Bring the outside in with a conservatory or orangery: Which will you choose?
Homeowners lucky enough to have a garden or yard space to the rear of their property often choose to extend their living space through the installation of a conservatory or orangery, allowing for an extra room with large glass windows and walls to help present a feeling of the outside, in.
There are a myriad of conservatory fitters and orangery builders online but this multitude of choice can actually overwhelm those deciding which to opt for – as of course, each specialist is attempting to best convey the case for their given product or service, in order to maximise sales. Here at Refresh Renovations, we offer both conservatories and orangeries and so are unbiased; advising homeowners only on what is best and most appropriate for them. If you’re weighing up your options and are undecided on which will work best for your home, read on and take onboard all of the information to make an informed decision.
The terms ‘conservatory’ and ‘orangery’ are often used interchangeably but are actually differing rooms with different legal definitions.
A conservatory is a structure usually almost entirely made from glass or transparent plastic, set in a frame. At least two-thirds of a conservatory’s roof must be made from transparent or translucent material (as previously mentioned, usually glass or plastic) with a minimum of 50% of the wall being see-through, too. An orangery is less transparent, with a flat or mansard roof with a glazed lantern to permit natural light entering. Orangeries usually featured large windows as opposed to fully glazed walls and so are essentially extensions with lots of glass within.
There is no set size requirement for conservatories or orangeries, nor a set layout – but both must be attached to the main property.
One of the factors that inform many homeowners’ choice between a conservatory or an orangery is the time that the overall project will take to be completed and any disruption that may occur as a result of it.
Conservatories, unless particularly large, are usually built through the use of a steel frame with glazing (be it glass or plastic) inserted between the frame’s beams. Specialist conservatory fitters often hold stock of their most popular models and so are able to supply the materials required quickly – meaning that some conservatory installations may be able to begin almost immediately; and provided the build is a standardised one, can be completed in just days.
As an orangery can be considered a full home extension, the build time for such a project is likely to always take longer. Whilst this may not necessarily run into a period of months, it does often take weeks and is at the liberty of more external variables; although the additional space and security an orangery provides often make this timeframe no more of a concern that it would be for any other property extension.
There is no one-size-fits-all usage for either conservatories or orangeries, but there are some considerations to be made as to the practical usage of the new room.
Conservatories, due to the nature of their large transparent areas, are often easily influenced by the weather outside and so can be noisy during rainfall, cold during winter and hot during warmer climes. While there are now a variety of specialist conservatory insulation solutions available on the mainstream market for homeowners to purchase, the fluctuating temperature in the room may make it impractical for certain uses such as a sleeping space, storage for sensitive items or to house babies or young children.
Orangeries on the other hand are considerably less impacted by the ambience outside and can have the home’s infrastructure (electricity and/or plumbing) extended to them much more easily.
In both cases, the layout of the new room in relation to the rest of the home should also be considered. It may not make sense to have a playroom next to a kitchen or a living area next to a toilet – so ensure that the usage is appropriate and makes sense in terms of those passing through and living in the property.
Budget is a factor in any home renovation or improvement decision as of course, the homeowner must be able to reasonably afford the extension in which they are investing.
Exact project costs vary dependent on the size and scope of the build, but generally speaking conservatories are smaller, less secure, and quicker to erect, and therefore cheaper. That said, orangeries tend to add more value to the property overall. It is always recommended that homeowners seek out quote estimates from multiple providers detailing everything that will be included for comparison purposes.
There is a misconception that neither conservatories nor orangeries require planning permission and whilst this is typical, it is not a steadfast rule. Properties situated in AONB, conservation areas or with listed status will be subject to local planning authority checks and administration, and extensions over a certain size in relation to the total square footage of the house will require formal planning permission.
A Refresh Renovations team member will be able to advise homeowners upfront on the requirement for planning permission (should there be any), with the whole process managed by them – including applications made, appeals filed and any planned amendments worked through. Gaining such approvals are often considered a lengthy and tedious task but with a specialist managing it, the stress and timeframe really need not be an issue.
If you’re unsure of whether a conservatory or orangery would work best for your home, contact your local Refresh Renovations office! The team will be able to complete a home visit to consult directly and let you know what others in your area are opting for; helping you make a fully informed decision and choose the most appropriate solution for you and your family.
For help and advise on your conservatory or orangery build, get in touch today for a free no obligation talk with the team!
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If you would like to find out how Refresh Renovations can support you with a high quality, efficient home renovation, get in touch today. Your local Refresh consultant will be happy to meet with you for a free, no obligations consultation.