The lavish extensions of your home, orangeries and conservatories add both style and value to your property. These lavish living areas seem the same, but they have some differences, and people are curious to learn about them.


The key difference is that a conservatory comes with a brick foundation and an angled glass roof, while the orangery comes with the same base but tall windows, a flattened roof, and a glass lantern. Yet, to clearly understand the difference between both, read this article till the end to know the costs, the design, and which is more modern.



What is a Conservatory?

A conservatory is an opulent home extension that comprises 75% or more of the roof with glass. Besides the roof, the walls also have more than 50% covered by glass walls or windows.  


Technically speaking, any structure that has the following characteristics is a conservatory:


  • A glazed roof with brick floor
  • At least 75% of the roof is of glass material
  • The walls with at least 50% glass material
  • The building is formed along a house’s wall and has a doorway that closes
  • A dedicated heating system from the main residence is required.


Whether you have a big or small conservatory, there are elements you can add inside to make it more pleasant and appealing.

What is an Orangery?

An orangery is slightly different from a conservatory since it contains less than 75% glass roof and less than 50% wall space covered with glass.

A traditional orangery structure has:

  • Bricked floor with large windows on the south-facing side
  • A flat roof structure with a glass lantern in the centre
  • A heating source such as stove or fireplace
  • Glass with wood shutters for retaining heat

Differences Between Orangery and Conservatory


The cost of a conservatory is probably the most important factor for most property owners. Conservatories come cheaper than orangeries because of their construction material. The orangery utilizes more solid walls while the conservatory uses less solid structure. Besides, conservatories can be complicated to build. 


Some private conservatory firms offer them as cheap as £5000 in the UK, while wooden conservatories might cost around £10,000. You might have to spend a little more on wooden conservatories than UPVC. Generally speaking, conservatories can cost you between £10,000 and £60,000 in the UK. In fact, there are different types of conservatories and some are more pricey than others. However, the exact price can only be estimated by the size and design.


As for orangeries, wooden orangeries can cost anywhere from £8000 to more than £100,000. Again, the price is completely determined by the size, materials, designs, and other factors.


Warmth and Cosiness

The orangery was intended to grow plants by catching more sunlight. To attain this, the architects built it to face the south while standing against the north-facing wall. Moreover, to protect from chill and winter, the glass shutters were affixed to retain the heat. 


On the other hand, the conservatory lacks such planning as it is susceptible to temperature change. It will remain hot in summer and cold in winter, thanks to its entire glass structure. Although, glass technology is a guarantee that conservatories are more energy-efficient and cost-effective.


While comparing both, a typical orangery will be a little warmer than a conservatory, although the latter will work just fine.


Lastly, a key element when planning a conservatory or an orangery is investing in insulation and it can increase your property value even more.


Planning Permissions

As far as the design permissions of the orangeries are concerned, they are regarded to be extensions of a single story. Developmental authorities permit the landowners to enlarge the property without any formal building permit. 


Moreover, the extensions are even more open-handed for a single-story property since they allow for a large area for extensions. Simply put, orangeries do not need any design or planning permissions. It is still important to check the planning guidelines because one wrong move can ruin the house extensions.


The Roofs and Natural Light

The roofs are one of the significant differences between a conservatory and an orangery. While conservatories have more natural light, the orangeries do not have that much. Besides, the conservatory roofs stand on a sleek and minimalist structure that holds the wide glass panels.


On the flip side, the orangery has the edge over the conservatory since it works well with artificial lights at night. As mentioned earlier, the orangery has a flat roof, so they normally have proper lighting installation.


These are the best conservatory ideas to make your property extension fully worth it.


In other words, the conservatories come with more natural light in the daytime, while orangery caters to natural light in the daytime and amazing artificial lighting for nighttime.


Can You Convert a Conservatory Into an Orangery?

Yes, you can convert it, but that is not a straightforward job. First, a design inspector would have to examine your conservatory to determine whether the modification is doable. Secondly, you will need to contact legislative authorities to ensure that the orangery complies with construction requirements. They will let you know if you are allowed to remodel the conservatory to orangery or not.


What Should I Choose, an Orangery or Conservatory?

Several factors can make your mind install either a conservatory or an orangery. For that, you can ask yourself a few questions such as:

  • Why do you want the extension of your property as an orangery or conservatory, and how will you use this extension of your house? If you want to enjoy the natural views, go for an orangery, and if you want extra space go with the other less expensive option.
  • How much can you spend on this extra space of the house? If you have big bucks, you can install an orangery, but if you are a little tight on a budget, a uPVC conservatory will be a reasonable option for you.
  • Will you sell your home shortly or continue living in it for a lifetime? Orangeries add more value to your house, so if you plan to sell it, then go for them; otherwise, conservatories work well for your lifestyle improvement.
  • Your style preference is yet another consideration since orangeries are more luxurious and elegant, while conservatories work quite well for plant growing.


Final Thoughts

Both orangeries and conservatories have their give and take. While a conservatory remains cost-effective, an orangery can make a hole through your pocket, yet an orangery can add more value to your property. When extending your property, it is better to consult your local authorities for planning permissions.