Conservatory vs. Orangery What is the difference?

Conservatories and orangeries are a popular choice by homeowners looking to add space, as well as value, to their property. They both offer increased living space and provide a room to relax in whilst taking in the views from outside as well as extra space for entertaining family and friends. So what exactly is the difference? It’s a question we often get asked so here’s the answer.

Orangeries originated from Italy in the 17th century when it was fashionable amongst the elite to have a separate room within (or near to) the main house to grown citrus fruits – hence the name orangery – to protect them from the elements during the winter months. Orangeries tend to feature more brickwork and less glass than that of a conservatory and subtly blend in with the masonry of the house itself. Our Orangeries are usually constructed using a fully structural engineer designed timber roof, which has a Firestone EPDM (single ply rubber) deck.

The shift to conservatories came when people started growing herb plants as shrubs as opposed to fruit. The extensive use of glass meant that the plants could grow at a rapid pace due to the direct light source flooding in through the glass roof and side panels. This is a feature that has carried through to the modern day structure and is the defining feature in differentiating between the two.

So to summarise, conservatories use minimal brickwork and more glass. Orangeries feature more brickwork, tend to be bigger and epitomise luxury.