Open 7 days a week   For Orders & Quotations 0800 0852 780

What is the difference between conservatories and orangeries

Posted on July 31, 2019

Building a conservatory or an orangery is a cost-effective solution to create much needed additional living space. It’s an investment and with so many available options on the market, it can be difficult to pick the right one. Discover what’s the difference between a conservatory and an orangery to help you choose the most suitable solution for your needs.

Main differences between an orangery and a conservatory?

Both are extensions of your living space and constructed with a mix of brick and glazed areas. The key difference lies in the structure of the extension. A typical orangery has a brick base and features a flat perimeter roof with a central roof lantern. A conservatory typically has a pitched roof and a frame construction from the ground up to the pitched roof edge.


Dating back to the 17th century, orangeries were typically found on wealthy estates. These extensions were used as a place to grow citrus trees that require plenty warmth and light to survive harsh winter conditions. As citrus fruits became more readily available in the 20th centuries, orangeries’ purpose changed. This is when orangeries started getting built as home extensions to provide bright extra living space.

Big modern orangery extension from Chatsworth Windows


Conservatories developed from the principles of an orangery structure. A conservatory typically has larger glass panels with less brickwork to maximise the flood of natural light, in comparison to an orangery. Conservatories often complement the exterior by incorporating the same design features as your home.

Modern conservatory extension from Chatsworth Windows

The structural differences between a conservatory and an orangery

A typical conservatory is built mostly of glass and connected to the property with a single adjoining wall. In comparison, a typical orangery incorporates less glass and doesn’t necessarily have to be attached to the house. It can also be a separate free-standing structure.

A conservatory frame usually runs from the footing to the leading edge of the pitched roof with big glass panels. An orangery frame will incorporate brick pillars or shorter wooden pillars to support a flat roof perimeter and a central roof lantern.

The difference between a conservatory and an orangery roof

A traditional conservatory tends to let a lot more natural light in, as the roof is supported by framework, which allows the use of large glass panels. However, orangery roofs can have a better artificial lighting, as they allow for electrical wiring and downlighting installation within the flat roof perimeter.

It is important to understand the advantages of both conservatories and orangeries, when deciding on how to extend your home. A conservatory has minimal brickwork and can provide a seamless connection between your home and your garden. An orangery tends to be larger and have more brickwork, giving your new living space a more private luxurious feel.

Still not sure what’s the right solution for you? Contact the Chatsworth team today, and we’ll be more than happy to answer any of your queries.

We are using cookies to give you the best experience on our website.
You can find out more about which cookies we are using or switch them off in settings.