Orangeries may not sound like a common part of the house these days, but they were once one of the most exclusive and luxurious of household areas. While less common, there’s no denying that there’s a ton of benefits to be enjoyed from getting one.
From being a highlight and talking point to adding value to your property, and then all the days of use you’ll get from it, it’s well worth considering an orangery if you’re trying to breathe new life into your house.
But where do you get started with an orangery, and most importantly, how much is it going to cost? In today’s guide, we’re going to detail everything you need to know about the cost of your orangery.
The Basics: What is an Orangery?
Let’s start with the basics. An orangery is a room that is very much like a conservatory, except it comes with a brick base and sides, plus a flat perimeter roof lantern. Most commonly, orangeries are referred to as ‘home extensions,’ especially since they can be used for any kind of home use.
If you’re looking to expand and add space to your home in a luxury way and want a variety of styles that you simply can’t get with other designs like conservatories, this is the option for you.
The Pros of an Orangery
Easily the biggest pro of building one is the fact that it’s a much more connected design to your house than a traditional conservatory. Even if you’re using the orangery as an inconspicuous extension for a new kitchen, dining room, or even a new living space that doesn’t look as separate as a conservatory, this is the extension for you.
Hand in hand with the pro above, orangeries are usually designed in a way that matches your existing buildings and materials. This way, it won’t make much of a difference and doesn’t stand out too much. Orangeries are also renowned for letting in impressive levels of natural light.
Thanks to the brick foundations and sides of orangeries, these allow the extensions to carry much more weight, allowing for the use of brick and stone roof lantern that you simply can’t achieve with conservatories.
From a sustainability standpoint, these kinds of walls and roofs are also ideal for optimising heat insulation, which can help to reduce your heating bills. All of these come together to make orangeries very attractive prospects.
The Cons of Orangeries
The only real con of investing in an orangery is that it can be more expensive. It will require a lot more orangery design work and input to ensure the extension fits into your existing building properly.
Also, while orangeries do let in a lot of light, they let less light in than conservatories. But this, of course, varies depending on the windows you put in or openings.
The only other potential con of an orangery is the disruption it’s going to bring to whatever area of the house you’re connecting it too. However, this would happen with any kind of extension.
How Much Does an Orangery Cost?
So, onto the main question. How much does an orangery, or the cost of an orangery building process, going to be? Well, as a general average, the orangery prices average is around the £15,000 mark.
Don’t cringe too much at those orangery costs because, although the highest orangery cost you can expect to pay is around £20,000, you can find basic orangeries cost around £10,000.
Sure, this average orangery cost more than your typical traditional conservatory. Still, with orangeries providing much more space, much more functionality, and a much more stylish and luxurious experience, it’s well worth every penny.
When you break this time, this means that you should budget between £2,000 and £2,500 per square metre. If you were opting for the largest kind of orangery, around 4.5m x 3.5m, this is going to be around £35,000, but the sizes you opt for will completely depend on you.
Also, check the cost of orangery and orangery prices with your contractor to get a quote that suits you and your budget.
It’s worth remembering the ‘Golden Ratio’ when it comes to sizes. If you have an average house width of around 28-feet, the ratio for your orangery is around 17.5ft. This ratio will give your orangery extension the right look for your specific house.
Finally, you’ll also need to consider how much the materials are going to cost, as this will affect the price variably.
If you’re going for a basic white UPVC or timber frame, your orangeries costs will be around £15,000, but large, multi-material builds will be the most expensive.
How Long Does Building Take?
Typically, an average orangery will around three to five weeks to build, but this is dependant on a range of factors. These factors include things like the size of the build, its complexity, and how many custom elements you’ve ordered.
You may also need some other works to be done, such as electrical or plumbing work, or laying new foundations, but your contractor will be able to advise with this.
Do You Need Planning Permission?
As the UK law states, you must acquire planning permission from your local council if you want to build, change, or use any kind of land or building in a way that differs from the original structure. You’ll also need to check your local building regulations to ensure you meet them.
With that in mind, yes, in most cases, you’re going to need planning permission for your orangery. However, some exclusions allow you to use build one.
These exclusions include;
The orangery extension must be single-story and must have the following criteria.
- The property is already extended in some way.
- The materials on the extension are similar to the materials already used on your home.
- The roof of the orangery doesn’t extend over more than half of your garden.
- The extension roof does not extend higher than the top of your home or property.
- The overall height of the orangery isn’t higher than four metres.
- You don’t currently have balconies, raised platforms, or a veranda.
If you fit these criteria, you may be able to build without planning permission, but you’ll need to contact your local council to make sure you’re not breaking the law.
Do Different Materials Change the Price?
The materials are a very important aspect you’ll want to think about when building an orangery, and will very much determine the overall cost of your build.
The standard materials, like glass for the windows, will cost the same throughout the country, but the biggest difference will come when choosing the framing for your orangery.
There are plenty of materials to choose from. This includes uPVC, aluminium, a timber frame build, or a composite of all.
While each material has pros and cons as to why you would choose it, in terms of cost, the uPVC orangeries are the most affordable.
This is thanks to the plastic build, wide availability of the material, and the fact its relatively maintenance-free. On the other hand, the average cost of a timber frame would be the most expensive but is also known for being the most beautiful.
The same applies to the roof of your orangery. There are plenty of different styles available. Some include simple tiled roofs, which will be less expensive than their complex frame and glass counterparts.
If you really want the best experience and you want to go all out with your orangery, you can even invest in a self-cleaning roof. This roof uses the latest technology to keep itself clean during the times of the day when you’re not using the orangery – usually the night time.
What Kind of Size is Best?
One of the first steps you’ll take when choosing your orangery is finding the design and size to suit you. Of course, you can use the Golden Ratio we spoke of above to find the perfect size for your specific property.
Just to recap, the Golden Ratio would take the width of your house, let’s say the UK’s 28ft average, and then use the 1:1.168 ratio. This means your orangery will 17.5ft long.
This is believed to give you the most aesthetically pleasing size of orangery for your property, but you can choose whatever you like, of course.
Aren’t Orangeries Just a Different Conservatory?
While an orangery and a conservatory are very similar in lots of ways, the main differences to think about are the bases and the roof.
Unlike a conservatory, orangeries have brick bases and will have a centralised roof lantern. A conservatory typically has pitched lanterns. The base will be framed construction sides with no perimeter.
A conservatory is also usually defined as a building with over 50% of the wall area glazed with glass. Over 75% of the roof is glazed. Orangeries tend to have an under 75% of glazed roof.
So, Which Are Cheaper?
If we look at the average prices of building types in the UK, the average cost of an orangery will be around £18,000 to build. This includes everything from materials to labour costs.
Since materials and design complexity can add to the price, you’re probably looking at a price range of £15,000 to £35,000 for a 4,000 x 5,000 build.
On the other hand, conservatories that are custom designed tend to cost around £50,000. On average, orangeries are more affordable.
As we’ve spoken about above, it depends on your custom build. If you opt for a fully bespoke timber frame orangery with glass, composite materials, and a self-cleaning roof, you’ll be looking to pay more than that.
How to Design the Best Orangery for You?
Finally, with everything we now know, you’ll be wondering how do you design the best orangery for you and can help you save money throughout the build.
There are some simple questions to ask yourself.
- What will I be using my orangery for in my day-to-day life?
- What maximum size boundaries will I have to work with?
- What kind of design/materials do I like and want to use?
- Which part of my house will my orangery living space be connected to?
- How will I make my orangery suit and aesthetically match with my existing property?
If you write down the answers to these questions, you’ll be able to design your perfect orangery for a price that suits you.
Remember, bigger is not always better. You’ll have a much more satisfying experience if you design your orangery to suit your needs perfectly. You’ll be much more capable of creating one to a budget that’s good for you.