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What is the Difference Between An Orangery and A Conservatory?

Conservatory and Orangery Difference

A conservatory refers to a structure made primarily of glass, featuring a brick foundation and a slanted roof made of glazed materials. On the other hand, an orangery is a brick-based structure that incorporates generous windows and a flat roof crowned with a glass lantern.

Difference between a conservatory and orangery


When it comes to expanding the living space of your home, there are two popular options: orangeries and conservatories. While they are both glazed extensions designed to bring more natural light and outdoor views into your home, there are some significant differences between the two. 

In this article, we’ll answer the commonly asked questions: “What is the difference between a conservatory and an orangery?” and “What is an orangery?“.

Difference Between An Orangery and A Conservatory

Orangeries and conservatories both fall under the category of “sunrooms,” which means they are designed to allow natural light into the room while also providing a view of the outdoors. However, they have different origins, and their architectural designs are unique to each.

What is an Orangery?

An orangery is a type of sunroom that was first introduced in the 17th century. It was originally used as a way to grow citrus fruits during the winter months, and it was typically a separate building that was detached from the main house. Over time, the design of the orangery has evolved, and they are now typically built as an extension of the home.

One of the most significant differences between an orangery and a conservatory is the design. Orangeries have a more solid structure with brick or stone walls, and a large glass roof that allows natural light to enter the room.

They often have a lantern roof, which is a central raised section that allows for more light to enter the space. The walls of an orangery are usually more solid and have fewer windows than a conservatory, which provides more privacy and insulation.

Orangery installation in Leicester home

What is a Conservatory?

A conservatory is a sunroom that has its roots in the Victorian era. The word “conservatory” comes from the Latin word “conservator,” which means to preserve. The original purpose of a conservatory was to preserve delicate plants and flowers during the winter months.

Today, conservatories are more commonly used as a way to extend living space and provide a natural connection between the indoors and outdoors.

Conservatories have a more traditional glass structure with floor-to-ceiling windows that allow for maximum natural light to enter the room. They are typically built with a uPVC frame, which is durable and low-maintenance.

Conservatories can have various roof styles, including lean-to, gable, or Victorian, which can add character and style to the space. The walls of a conservatory are usually made up entirely of glass or double-glazed panels, which allow for unobstructed views of the outdoors.

Conservatory - Phair Windows and Doors, Leicester Conservatories

Features of a Conservatory

  • Structure features extensive glazing with a short brick base
  • Roof consists of over 75% glass
  • Walls are required to have at least 50% glass
  • Constructed adjacent to a house, with a closing door or window connecting the two
  • Requires an independent heating system separate from the main house

Features of an Orangery

  • South-facing side features spacious, tall windows
  • Construction made of stone or brick
  • Flat roof design with a central glass lantern
  • Includes a heating source like a stove
  • Wooden shutters installed on windows for heat retention during night time

When you opt for a conservatory or orangery from Phair Windows & Glass, you’re getting a professional team who will assist you throughout the entire process, with full service and advice from the design to installation process.

Functionality of Orangeries and Conservatories

Another significant difference between orangeries and conservatories is their functionality. Orangeries are more suitable for use as an extension of the home, often used as a dining room, living room, or home office.

They provide a more permanent extension to your home, and the solid structure of the walls and roof make them ideal for use all year round.

Conservatories, on the other hand, are ideal for use as a recreational space, such as a playroom, sunroom, or even a greenhouse. They are perfect for enjoying the outdoors from the comfort of your home and provide an excellent space to relax and unwind.

They are typically not as well insulated as orangeries, which means they may not be as comfortable to use in the winter months.

Cost of Conservatories & Orangeries

The cost of an orangery or conservatory can vary depending on the size, location, design, materials, and labour costs. However, in general, orangeries tend to be more expensive than conservatories due to their more solid construction and the materials used. 

The cost of a 3m x 3m orangery can cost anywhere upwards of £24,000 on average including the installation costs. This can vary by a lot, so it’s worth doing your research to find a reputable company offering competitive prices.

On average, a 3m by 3m metre conservatory can cost around £15,000, but this price can fluctuate significantly. Depending on the factors mentioned above, a conservatory can cost anywhere over £30,000, up to £100,000. 

However, it’s important to note that this is a general estimate, and the actual cost can be higher or lower depending on your specific requirements and the region where you live. 

Glazed Extension - Conservatories - Double glazing Leicester

Which is Better: A Conservatory or an Orangery?

The benefits between a conservatory and an orangery depends on your personal preferences and specific requirements. Here are some points to consider:


  • Typically more affordable compared to an orangery.
  • Offers a greater amount of natural light due to extensive glazing.
  • Provides a more seamless connection with the outdoor space.
  • Suitable for those seeking a fully glazed structure with a spacious feel.


  • Offers a blend of solid brick or stone walls with large windows, combining the benefits of both a conservatory and a traditional extension.
  • Provides better insulation and thermal efficiency compared to a conservatory.
  • Offers a more substantial and substantial appearance.
  • Suitable for those who prefer a more solid and enclosed space.

Ultimately, the better choice between a conservatory and an orangery depends on your aesthetic preferences, budget, desired functionality, and the specific characteristics of your property. 

A typical orangery and conservatory can add 5-10% on to your home’s value so it’s well worth the investment.

Consulting with a professional and trusted installer such as Phair Windows & Glass can help you make an informed decision.

Find Your Perfect Conservatory 

Orangeries and conservatories are both types of sunrooms designed to bring natural light and outdoor views into your home.

Orangeries have a more solid structure with brick or stone walls and a glass roof that allows natural light to enter the room. They are more suitable for use as an extension of the home, providing a more permanent extension to your living space. 

Conservatories have a more traditional glass structure with floor-to-ceiling windows that allow for maximum natural light to enter the room. They are typically built with a uPVC frame and are ideal for use as a recreational space, such as a playroom or sunroom.  Conservatories are generally more affordable than orangeries, but the cost of both can vary depending on size, design, and materials used.

At Phair Windows & Glass, we have over 30 years’ experience in Leicestershire’s double glazing industry and installing Leicester conservatories. If you have any questions, or would like a free quote, get in touch with our team

FAQ’s about Difference Between Conservatory and An Orangery

Which is better conservatory or orangery?

Choosing between a conservatory and an orangery depends on your preferences. A conservatory has more glass, is brighter, and often more affordable. An orangery has solid walls, better insulation, and a more substantial appearance. Consider your budget, desired style, and functionality to decide what suits you best.

Which is cheaper conservatory or orangery?

Generally, a conservatory is typically cheaper than an orangery. Conservatories often have more glass and simpler designs, making them more cost-effective. Orangeries, with their solid walls and additional construction, tend to be more expensive. However, prices can vary based on size, materials, and other factors.

What is the downside of an orangery?

One downside of an orangery is its higher cost compared to a conservatory. The construction of solid walls and better insulation can make it more expensive. Additionally, the solid walls may reduce the amount of natural light entering the space, and the additional materials and design complexity may require more maintenance.

Do I need planning permission for a conservatory or orangery?

You may not need planning permission for a conservatory or orangery if it meets certain criteria. As a general rule, conservatories are more likely to be exempt from planning permission, while orangeries may require planning permission due to their more solid and substantial construction. It is advisable to consult with your local planning authority to determine the specific requirements for your area.

What is the Difference Between Orangery and Conservatory?

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