Homes Planning Home Renovation What is the difference between an orangery and a conservatory

What is the difference between an orangery and a conservatory

With warmer weather just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to sort out your summer set up.

You may have your sights dead set on a conservatory, and you may have also heard of an orangery. But what’s the difference?

An orangery is an extension on a home with a glass roof that tends to cover under 75% of the overall roof area, and walls of glass that cover under 50% of the total wall area. A conservatory is also a home extension made of glass, but the roof covers over 75% of the roof area, and the glass walls cover at least 50% of the overall wall area.

Nowadays, the differences between the two aren’t as apparent, which makes the research and purchase process much more difficult. In the pasts, orangeries were used to grow orange trees in large period homes and so were a lot grander. The pillars within them protected the oranges, but the amount of glass surrounding it made sure the warmth of the sun cultivated the orange plants.

In a complete turn of events, nowadays orangeries are typically seen fashioned on smaller homes and tend to be glazed structures more similar to conservatories. Their rooves are more solid, and they use a lantern and a flat roof or an internal pelmet surrounding the perimeter of the ceiling. They also tend to have brick pillars or super-insulated aluminium columns to add a grandeur feel.

Conservatories are usually made from glass or polycarbonate panels – bringing the outside inside! Thanks to high performance glass and advances in thermally efficient technology (some examples are insulated internal pelmets and super-insulated columns), today’s conservatories look as impressive and feel just as cosy as an orangery. Design options such as colour and desigh ideas provide the owner with options to create something unique and stylish too.

An orangery can feature glass from floor to ceiling with the exclusion of brick pillars, meaning that orangeries and conservatories can actually look quite similar – so you can take the reins over the look and feel of your room.

What is an orangery?

Essentially, an orangery bridges the gap between a conservatory and a single-storey extension. By being the middle ground between conservatories and extensions, they offer the best of both worlds while being a cost-effective home improvement. With their bricked walls, orangeries can be customised to suit just about any style in a range of colours.

What is a conservatory?

Conservatories are the UK’s most popular choice of home extension. The glazing covers a wider surface area, so conservatories are often seen as the brighter choice, as they allow more light into your home. They are fantastic in terms of thermal efficiency and can help open up any home thanks to subtle aesthetics.

However, unlike the conservatories of old, you can now choose from a range of different conservatory roofs when you choose an Ultra Installer. This is why the differences between an orangery and a conservatory are so blurred.

What’s the difference?


Both styles are normally built on a solid concrete foundation, then orangeries have a brick base and flat roof, while conservatories have floor to roof frames and pitched glazed roofs. Glazed windows maximise energy efficiency in each, but conservatories provide a clearer view of the outdoors with their larger panels. Orangeries tend to be more imposing structures. Patio doors are commonly used on conservatories, whereas orangeries often use bi-fold doors.


The prices for both can range dramatically from £10,000 to £100,000 or even more – it depends completely on how much wiggle room you have. The materials used for orangerises can mean theyare a biti more expensive, but this isn’t the case all the time.


Materials used to build conservatories can be uPVC, aluminium and timber. Orangeries are made from timber, but this is not a hard and fast rule – uPVC and aluminium orangeries are available too.


Conservatories let in more natural light due to the higher proportion of glazed surfaces, which means they are ideal if you want to spend sunny afternoons looking out over your garden. A lot of conservatories are used primarily as sitting rooms, featuring sofas, armchairs (other comfy seating), coffee tables and other relaxing items such as books and music systems.

Orangeries can provide a bit more privacy and can be used as dining rooms, kitchens, sitting rooms or home offices. They tend to be more of a traditional extension with less glass, with more wall space available – meaning you can match the design both internally and externally to the rest of your home.

Which is warmer?

Conservatories are commonly warmer due to them consisting of more glass as the sun shines through – although that means they can be a little bit colder in winter.

So which do you go for, an orangery or a conservatory?

If you have a smaller home, you are probably best off with an orangery due to their rectangular shape. If you cover too much with an oversized orangery could ruin the visual appeal of your home. You also wouldn’t want to cover too much of your garden with an orangery, so take that into account when choosing between the two.

Orangeries also naturally suit older homes and blend more effortlessly witih the style, but conservatories can be tailored to suit older properties if you are dead set on getting one.

As an alternative to an orangery, you could go with a lean-to conservatory. They are differet to other conservatory styles as thy have a slanted roof rather than a double hipped one. Because of this, they tend to fit under the eaves of single story properties whilst also looking great visually and not taking up too much space.

If your house is bigger, you can have a conservatory tailor made to fit the space you have available. It’s a huge decision, so work out what you are going to be using the space for first, then factor in size, design, materials, design quality and heating and electrics.

Do your research and contact windows Wolverhampton for advice if needed.

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