If you are thinking ahead to the summer and considering home improvements, then the time is right to be weighing up the various options available to you. Home extensions are one of the most popular ways to add value to your property and a much more cost-effective solution to moving if you need more space or want to make big changes to your home. Deciding to add an extension is a big decision in itself. Now you need to determine what the best option is for your home and your family. Let us help by taking a closer look at two of the most popular options: orangeries and conservatories.

What is the difference between an orangery and a conservatory?

While both are extensions, the main similarities end there. A conservatory is typically the addition of a room to your home, and most of it is made up of glass but with a solid roof and some brickwork. An orangery, on the other hand, is usually a much larger extension and heavier on the use of bricks and mortar. It also has a glass roof as well as larger windows giving it a much more elegant and luxurious feel than a conservatory.

What are their key features?

The benefits and main features of a conservatory include:

  • Allowing lots of natural light in, making your new space feel like you are almost outdoors.
  • More windows that can be opened to give you plenty of ventilation. You can customise your conservatory with bi-folding doors giving you the option to open up your home straight out into your garden.
  • Their versatility. Conservatories offer new space that can either be used as an extension of what you already have – for example, expanding your kitchen or living room – or they can add a new room to your home, such as a play room or completely new living area. This enables you to change the use of an existing room in your house if you need an additional bedroom or new office space.

The key benefits and features of an orangery include:

  • Their bricks and mortar design, giving you the opportunity to create a new space that is more in keeping with the existing architecture style of your building. In other words, an orangery better blends in with its surroundings.
  • Offering greater flexibility in terms of how to use the new space as you can either extend an existing space or create something entirely different and separate from what you already have.
  • The glass roof, giving you plenty of natural light. You can also choose how much or how little window area you want.
  • Better insulation opportunities due to the brickwork involved, making it easier to control temperature fluctuations between winter and summer periods and cutting down on your heating bills when it gets cold.

What are the downsides?

Other things to consider when making your decision will include:

  • Cost. A conservatory is the cheaper alternative due to the fact that it does not require any foundation work. This is necessary with an orangery that has a greater weight due to the more extensive brick work.
  • Heat gains and losses. Heat loss is greater with a conservatory due to its extensive glass panels which are not as good at keeping the heat in during the winter. Conversely, in the summer heat gains can make your conservatory feel very warm. While these fluctuations can be controlled, to an extent, through openable windows and window blinds, its design will need to be considered carefully based on aspect and location and this could add to the overall cost.

Still unsure? Talk to our experts at 1st Scenic for some advice and help in making the right choice. Find us on 01689 829 600 or email us at for an initial chat or to make an appointment.