Orangeries – so many advantages over the humble conservatory

If the term orangery makes you think back to those elegant glass structures beloved by 17th century gentry, filled with all manner of exotic plants (including oranges), then we need to bring you up to date.

Today’s orangeries have been likened to the more common conservatory but that doesn’t really do them justice, nor does it explain why an orangery has many advantages over the humble conservatory.

For example, construction differences: A conservatory is usually an all glass structure (roof and walls), built around a upvc or wooden frame, where as an orangery is a solid wall construction with floor to ceiling glass panels and a glass roof.

This design has several advantages over a conservatory. For example, it’s easier to control the temperature – especially if you face South, which during the Summer can make a conservatory a little too warm. The solid wall construction allows for cavity insulation, increasing the all year round comfort, whilst still providing plenty of light from the ‘open’ glass ceiling.

Also, the design of an orangey makes it easily integrated into your particular needs – perhaps a kitchen or dining extension or somewhere civilised to unwind or enjoy the company of friends?

The traditional glass roof of an orangery lets in plenty of light, creating a unique interior, and whereas a conservatory can look ‘bolted on’ to the side of your existing home, being able to use the same building materials as the rest of your house in a solid walled orangery means it easily blends in.

There are many excellent orangery designs now available, utilising the latest upvc energy saving glazing and glass roof technology.

If you’re thinking an orangery might be for you, then there’s one other feature you might want to consider including. Due to their solid brick (or stone) construction, it’s very easy to integrate a bi-folding door into one or more of the side walls.

Bi-folding doors are a series of door width glazed panels, joined by hinges. The whole mechanism moves on rails so the doors fold back a pane at a time concertina fashion. This allows you to select how much you open to the outside. In the summer, the whole wall can literally be opened up to the garden, where as cooler times of the year, you may only want to open a single panel.

They’re easy to open, require no more maintenance than a normal upvc door and extremely secure against intruders.

Furthermore, with the recent changes in planning permission, a typical orangery won’t need planning permission, however discuss this with your preferred installers as the dimensions of what you had in mind may mean it does require planning permission. Especially if your property is subject to special planning considerations e.g listed status or location etc.

Typically, an orangery of up to 3mtr depth (semi or terraced property) or 4mtr depth (detached property) with a length no greater than the length of the existing property, and a height of less than 4mtrs is OK without permission. It shouldn’t increase the overall floor space of the original property by more than half (do not include any other extensions) and shouldn’t move your property closer to front or side boundaries in the process.

Again, it’s vital to check with your preferred installers or your local planning office before embarking on any work, to be absolutely sure.

Click here to get your Orangery or Conservatory quote, online, in minutes and without a salesman having to call you.

photo’s courtesy of Better Homes

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