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Orangery Extensions

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A quick guide to buying Orangery extensions

Having a new orangery extension added to your home is a great way to create more living space and to add real monetary value. But what are the things you need to know about before you start?

Our Orangery extensions quick-guide should give you a good idea what to look for.

1 Deciding the size of your orangery –

How big should your new orangery extension be?

You probably already have a good ideal about whether you want a large, medium or small orangery, depending on what you have in mind to use it for.

Around 40% of orangery owners use it for dining. Around 30% simply as an added living area.

Small Orangery Extensions m

Small Orangery Extensions

However, if you are considering of using it as a combination kitchen / dining room area, you could well need to be thinking in terms of medium or large orangery designs, because a small orangery won’t have enough room inside to accommodate both functions comfortably.

You may also think that you can build either size of orangery without planning permission. However, there are some rules regarding this. Making a mistake here could cost you a lot of time, effort and money to sort out.

Here are just a few planning permission rules sometimes overlooked by homeowners in the early stages.

  • The orangery should cover 50% or less of the area of land around the original house. That also includes other existing extensions on the property. So if you have extended before, you have to take that into account (sheds & outbuildings also included in this).
  • Getting within 1 metre of a boundary.
  • If the volume of the existing house will be increased by more than 15% or 70 cubic metres, whichever is the greater.
  • If you are building on the side, then the extension can’t be more than 50% of the width of the original house.

More here at the planning portal mini-guide: https://interactive.planningportal.co.uk/mini-guide/conservatory/0

There is also a need to know if your home is in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (ANOB), is a listed property, or if there are any restrictive covenants in place that you are not aware of.

However, a fair proportion of conservatory orangery extensions are built in the UK without having to gain planning permission to do so.

The size of your new orangery extension also has implications on the size of the budget required to build it, for example:

  • Small orangeries cost from around £15,000 to £20,000
  • Medium sized orangeries cost from around £20,000 to £30,0000
  • Large orangeries cost from £30,000 and over.
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As somewhat of a checklist, you should also be considering the factors below at outset:

  • Foundations – do you have any idea what lies underground where you propose to build? Are the drains, sewers, utility lines, water mains – could this be a problem?
  • Power supply – is your existing set up sufficient to cope with the added power requirements?
  • Heating – how are you going to heat the room? Radiators or underfloor heating require plumbing or wiring.
  • Furnishing & fittings: what about the furniture, will you need new?
  • Landscaping afterward – your garden could well need somewhat of a makeover after the building work has finished (is it included in the cost?)

2 Deciding the style of your orangery #1

What will your orangery look like?

Orangery Extensions

Classic Orangery Styling

There is a choice to be made about the overall look, or theme, of your room. Do you want to keep it in line with more classic orangery styling, or do you prefer a more contemporary look and feel?

Classic orangery styling can be found in Edwardian, Georgian and Victorian Orangeries that feature extensive use of brick pillars & pilasters, highly detailed fascia and glazed windows with Astragal bars.

These designs are topped off with a solid flat roof that has one or more raised glazed lantern sections to allow light into the room.

More modern styles use less brickwork and thinner columns giving way to larger glass surfaces. Where the roof meets the sides, the fascia’s are “clean & uncluttered”, leaning toward a more minimalist appearance.

Both styles have their advocates and clearly it’s going to come down to a matter of personal taste.

Colour Scheme

It’s very easy these days to add colour to aluminium and UPVC. This allows for a much wider variation in the ability to match or contrast these types of orangery extensions to your home.

UPVC orangeries have about 20 colours in the palette, you can also opt for timber graining on the surface as an extra textured finish. Aluminium orangeries also have wood graining options for the frames, but have a much wider range of colours from which to choose. The RAL Powder coat range can be in excess of 150 different colours.

If you are going for the “old school” look, you may find the darker pastel shades of green or browns work well, On the other hand, many of the latest designers work a lot with grey and black.

There are some really nice colour options out there, some of these sound just lovely:

  • Clotted Cream or Cotswold Biscuit,
  • Painswick, Corse Lawn or Eclectic Grey,
  • English, Irish and Silvered Oak.
orangery conservatory colours

Small Selection of Colours For UPVC & aluminium orangeries

If you are not that adventurous, white is always there to fall back upon and will work well in most circumstances.

Orangery Roof Options

Orangery extensions are well known and almost synonymous with having a flat roof with a raised glass lantern in the centre – this is almost the “signature” of the traditional orangery design.

contemporary orangery design

Bifold Door “glass wall”

“Rules “, it is said by some, are there to be broken and there is ample opportunity to experiment with how you want the roof to look before you settle on a final decision.

For large orangeries, where there is space to improvise, why have only one large lantern, why not have 2,3 or even 4 smaller ones?

The amount of solid roof can be varied by making a larger lantern, or even doing away with the classic look and having a pitched roof that runs right to the edge – all glass.

There are examples around where the raised lantern section is not glazed, but instead lead or slates have been used.

Not having any glazing in the roof will, of course, have the effect of lowering the natural light levels in your orangery. However, if a completely solid roof is combined with more glazing in the sides, most of the light can be regained.

Doors for your orangery

The type of doors that you install can make a big difference, not only to the look, but also to the way you can use the room.

If you fit a single set of French doors. For example, your entry and exit is going to be limited to around 2,000 or so. This is fine if you have a small orangery, but if you are considering a large orangery, then a set of bifold doors could really change things.

Bifold doors are being used in many instances of modern design almost as a “glass wall”. If you had a set that was the full width of the room, then the way a set of bifold doors stacks out of the way to the sides and leaves a huge clear exit / entry gives the visual effect of removing the wall – thus creating a super panorama of outside.

More adventurous orangery owners are opting to have 2 adjacent sides of their orangery fitted with full width bifolds. When both sets of doors are folded out of the way, it gives the impression that the roof of the room is just floating unsupported (actually its cantilevered) – awesome.

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3 Deciding the style of your orangery #2

What will your orangery be made from?

Orangeries are well known for their use of solid pillars and columns. But if you look at images of orangeries you will see that, whilst bare brickwork is a very popular choice, there are many other options.

Rendered finishes, painted to the colour of your choice are becoming trendy, natural stone gives the room an imposing appearance.

Sometimes the solid sections are low level and the rest of the structure, including the pillars & columns made from timber, aluminium or uPVC.

Orangery Extensions

Classic Orangery Extensions

Which brings us nicely to the subject of what material will you want to use for the frames.

Wooden orangeries can be seen made from either engineered timber or hardwoods. Engineered timber is an excellent material to use because it is so stable and can be “worked” into long spans or ornate shapes. It is also less expensive than hardwood and lasts just as long.

Having said that, a hardwood orangery is in a class of its’ own.

Aluminium has expanded from its long-time home in commercial building to make a significant impact in the orangery / conservatory market. Modern aluminium frames are not the nasty sharp edged corrosion prone beasts of old, they are high spec lightweight, long-lasting & highly engineered.

UPVC has long been the choice for conservatory frames and works well for orangeries also. Relatively less expensive to use than timber or aluminium, UPVC orangeries are an excellent option.

modern orangery design M

Contemporary Orangeries

4 Deciding the budget for your orangery

How much do orangeries cost?

There are some guide prices shown below to give you a rough idea of how much an orangery extension costs, but to be fair, that is not all that you have to take into consideration.

Apart from the fact that the size of the orangery and whether you go for aluminium, timber or UPVC will all impact on the prices, don’t forget that you have to decorate and furnish the room.

For example, if you want a kitchen orangery you need to consider water supply, power & drainage. If you want to turn your extension into a multi-media paradise with a huge TV, Music centre, computers and other assorted electronic devices, then the wiring is going to be considerably more complex (and durable) than if you want a simple lounge or dining area.

So take some time to factor these potential costs into your budget.

Orangery price guide
Orangery TypeFrame MaterialPrice Band
Basic OrangeryWhite upvc or Timber (pine)From £15,000 upwards
SmallTimber (Idigbo or engineered wood)From £18,000 upwards
MediumUPVC / Timber HardwoodFrom £20,000 upwards
LargeUPVC /Timber HardwoodFrom £25,000 upwards

get quotes online buttonWhatever your final choice of design or size, the only way to know how much it costs is to have a written quote for your specific project.

If you would like to find out more about how much an orangery extension would cost for your home, just use our quote request form to send a few details about your project and we can arrange for independent quotations from professional installers wherever you live in the mainland UK.

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Stephen James
Stephen has worked in home improvement for over 20 years and is an avid fan of all things to do with home refurbishment.