The Extension Series Conservatory or orangery

Over the last couple of months we have explored the pros and cons of conservatories and orangeries. We have taken a close look at what each is and what the differences between them are – for a refresher take a look at the articles on conservatories and orangeries first before reading on. This month we have put together a quick reference guide to help you decide between them. If you are considering installing a conservatory or orangery this year to take advantage of daylight and extra space in your home, then read on.


Conservatories are great for:

  • Bringing the outdoors directly into your home. They allow for large amounts of window and glass use, flooding your space with natural daylight and can give it an airy and spacious feel.
  • Pitched roofs let you take advantage of sunlight for large portions of the day, particularly if your conservatory is south- or west-facing.
  • Offer plentiful ventilation through openable doors. You can also include bi-fold doors opening up your room straight onto your back garden.
  • Versatility. Conservatories can be an add-on to your existing space – extending a kitchen or other living area for example – or can create a whole new room. You can do this by moving a kitchen or play area into your conservatory and reconfiguring what was there before into a new space such as a living room or extra bedroom.

The disadvantages of conservatories are that:

  • The large amounts of glass can lead to heat gains in the summer and heat losses in the winter. However, this can be managed by considering the aspect of your space and designing it accordingly. For example, a north-facing conservatory could have fewer windows or include shutters or blinds to keep the heat in. Similarly, a south-facing one could have more openable windows to improve ventilation and cooling.


Opt for an orangery if:

  • You are after a bricks and mortar extension to be more in keeping with the architectural design of your home. Orangeries are still as versatile in terms of what you can do with the new space – either create a new and separate room or extend an existing one, but whichever your choose it can be a seamless extension of your home in terms of external design.
  • You want plenty of light from above. With flat roofs, orangeries will include a skylight or roof lantern, flooding your space with natural daylight from above. There is some flexibility in the amount of glass you use in terms of the number and size of windows that you include.
  • Warmer winter spaces. The bricks and mortar design offers greater insulation, retaining the heat in during the winter and making your energy bills more manageable.

The disadvantages of orangeries include:

  • A need for stronger foundations. Since orangeries need to hold more weight due to their design, the foundations will need to be more robust than for a conservatory.
  • Potentially more construction disruption. Depending on what you are using the orangery for, the construction methods required may mean that your builders will need more space to work from and for materials storage, so you may experience a little more disruption.

For an in-depth discussion on which option is best for you and your home, talk to our specialists at Parson’s Joinery. You can get in touch for a chat or to make an appointment by calling us on 01273 814870 or emailing us at