Last Updated on October 5, 2021

Orangery Cost – UK Price Comparison

Zac Houghton

Zac Houghton

Construction expert and founder of Loftera.

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Homeowners are always looking for ways to add value to their property and whilst updating existing features and giving your interior some real TLC is always a good start, nothing quite beats adding further space to your home.

Not only can some form of extension transform how you move through your home, adding another space for you to enjoy and tie in with existing rooms, but you also get to start from somewhat of a clean slate. Whilst conservatories were the more affordable go-to from the 80s and into the 2000s, tastes have changed over the past 5-10 years and it would seem that orangeries are making a comeback.

Table of Contents

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✅What is an orangery and why are they are becoming popular again?

You may have heard the term thrown around plenty in recent times but for those who still aren’t clear, it’s worth explaining what one actually is. Put in the simplest terms, an orangery is almost like the natural middle-ground between a traditional or uPVC conservatory and a fully-fledged extension.

An easy to way think of them is as a conservatory constructed with brickwork and typically more expensive materials, but that still achieves the same kind of effects: i.e. more space, lots of light and usually open out into your garden space. They are often used as a kind of function room for special occasions or, more traditionally, for growing plants throughout the year.

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💷How much is an orangery?

Of course, this kind of extension has the potential to be as extravagant a project as you see fit, so while you can certainly put together a more affordable orangery if you plan and budget right, today’s orangeries are seen as a just as much an indulgence as they have always been.

If it’s just a rough estimate/ball-park figure you are looking for, the average, modern orangery will cost you between £25,000 and £35,000. Whilst this might sound a large amount to fork out, this is because of how much the materials costs per square metre.

To give you a more specific breakdown, the average-sized orangery sits around 16 metres squared, and between the cost of timber, brick and mortar; insulation, windows and so on, you can expect to pay approximately £2,000-£2,500 per square metre.

As touched upon already, orangeries are more expensive because they sit somewhere between a conservatory and a proper extension, so whilst it is somewhat of mid-way point, you can’t really compromise on the quality and cost of materials – nor should you want to.

However, if you’re property is a relatively modest one and you are only looking for a small extension, you could feasibly build a basic orangery for somewhere between £20,000 and £25,000, given you find the right tradesman, budget well etc.

Alternatively, the bigger and more decadent you go, the quicker these prices ramp up. Casting a slightly wider net, the standard price range is said to be anywhere from £25,000 to £50,000 for a solid orangery. If money isn’t an object in your case and you want to seriously splash out, these prices can go easily beyond £50k and start sky-rocketing towards £100,000 and more.

The sky is the limit really, but if it just if it is the classic look of an orangery and that desired effect of introducing more light and, crucially, extra space into your home – whether it’s to add value or purely for your enjoyment – you don’t have to pay over the odds to achieve that. At the end of the day, if your costs start reaching £40-50,000, you may as well start looking an outright extension instead.

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✅Is an orangery cheaper than an extension?

Yes. Once again, whilst your orangery can be as lavish as you like, they don’t typically require as much material to build as an outright extension, especially given they are usually just single-storey.

Whilst they are somewhat of an add-on – not unlike a regular conservatory – they feel more like a natural extension of the home, as they blend in with the brick and mortar foundations, interior, and use proper insulation.

✅Does an orangery add value?

Definitely, yes. As with any extension, you are ultimately adding more space, more rooms to your property – even if you opted for a more affordable conservatory, you will still add to the overall value of your property. However, orangeries can add significant value to a home due to their versatility and the plethora of ways they can be used.

Whether you’re a budding green-thumb and want to use them in a more traditional way, need a guest bedroom for when your friends and family stay over, or want an impressive grand dining room to entertain them in, an orangery can be used for a variety of purposes. We’ve seen them converted into game rooms and man caves, home gyms and even art studios. It’s this blank canvas that adds real value.

✅Do you need planning permission for an orangery?

In most cases, no. Whilst standard approval is needed to make a start on any building work, the average orangery shouldn’t require planning permission.

Treat it just like a standard extension: the golden rule tends to be that you don’t need planning permission so long as the work doesn’t cover more than 50% of the land where the current property sits. For more detailed specifics, Everest have drawn up a useful guide that should come in handy.

✅Are orangeries warmer than conservatories?

Yes. As a more natural extension of your regular home/property, orangeries are tied into the existing structure with similar brickwork and proper insulation.

Whether or not your design has lots of windows to introduce more light, aluminium columns are often used in the framework also, making sure as little heat escapes as possible. This is why orangeries feel more like part of the home than a conservatory that is almost tagged onto the outside.

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✅When did orangeries first become popular?

Orangeries have been around since the 16th century; they were erected by wealthy landowners with the express purpose of being able to grow fruits, vegetables and other types of vegetation indoors during the colder months.

They also needed warmer conditions year-round to grow specific, more exotic crops such as citrus fruits – hence orangery. This kind of produce was brought in by foreign traders and then, once grown on their own land, used to impress house-guests.

Whilst you can still build them for practical use, this recent renaissance of orangeries is more down to people wanting to add to their home but, perhaps, not wanting pay out as much as they would for a full-blown extension.

✅Can you get cheap orangeries?

To a degree, yes. Just as with conservatories, there are plenty of builders and construction companies in the UK that cater towards more affordable extensions/conversions. However, the cheaper you look to go, the closer you get to the crossover point between an orangery and simply, so you may find that some companies/builders will use those terms interchangeably.

Furthermore, this somewhat flies in the face of what is typically seen as a more luxurious renovation in an orangery. A traditional orangery structure is comprised of high-quality brick/stonework, with strong timber and insulation, as opposed to just being a quickly put together, often pre-assembled frame fitted with glass panels all around.

The overarching point being, if you have your eyes set on adding an orangery to your home, you might as well save, budget and do it properly. The effect it will have on the value your property will easily outweigh the actual orangery price itself.

✅How long does it take to build an orangery?

Once again, this is going to vary on what size and level of renovation we’re talking about but (weather permitting), the average orangery should take anywhere three to five weeks. Of course, this doesn’t take into account any additional interior decoration or furnishings, but this is something you can certainly DIY to save those extras pennies.

💭Final thoughts

To summarise, if you’re looking to add both space and value you to your home, in turn, orangeries are very much the trendy advent at the moment and for good reason. Not only can they serve as a multi-purpose room for all manner of occasions, but they bring tonnes of natural light into your living space, are well insulated; create a nice sense of flow and transition from your home out into your outdoor space, and offer you a slightly more upmarket option than a standard conservatory.

Whilst this isn’t the kind of renovation you want to skimp on, if you budget well and are just concerned with installing the structure itself, for now, you can still do this job relatively affordably. Moreover, if you consider the additional room, quality of materials and energy efficiency – not mention what kind of statement this makes about your home – the cost-effectiveness of building an orangery will show if/when you choose to put it on the market.

We hope you found this post helpful and best of luck with building your very own orangery!