Orangeries are a popular form of house extension that lets you add space and value to your property. Usually attached to the rear of the home, where they can extend into the back garden or patio area, they share some similarities with conservatories but are very much a concept of their own.
In this article, we offer a complete guide to orangeries and how your property can benefit from having one attached to it. We will cover everything from what an orangery is to what it can be used for and how much value it is likely to add to a home.
What is an orangery?
An orangery is an outbuilding attached to an existing property. It gets its name from the fact that it was originally designed for the growing and cultivation of oranges and other citrus fruits in less than ideal climates. This is why orangeries are built with large glass roofs to let in as much natural light as possible, but also brick walls to prevent the wind from damaging the orange trees. These days, of course, few of us are using orangeries as citrus farms, but the name has stuck.
What is the difference between an orangery and a conservatory?
While conservatories and orangeries have some superficial similarities, there are distinct differences between the two. Conservatories tend to be made of a metal or uPVC frame with glass panels forming the walls and roof. While there may be a layer or two of bricks at the base of the conservatory, they are generally in place as a stabilising foundation.
Orangeries, on the other hand, tend to be built of the same (or similar) materials as the building to which they are attached. They have three extruding walls, with the fourth wall being the side of the existing property, and a lantern glass roof. They tend to blend in better with the main house than a conservatory since they share the same design aesthetics.
What are the different types of orangeries?
There are six major types of orangery design: Edwardian, Georgian, Victorian, Elizabethan, Lean-to, and Gable-end. While each has its own particular quirks of design, the general approach is the same: brickwork walls topped with a glass roof. These are some of the distinctions between them:
Edwardian Orangery: these have a rectangular floor plan and are designed along bold lines with a decorative finish, often including clerestory windows or fanlights.
Georgian Orangery: these are also built on a rectangular base and, like much Georgian architecture, have a symmetrical design with all elements in proportion. The roofs of Georgian orangeries are more steeply pitched to allow more sunlight into the room.
Victorian Orangery: by far the most popular style of orangery, the walls of Victorian orangeries often incorporate large panes of glass and ornate features from the Gothic school of architecture. More rounded and versatile than either the Edwardian or Georgian designs, they often include a bay window on the longest side.
Elizabethan Orangery: if the Victorian orangery is famous for its ornamentation, its Elizabethan counterpart is just the opposite. Designed along uncomplicated lines, it has a more modern aesthetic, making it suitable for new builds as well as older properties.
Lean-to Orangery: lean-to orangeries are less wide than other designs, though they often run the entire length of the property. Rather than having a pitched roof rising to an apex, their glass roof comprises a single plane, leaning lengthways, with the higher end joining the main home.
Gable-fronted Orangery: these orangeries tend to have a square floor plan with a steep gabled roof. This design provides the best of both worlds, merging maximum floor space with optimal light from the outside.
What are the benefits of building an orangery?
The main benefit of building an orangery is that it adds space to your home, whatever you intend to use it for. What’s more, it is a cost-effective way of doing so, being cheaper than adding a full extension to the property. With its glass roof and wide windows, it’s a wonderful way to merge the inside of your home with the outside and to let more natural light into your home. Compared to a conservatory, orangeries are, to most, more aesthetically pleasing, feeling more like a part of the house than an addition to the building.
What can an orangery be used for?
Orangeries are versatile structures, and, really, the only limit to their use is your own imagination. Many people use it as an extra living room or reception room, benefiting from the beautiful view of the garden and the open sky overhead. Others choose to use it as a dining room, separated from the main body of the house to make mealtimes feel more special and intimate. With so many people working from home these days, a popular recent use for an orangery is as a home office—after all, who could ask for a more pleasant working environment?
How long does it take to build an orangery?
This can be a difficult question to answer as there are so many variables to consider. Any professional orangery contractor would need to wait until the design phase was complete to be able to give a realistic timeframe. That said, it would not be unusual for an orangery to take between four and eight weeks to complete from initial design to final installation.
How much does an orangery cost?
As with the timescales, the cost of your orangery depends on several factors, including its size, the complexity of the design, the materials used in its construction, and any additional fixtures and fittings you wish it to include. A (very) rough estimation of building costs would be somewhere between £2,000 and £2,500 per square metre, but even that is not cut-and-dried. At DLP Associates (Buildings) Ltd, we always provide our customers with a free, no-obligation quote on every orangery project, based on our initial on-site consultation.
How much value will an orangery add to my home?
Most people add an orangery to their property for its aesthetic or practical benefits, but it’s always worth knowing whether you’ve made a sound investment of your time and money with any house extension or conversion project. Most experts estimate that a well-built orangery can increase the value of a home by 5–10%, with some adding as much as 15% to their latest valuation. Either way, it’s money well spent.
A Guide to Orangeries: Final Thoughts
Here at DLP Associates (Buildings) Ltd, we provide a range of construction and home extension services to the people of Hampshire. We specialise in orangeries, designing each new installation from scratch to meet the specific needs of our customers and the unique look of their existing property. For stunning orangery design and installation solutions, call the team today on 01256 474 617 or 07836 375 133 to arrange a free consultation with one of our experts. Alternatively, send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and someone will be in touch with you as soon as possible.