11 May 2021

Conservatory or Orangery?

Conservatory or Orangery?

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Choosing between a conservatory and orangery can be difficult when the lines between the two structures are becoming increasingly blurred. This is due to the sheer variety of roof designs and structure shapes and this has given some customers a headache when going through the planning and research process. The differences between conservatories and orangeries lay in their structural composition, including materials and glazing, but what are the benefits of each?    


Orangeries are usually found on smaller homes and are predominantly brick structures with large windows, a flat roof with a glass lantern and it is these distinct features that make them distinguishable to conservatories. Traditionally used to house orange trees, orangeries provide excellent conditions for growth. The tall, large windows on one side allow significant light into the structure and ensures insulation inside. The typical wooden shutters retain heat and insulation is helped by the structure ordinarily being made from brick or stone. These structures are seen as the middle-ground between a conservatory and an extension and offer a best-of-both-worlds alternative. In some cases, orangeries can add the same value to your home as an extension can, and the brick work can be chosen to match your existing property to give a consistent aesthetic feel. Orangeries are the better option for insulation purposes, but conservatories allow a larger volume of light into the structure.  


Conservatories are the more popular and traditional choice within the UK, and these structures became more affordable and increased in popularity following the introduction of UPVC into the industry. A conservatory is a fully glazed structure with the roof and walls consisting of at least 75% and 50% glass respectively. Glass dominates the majority of these structures and this results in enhanced natural light and the feeling of an outside environment while being sheltered. Orangeries have better insulation but conservatories have superb thermal efficiency thanks to the advancement in UPVC and glazing. Conservatories are very versatile structures that can be design bespoke to your property and to fit the available space and this is an advantage over orangeries as the choice of designs can compliment and unify your home and garden without taking too much of your garden space away. The typical shapes seen are:


Victorian designs provide a panoramic view through the shallow corners of the structure creating window bays.


Edwardian designs are more traditional which focuses on lightness and airiness to maximise views.


The simple lean-to design is great for smaller properties or where height is restricted.


The added roof height of this design enhances your conservatory area and maximises your floor space.

P-Shaped or T-Shaped

The grand P or T shape combines a lean-to on one side and Victorian design (resembling a ‘P’ or ‘T’) and this structure is ideal if you are looking for a larger living space.   Ultimately, it is down to personal preference as there is advantages to both structures. Whether you are working from home or need somewhere to escape to, both structures are perfect for summer usage, connecting your garden and home seamlessly and can increase property value.

Summary – Differences and Advantages

Glazed roof >75% glass Flat, solid roof <75% glass
Glazed walls >50% glass Large, tall windows with walls <50% glass
Versatile designs, rectangular, P or T shape Square or rectangular shape
Fully glazed structure with a brick base Bricked corner pillars and/or walls
Adds a new aesthetic different to your home Built to match stylistically to your current home
Enhanced natural light Better insulated
More customisable design Seamless blend with your home
Cheaper cost to purchase Larger improvement in property value

Conservatory Prices

For more information on all of the above designs, and more click here. Are you looking for a rough quote? Click “Start A Quote”, choose your design and specification and get a rough price from the comfort of your own home! Alternatively, you can call us on 01267 223700 or email sales@nolanupvc.co.uk with any questions you may have.  

Try Before You Buy

Still stuck on what design you like best? There are conservatories and orangeries on display at both of our showrooms in Johnstown, Carmarthen and North Road, Cardiff. Pop in and see the differences up close!  

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