Orangery or Conservatory: Unveiling the Ultimate Choice for Your Dream Space

Are you dreaming of a luxurious, light-filled space that seamlessly connects your home with the great outdoors? Debating whether to build an orangery or a conservatory? If so, you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll explore the differences between orangeries and conservatories, answer your burning questions, and help you make an informed decision for your dream space.

What’s the Difference? Orangery vs. Conservatory

Orangeries: Elegant and Versatile

An orangery is an elegant extension with large windows and a roof lantern, often with a brick or stone base. Originally designed to house citrus trees in the 17th century, modern orangeries have evolved into versatile, stylish spaces for relaxing, dining, or even working.

Key features of orangeries include:

  • A solid, insulated roof with a central glazed lantern
  • Brick or stone columns for a more robust structure
  • Large windows and bi-folding doors for an abundance of natural light

Conservatories: Classic and Cost-Effective

Conservatories, on the other hand, are predominantly glass structures attached to the main house. They are popular due to their affordability and ability to bring the outdoors in.

Key features of conservatories include:

  • A fully glazed roof and walls for an uninterrupted view of your garden
  • A lightweight structure with minimal brickwork
  • A wide range of styles, such as Victorian, Edwardian, and Lean-to

Orangery or Conservatory: Answering Your Questions

Is an orangery better than a conservatory?

This depends on your personal preferences and needs. Orangeries offer more insulation and privacy, while conservatories provide a more seamless connection to the outdoors. If you’re looking for a year-round living space, an orangery may be more suitable. If you prefer a lighter, more cost-effective option, a conservatory could be the better choice. Our Architectural Designers can help you decide which option is best for your needs.

Is an orangery cheaper than a conservatory?

In general, orangeries are more expensive than conservatories due to their solid construction and bespoke design. However, the exact cost will depend on the materials, size, and complexity of your project. Our team can guide you through the various factors affecting orangery cost and help you find a solution that suits your budget.

What is the downside of an orangery?

The main downside of an orangery is its higher cost compared to a conservatory. Additionally, orangeries may require more extensive foundations and planning permission, which can add to the overall cost and complexity of your project. Our Architectural Designers can help you navigate the planning permission process and ensure your orangery meets all necessary regulations.


Is an orangery warmer than a conservatory?

Yes, orangeries tend to be warmer than conservatories due to their solid, insulated roof and walls. This means they can be used as comfortable living spaces throughout the year. If you’re looking for a cosy, year-round space, consider investing in a modern orangery.

Do you need a door between orangery and house?

While it’s not always required, having a door between your orangery and the main house can help with insulation and energy efficiency. It also provides an extra layer of security


Orangery or Conservatory: A Cost Comparison

To get a better understanding of the investment involved in adding an orangery or conservatory to your home, let’s examine their costs.

On average, orangeries are more expensive than conservatories. This is because they require more building materials, and the design and construction process is more intricate. However, the overall cost will depend on the size, materials, and design features you choose. To find out more about the costs involved, read our article on orangery extension cost and conservatory orangery or extension.

Orangery vs. Conservatory: Which is Warmer?

When it comes to energy efficiency, both orangeries and conservatories have their advantages. Orangeries, with their solid walls and insulated roof, are generally warmer than conservatories in the winter months. Conversely, conservatories can provide better ventilation during the summer, thanks to their large glass surface area.

In either case, you can enhance the energy efficiency of your new space by opting for type of heated conservatory or orangery solutions, such as underfloor heating or energy-efficient glazing.

Doors Between Orangery and House: Are They Necessary?

A door separating your orangery from the main house is not mandatory, but it is recommended. Installing a door can help improve energy efficiency, as it creates a barrier between the temperature-controlled interior of your home and the orangery. Additionally, a door provides an extra layer of security and privacy.

Orangery Lifespan: How Long Will it Last?

A well-built orangery can last for decades, often upwards of 30 years. The lifespan will depend on the quality of materials used, the construction methods, and how well the orangery is maintained. For more information on maintaining your orangery, read our article on transforming your conservatory.

Orangery Foundations: Are They Needed?

Orangeries, like any other extension, require proper foundations to support the structure. The depth and type of foundation will depend on the soil conditions, the size of the orangery, and any local building regulations. Our Architectural Designers can guide you through the entire process, from design to completion.

Planning Permission for Orangeries

In many cases, planning permission is not required for an orangery, as they often fall under permitted development rights. However, there are specific criteria and limits that must be met. To understand whether your project requires planning permission, read our comprehensive guide on understanding permitted development.

Conservatories and Property Value

Contrary to popular belief, conservatories do not generally devalue houses. In fact, a well-designed conservatory can increase the value of a property by as much as 5%. The key is to ensure that the conservatory complements the existing architecture and enhances the living space.

Orangery vs. Conservatory: The Final Verdict

Ultimately, the choice between an orangery and a conservatory comes down to your personal preferences, budget, and how you intend to use the space. Both options offer unique benefits and can significantly enhance the functionality and aesthetics of your home.

Orangeries provide a more traditional and elegant appearance, with a greater degree of insulation and a more solid structure. This makes them an ideal choice for year-round use and for homeowners who want a seamless extension of their home.

Conservatories, on the other hand, are more affordable and offer a light-filled space with a closer connection to the outdoors. They are ideal for homeowners who want to maximise natural light and create a garden-like room for relaxation or entertainment.

Whichever option you choose, working with experienced architectural designers can ensure that your new addition meets your needs and adds value to your property. Our team at Shear Architectural Design is dedicated to helping you create the perfect orangery or conservatory, tailored to your specific requirements and budget.

For more information or to schedule a consultation, please contact us today. Our experts are ready to guide you through the entire process, from design and planning to construction and completion.

Remember, when it comes to your building project, an informed decision is the best decision.



As always, thanks for reading!

DISCLAIMER: This blog post is intended to provide a general understanding of the subject matter. It is not intended to provide specific advice for any specific circumstances. Always consult with a professional before starting any construction work.


About Shear Architectural Design

Shear Architectural Design is an award winning Architectural Design firm based in Sussex, specialising in residential and commercial projects. Our experienced team is dedicated to creating innovative, sustainable, and functional spaces that meet the unique needs of our clients. With a focus on collaboration and customer satisfaction, we work closely with you to bring your vision to life, from the initial concept to the final construction. To learn more about our services or to discuss your project, please contact us today.

Working with an Architectural Designer can help you to achieve your goals and ensure that your project is a success. Shear Architectural Design is a reliable and experienced company that can help you with your home renovation, building project or garden project, in Sussex.


As part of our comprehensive approach, we offer services to design a house plan tailored to your unique requirements.

Our Architectural Design process involves the creation of detailed Architectural Design drawings, which meticulously capture every aspect of your dream home. We also navigate the complexities of building regulation plans, ensuring that our designs adhere to both building regulations and planning permission guidelines.

By incorporating innovative Architectural ideas and working closely with you to draw a house design that reflects your vision, we strive to make the planning and design process as seamless and enjoyable as possible. Our commitment to excellence ensures that you receive a bespoke, high-quality living space that meets your needs and exceeds your expectations.

Our Services

At Shear Architectural Design, we offer a range of services to help you bring your vision to life:

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We assist with gaining planning permission and building regulations, ensuring that your project meets all necessary requirements.

Contact us today, on 01273 740642 to learn more about how we can help you create the home of your dreams!

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