pay anywhere between £20,000 and £60,000 on a new conservatory. The higher bracket reflects more expensive conservatories built using more elaborate designs and materials.

In general, orangeries cost between £45,000 and £80,000, depending on how large you want yours to be, and your choice of materials.

For more details on the cost of installing both of these, check out our conservatory cost guide. Or, if you’re ready to get started, speak to a local conservatory specialist in your area.


Do you need planning permission for a conservatory or orangery?

Some conservatories fall under ‘permitted development rights,’ which means they don’t require any planning permits. Whether you will or not depends on the size of your conservatory and a few other requirements. Check out our planning permission guide to find out more.

Orangeries are more likely to have building regulations, since they are more permanent structures than conservatories. Size, design and location will influence whether or not you’ll need to apply for permission. We recommend you contact your local planning authority to find out more.

Inside an ornate orangery with decorative white and silver floor tiles and classic wooden furniture

Both conservatories and orangeries are beautiful structures that add a lot of visual appeal and create a dedicate space in your home to relax in (or transform into a brand new home office, home gym or even a new dining room).

To get started on this new home improvement project, we recommend you check out our conservatory cost guide for more details, then speak to a few tradespeople to request a quote.


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