Orangeries and Conservatories: What’s the difference?

what is an orangery

Orangeries and Conservatories: What’s the difference?

If you’ve been thinking about getting a conservatory, it’s possible that you’ll have seen the term orangery come up once or twice in your research. They sound like very similar buildings, and the visual differences aren’t always that obvious either, so it’s easy to get the two confused. So what exactly are the differences between them?


What is an orangery?

orangery design

Orangeries have a bit of interesting history behind them. They originated a few centuries ago back in the Renaissance, in the 15th and 16th century, and to begin with they were only built by the exclusively rich. Italian nobility used them to grow exotic plants and citrus trees in an area that protected them from the worst effects of the weather. As you can imagine, it’s from these citrus trees that the ‘orangery’ took its name.

So that was back then. What about now? Today, orangeries are still typically huge extensions that are made to impress. Unlike conservatories – which are mostly glass – their constructions use brick or stone bases, large glazed windows, and glass roofs. There’s no denying they’re fantastic to look at and no less extravagant than they used to be, but they usually bring with them a hefty price tag to match.

How are conservatories different?

how does a conservatory trap heat

Conservatories, on the other hand, are much more cost-effective than orangeries, making them a far more common kind of construction. To be honest they offer a lot of the same benefits anyway, flooding your home with daylight and bringing the natural beauty of your garden closer to the snugness of your sofa.

One of the main differences between an orangery and a conservatory is to do with the construction materials used. As we mentioned above, an orangery makes extensive use of brickwork or stone pillars, whereas a conservatory by its very nature is mostly glass and has minimal brickwork – all the better to let more natural light in! Conservatories also usually have dwarf walls (that don’t extend all the way up to the roof), whereas the roof itself tends to have around 75% more glazing than that of an orangery.

Orangeries are also often fairly limited in their materials; apart from their brick and stonework, many are made from timber. Meanwhile, conservatories have a far greater amount of materials available; uPVC and aluminium are just a few, which you may find suit your purposes better in the long run, as well as being more cost-effective in the short-term.

Any other things to be aware of?

Another major difference is that due to the cost involved in their construction, many orangeries tend to be on the larger side. It’s fair enough when you think about it – if you’re putting that much money into an extension, you’d want a lot of room inside. However, unless you’ve got the garden space to accommodate it, you might find that building regulations and planning permissions pose more of an obstacle than they would to a conservatory.

In fact, the great news is that most of the time, planning permission doesn’t even tend to affect conservatories, as long as they keep within certain conditions. You can click here to read our previous post about what these conditions are, or if you’re raring to go you can always check out what sort of conservatories we offer here at RTE Fabrications.

If you like what you see, you can always visit our showroom in Darwen, Blackburn and talk to one of our friendly members of staff about getting your project off the ground. We’re here to help!

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