What Defines An Orangery?


The concept of an Orangery originated in Italy but was later welcomed in Holland and quickly became a status symbol. The definition of an Orangery is an extension of your home that can be used in a typical way to a conservatory. However, there are notable differences between the two, as we will explore.  


Why Is An Orangery Called An Orangery?


As you might have guessed an orangery is called as such because in the 17th-19th century these rooms, found in the most fashionable and elite homes, were used for growing citrus fruits such as oranges. These types of extensions were quite rare and were able to protect the citrus trees from the worst of the elements. However, as citrus fruits became more easily available on the market there was no need for the expensive practice of growing your own. So, this trend quickly fell out of fashion, and the orangery became a room for exotic plants and shrubs instead.


Interestingly, the conservatory actually evolved from the design of an orangery and was suitable for a different purpose. Conservatories were typically designed to provide the highest level of light which is why they have glazed roofs.


What Is The Difference Between An Orangery And An Extension?


While the line between the two has blurred in recent years the most noticeable difference between the two is usually the roof. A conservatory will often have more than seventy-five per cent of its roof glazed. An orangery has significantly less. The walls may also differ as well. Fifty per cent of the wall area must be glazed for a structure to be considered a conservatory. The design of the roof will also be notably different for an Orangery. Usually, these buildings will have a flat perimeter roof and a roof lantern and the centre.


In contrast, conservatories have a centralised pitched roof and are built around a firm structure. The walls go straight up to the edge of the pitched roof and have no perimeter. Orangeries will also usually have a brick base.


Are Orangeries Warmer Than Conservatories?


The answer to this question actually relates to the difference in both design and structure. Both are typically mainly made of glass, and this means that orangeries and conservatories are cold in the winter and warm in the summer. Of course, since orangeries have more solid walls and structures such as the roof, they are likely to keep more heat trapped inside. As such, even through the winter months, they should be a little warmer than a typical conservatory. So, if you are debating between the two, this might just be enough to convince you an orangery is a right choice for your home.


Of course, there are lots of ways to make both a little warmer throughout the year. Thick curtains and blankets are a cheap choice that could be highly beneficial. Alternatively, you might want to think about adding underfloor heating to your plans. This might drive the cost up a little though, so let’s look at how the two types compare in terms of expense.


How Much Is A Conservatory Extension?


Conservatory extensions can vary dramatically in price. So, whereas it is possible to purchase a full conservatory for just £6000, you could pay as much as £30,000. It just depends on how large you want your conservatory to be as the average price is based on per square metre of space. The price may also be determined by the type of materials that you use. For instance, the glass will typically be cheaper than polycarbonate.


Is An Orangery Cheaper Than An Extension?


Typically, you will find that building an orangery is significantly cheaper than a typical extension. If you work with the figure that you’ll be paying approximately £2000 per square meter than you can expect to pay around £18,000 for your new orangery. Meanwhile, a home extension could be close to twice as much as the cost for a typical home extension.


Do You Need Planning Permission For An Orangery?


You’ll be pleased to hear that typically neither an orangery or a conservatory require planning permission. However, this will depend on the type of build and the level of construction required. There are various requirements to adhere to. For instance, your house must have already been extended, and the new extension must be single storey. The materials you are using need to be similar to your home, and there can be no raised platforms such as a veranda. If your home is a new build, you may also find that planning permission is required. Size is an issue too, and you will need to make sure that the new structure is not more than half the width of the property and is not taller than your home.


If your conservatory or orangery does not meet these standards, you will need planning permission.


You might be wondering whether you need planning permission for a solid roof conservatory. In the past, a certain per cent of the roof for a conservatory needs to be translucent to avoid planning permission. Remember, planning permission is based on the aesthetic of the home. However, today, it is possible that you will not need planning permission for this type of conservatory as long as the standards are met.


Should I Choose A Conservatory Or Orangery?


So should you opt for the classic orangery or conservatory? Well, it depends on what you’re looking for. If a room or space purely for the summer months of the year is what you’re after, a conservatory could be the best option. They are also often cheaper to build because they don’t require as many solid structures and will have a lot of glazing. In contrast, an orangery will add more value to your home and be more useful throughout the year due to the high level of solid structures.


We hope you find this advice helpful when you are thinking about adding a new beautiful area to your home.


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