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What's the difference between an Orangery and a Conservatory

8th August 2016

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What is an Orangery?

An orangery is a home extension with a glass roof typically covering less than 75% of the overall roof area, and glass walls covering less than 50% of the overall wall area.

What is a Conservatory?

A conservatory is a home extension with a glass roof often covering at least 75% of the overall roof area, and glass walls covering at least 50% of the overall wall area.

What's the Difference Between Orangery and Conservatory?

Once upon a time, these styles differentiated themselves from one another; these days, the line separating a conservatory from an orangery is becoming blurred. This is making the research and buying process harder for homeowners.

Traditionally Orangeries were grand ostentatious buildings used to grow orange trees in large period homes. The solidity of the pillars sheltered the oranges, but large expanses of glass ensure the sun’s warmth cultivated the plants.  The difference between orangery and conservatory is that today Orangeries are seen on smaller homes and are glazed structures more like conservatories. They tend to have more solidity in the roof with the use of a lantern and flat roof or an internal pelmet around the perimeter of the ceiling and usually have pillars made from brick or a super-insulated aluminium columns which add an element of grandeur.

Traditional conservatories are usually made from glass or polycarbonate panels to bring the outside inside, but do not have the solidity or grandeur of an orangery. With high performance glass and advances in thermally efficient technology such as insulated internal pelmets and super-insulated columns, today’s conservatories look as impressive and feel just as cosy as an orangery. Design options such as colour and decorative Cornices provide options to create something unique and stylish too.

An orangery can be designed to include floor-to-ceiling glass, and brick pillars can be excluded. This means an orangery can look like a conservatory and vice-versa. This means that you, as a customer, will have complete control over the look of your new room and can ensure the finished installation looks as expected.

A Closer Look at the Orangery

An orangery bridges the gap between a conservatory and a fully-loaded single-storey extension. That’s the best way to think of it and is the main difference between orangery and conservatory. Our orangery styles include three very distinct looks: the Contemporary Orangery, the Classic Orangery and the Lantern Orangery.

The Contemporary Orangery

To give you an idea, the Contemporary Orangery combines our super-insulated columns, with a decorative cornice and insulated pelmet for the ultimate orangery look. To add modern styling support wide spans of bi-fold or sliding doors with an integrated, invisible structural goalpost. A touch of contemporary glamour – perfect if you’re looking for something stylish that perhaps combines with the colour of your window frames. 

The Classic Orangery

The Classic Orangery, on the other hand has a more traditional look with its brick piers, internal pelmet on the inside and curved cornice it exudes traditional stately-home elegance. 

The Lantern Orangery

The Lantern Orangery is perfect for every conceivable property. Modern or traditional, it features the beautiful Ultrasky roof lantern. Internally it gives a deep perimeter ceiling, allowing for a flexible lighting design.  

Roof Lanterns





The Conservatory in Close-Up

Choosing the Right Roof

Despite the obvious differences between orangery and conservatory, the latter can still resemble the look of a contemporary or classic orangery. It’s worth exploring the design options available so that you can make a more informed decision. Below are just some of the benefits a new conservatory will bring.

A Range of Styles and Shapes

As is the case with an orangery, conservatories can be built in a range of formats that respond to the design requirements of any home. If you live in bungalow – or any other kind of one-storey building –  your approved Ultra Installer may recommend the lean-to design, which will fit under your eaves. Discuss thermal enhancements such as insulated internal pelmets, central lighting panels, super-insulated columns and decorative cornices to enhance you design and reduce heating bills.

Warmth and Natural Light

Performance glass has advanced incredibly in recent years having a huge impact on the thermal performance of conservatories and orangeries.  The glass is probably the most important choice you will make in your conservatory or orangery.

Choose a high performance glass to reduce fabric fade, keep the heat in and the cold out so  your new room will be the perfect temperature no matter what time of year it might be.

Whether you opt for an orangery or conservatory, you’ll need to make sure your new room benefits from a roof system that will add value to the design

Choosing the Right Roof

Whether you opt for an orangery or conservatory, you’ll need to make sure your new room benefits from a roof system that will add value to the design. Now you know the difference between orangery and conservatory rooms, read about our different roofing options.

Ultrasky Lantern

Designed to be compatible with a flat roof or orangery deck, this elegant slimline lantern has an optimum 25° roof pitch to flood your room with natural light where you need it. Ideal over a focal point such as a table or kitchen island this stunning roof lantern can be provided in any colour in uPVC or aluminium.  Its super-strong ridge and thermally broken structure means there are less bars  which means you’ll benefit from more light, better views – and a room that is always warm.

Classic Roof

The UK’s most loved conservatory roofing system and over 35 years old, this roofing system benefits from constant innovation at Ultraframe and fits on to any roof shape no matter how complex your orangery or conservatory design is. Made from the highest quality components and engineered to your own postcode, Classic roof is quality you can count on.

Ultrasky Roof

Ultrasky roof comes without the bulky radius ends of a traditional conservatory roof and comes with less bars too for a minimalist look. The internal insulated pelmet and decorative cornice delivery the orangery look with more natural light than a traditional flat roof and lantern construction.


Highly configurable and aluminium on the outside, Quantal is suited to complex builds where an aluminium external is preferred. Suitable for conservatories and orangeries in conservation areas or for complex contemporary shapes, complementing structural aluminium, Quantal provides a distinctive alternative roof design. 

Find Your Nearest Ultra Installer

For more information about orangeries, conservatories or replacement roofs, use our free search tool to locate an approved Ultra Installer near you. They will have the expertise – and knowledge of our products – needed to answer your questions about the difference between orangery and conservatory rooms.

You can also submit a request to us during the process, asking for more information about any of our products. A member of our team will then contact you for a more in-depth discussion about our products, although no—obligation will be entailed.

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