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What’s The Difference Between A Conservatory, Orangery & Glass Extension?

As well as being one of the best ways to increase its value, creating additional space for your home can bring a whole new dimension to aesthetic living and entertaining. With many homeowners keen to explore their home improvement choices and what extending could help them achieve, there are plenty of popular options for opening up. But what’s the difference between a conservatory, an orangery, and a frameless glass box extension?

What will the space be used for?

There’s no doubt that extending your home can be a real game-changer, helping you to love your home, rather than listing it to gain extra space in a new property. But whatever’s driving you to create more space, there must be a good reason for doing so.

Realistically, and depending on the style, there’s little to choose from between a conservatory and an orangery. Both can be used to create space in much the same way, giving you a dedicated area for living, entertaining, or dining. Whereas a stylish glass house extension can also extend and enlarge what you already have, giving you additional room for living your life.

Your only constraints are the materials you choose, the building footprint available – and your budget. But whatever your incentive, your choice of conservatory, orangery, or glass house extension will ultimately depend on the purpose of the space and how you’ll use it.

A Conservatory

Perhaps you have a growing family or want to entertain your extended family in more comfort – a traditional conservatory can be ideal, adding a light, versatile new room to extend your living space.

Conventionally added to the back of your home, a conservatory can be as big or as small as you need it to be with the space you have available. The most commonly used materials for conservatory builds are white uPVC frames and double glazed windows. But timber frames, aluminium frames, or even coloured or wood-effect uPVC frames are other popular alternatives. And with these design features, a conservatory can certainly complement the style of your home.

Pros and cons of a conservatory

A conservatory offers a lot to your home, but it might not be the best choice for you. Here are a few pros and cons to think about:

✓ Adding a conservatory does not require planning permission

✓ Conservatories are cheaper than a standard extension

✓ Ideal for occasional use

✗ Can be expensive to keep warm in winter but can be too hot in summer

✗ Can lack privacy if overlooked by neighbouring houses

✗ Won’t necessarily add value to your home

An Orangery

Maybe you’re the consummate host who wants a sophisticated dining area to entertain your guests, as well as having a quiet, additional space with light and style to relax in.

Just like a conservatory, an orangery can be any size you prefer depending on the space you have. Attaching to your home’s external wall to extend outwards, Orangeries can also be a freestanding building in its own right. Using less glass than a conservatory, this can still be a light and spacious showpiece room for entertaining or relaxing.

Pros and cons of an orangery

An orangery will add a certain architectural style to your home, but there are still some pros and cons to consider:

✓ Can add value to your home

✓ Can be better insulated than a conservatory

✓ Will provide a consistent temperature all year round

✗ Can be subject to planning permission like a standard extension

✗ Will usually need foundations and more building work

✗ Might not be as light as a conservatory

A Glass Extension

For a real ‘Wow!’ factor, a stunning, clear glass house extension or frameless glass structure can give you all of the best of a conservatory or an orangery and more.

A glass extension offers a larger, beautifully bespoke, contemporary kitchen and dining space, a warm and airy living space, or a dedicated, stylish dining room, all flooded with natural light thanks to its minimalist, frameless design.

With walls and roof built entirely from structural glass, the clean, fine-line features of glass extensions and structures work with your existing home to add architectural character, rather than altering or hiding what’s already there.

Pros and cons of a glass extension

✓ Can add value to your home

✓ Full, natural light gives you the ideal inside/outside feel

✓ Uses high thermal performance glass for even temperature

✓ Does not usually require planning permission

✓ Preferred by planning officers for protected or listed properties

✗ No conventional wall space to use

The main differences between a home conservatory, orangery, and glass extension

While we’ve talked about the uses and benefits of a glass house extension, as well as conservatories and orangeries, for your home, the ‘quick guide’ below will give you the key differences between them and their features.

The roof

Conservatory: Traditionally uses a uPVC-framed, pitched, double glazed roof

Orangery: Uses a flat roof with central traditional timber, uPVC, or metal-framed, glass lantern roof

Glass extension: 100% clear glass with fine frames for maximum light

The number of windows

Conservatory: Whether larger or smaller glass panels, windows are the feature of each wall

Orangery: Typically features fewer windows, but depends on the size of the orangery

Glass extension: Walls are 100% clear glass with a fine frame for maximum light

The overall style

Conservatory: Less formal and suitable for smaller modern and traditional properties

Orangery: Suitable for larger or more traditional properties as a more formal space

Glass extension: An addition suitable for any size and style of modern or traditional properties

Attachment to the main property

Conservatory: Building foundations and cemented low brick base with frames securely screwed into the exterior wall

Orangery: Building foundations and brick, wood, or aluminium columns with added windows

Glass extension: Fine-line steel frameworks surrounding full-height glass panels securely bolted to the main property with secure footings

Average costs

Conservatory: Prices from ~£4,000 depending on size, materials, and associated costs

Orangery: Prices from ~£20,000 depending on size, materials, and associated costs

Glass extension: Prices from ~£35,000 depending on size and associated costs

Get the glass house extension you deserve with GlasSpace

This article should help explain the key differences between a conservatory, an orangery, and a glass house extension. But you’ll probably have plenty of questions to ask us about the design and construction of contemporary structural glass extensions from GlasSpace.

With over 25 years experience working with discerning clients to create the perfect glass addition to their homes, we have the practical knowledge and expertise to help you make your choice. To get started and for more information on how you can transform your home, contact us today to get your no-obligation, free quote.

At glasspace we encourage you to take advantage of our complimentary design consultation with an advisor who will have the expertise and knowledge to assist you with a structure that is right for you.

Taking your brief and ideas we can design for you. If you have an Architect or designer, we will collaborate to ensure your new bespoke glass structure is the best it can be.

GlasSpace’s structures are unique and not made up of standard parts so designers have the freedom to express your idea.