Last month we began to explore the various options homeowners have to add an extension to their home in order to maximise space and make the most of daylight and sunshine which are at a premium during the winter months. Given the number of cold spells we have already seen this winter, there is no better time to get planning for next year and have that warm, light space in your home to take advantage of some brightness without venturing outside into sub-zero temperatures. This month we look at the pros and cons of orangeries; for a reminder of what they are for conservatories, take a look at last month’s article.
What is an orangery?
We already know that orangeries came before conservatories and evolved into them over time. Orangeries are built primarily of bricks rather than glass and typically have a flat roof with a raised glass lantern in the centre to provide light.
Orangeries: the pros and cons
The bricks and mortar construction of an orangery means that your new extension is more in keeping with your home’s architectural design and look. It can provide a seamless extension of your existing room – be it a kitchen, living, or dining room (even a bedroom if you want) – or can just as easily be a whole new room with walls separating it from the rest of your home. Orangeries can provide a more contemporary living space compared to a conservatory, due to the construction methods, although it is worth keeping in mind that it is possible to include large amounts of glass to let in more light should you choose to.
Orangeries will have flatter roofs and the brick foundations enable these to be heavier or to carry more weight than a conservatory. Light will come from a raised centre lantern, external windows, or both. The brick also keeps greater amounts of heat in and will incorporate more insulation in the walls and roof compared to a conservatory, keeping your heating bills in check.
On the downside, the construction methods mean that orangeries are a little more expensive than conservatories. You may need more in-depth upfront design work to make sure your orangery ties into your home well – both aesthetically and in practical terms. You may also experience a little more disruption during construction as builders will need more space for materials. The part of your home that is being extended may be out of action for short periods of time as the orangery is built, so it is worth asking your builder how long this may be so you are prepared to make alternative arrangements should you need to in order to minimise any disruption to your day-to-day life. Orangeries will also, by their nature, let in less light than a conservatory. However, the amount of glass versus brick is flexible and will be influenced by your needs and style.
With this food for thought, look out for next month’s entry with a few more ideas to help you decide which may be the best option of your home.