The sun is shining, birds are singing. You’re sipping your favourite Sauvignon Blanc as you survey your tastefully landscaped garden from your patio. Those two days of summer are what memories are made of, but what about the other 363 days of the year? Are you going to stand at your dining room window gazing out through the raindrops? Or would you rather be sitting in the luxury of your very own orangery or conservatory enjoying your garden all year round?
What are the differences between an orangery and a conservatory?
For a relatively low cost, you can add an extra room to your home and increase its value at the same time by installing an orangery or conservatory. But aren’t they the same thing I hear you ask? The difference is all in the detail, or in this case, the amount of glass used. An orangery is a mixture of brick and glass, usually a brick base with glass windows and doors, and a central roof lantern. A conservatory is a predominantly glass construction, including the roof, which lets in the maximum amount of light. You can pretty much mix and match these days and get something designed for your particular taste.
Aren’t orangeries just posh people’s pickings and conservatories giant greenhouses?
Well, in the olden days, before the internet and Harry Potter, orangeries were indeed built exclusively for the rich and famous. They originated in the 17th century, like the pocket watch and champagne. Originally built to house citrus trees during the winter months, now they’re a contemporary design feature for houses across good old Blighty. Designs can vary, but orangeries will often have brick or aluminium columns and are more substantial than their glassy conservatory cousins.
Conservatories, with their large glass panels and minimalist framework, offer a sanctuary of light and space. Their temperature, however, can be harder to control than a garden full of weeds after a week of summer showers. You can get special glass which will help control the temperature. So you won’t be scaring the neighbours by sitting in just your pants in the summer or knocking icicles off your nose in winter.
Conservatory or orangery?
It’s a tough question to answer. A bit like Madonna vs Barbara Streisand. Do you want to forego real vocal talent for an entertainer who reinvents herself constantly thus staying relevant and popular? Or do you go for a sultry songstress who refuses to compromise, charges a fortune for tickets and always puts on a sterling performance? The conservatory is the home extension of choice in the UK. The orangery, however, brings a different level of quality and design to the table and is sneaking up the popularity charts.
Ultimately, it comes down to personal taste and perhaps your budget. Both provide extended living space and will add value to your home. An orangery will usually cost more due to construction materials. However, it can be designed to look like it has always been part of your home, not an extension, and the temperature is easy to control. If you want something simple, ready-made conservatories can be erected quickly for a reasonable cost. Whichever you opt for, it needs to be well constructed and provide a useful space for you and your family.
If you’re unsure which is best for your home, or would like to bounce some ideas off someone, EPM Building Solutions can help. One of our team will come to your home and discuss your options. Contact us now for a free, no-obligation quote.