Are orangeries better than conservatories in Maidstone and Dartford?
4 November 2023 |News
In days gone by, a home extension was a useful, if unexciting, addition to the family house. It tended to be situated by the rear door, allowing a bit of space for a kitchen table or a couple of armchairs, and was a uniform square shape with a flat roof. Because it was invariably single glazed, it tended to be chilly in the winter and stuffy in the summer.
Today, choices of extension are wide-ranging, and can be tailored to fit specific customer preferences. Plus, modern extensions have outstanding thermal properties, so you’ll never be shivering or boiling again.
Here at Fine Line we are the experts in helping you navigate through these choices, and we have products to suit all styles and tastes. Housing stock in the Dartford and Maidstone areas reflect the interesting and varied history of this part of Kent. Both have plenty of Victorian, Edwardian and 1930s homes, along with cool contemporary new builds, and there are also fine examples of 17th and 18th century houses too.
Two of today’s most popular extensions are orangeries and conservatories. Fine Line specialises in both, and they’re extremely popular among our Kent customers. But is there a difference between an orangery and a conservatory, and if so, which is the better option for you as a prospective customer?
What is an orangery?
Hundreds of years ago, orangeries were built to grow fruit, hence the name. When glazing became easier to produce in large quantities, orangeries became fashionable among the aristocracy for their combination of elegance and grandeur. Today, orangery extensions have larger areas of brickwork with windows and a glazed roof, giving an interesting and attractive structure that feels solid and is thermally efficient all year round.
What is a conservatory?
Believe it or not, conservatories were originally designed to store food until they became popular for housing tropical plants. Today, they’re the perfect location for humans to bask in all year round, thanks to advances in glazing technology. A conservatory traditionally has a lot of glass, making it an excellent place in which to soak up natural light.
So which is better, a conservatory or an orangery?
Well, that is very much down to taste and circumstances. It’s true that an orangery will be more expensive to build because it has solid walls. On the other hand, it is those very walls which might save you money eventually because they will have more energy efficiency than glass and won’t make as big a dent in the fuel bills.
A bespoke conservatory features more glazing and will be cheaper to build as a result. The extra glazing is great if you’re a natural light lover but that extra glass might just make the building feel a tad cooler than an orangery. That said, double glazing technology now has great thermal performance. For example, our uPVC conservatory range boasts A+ rated glazing options that provide U-values of up to 0.8 W/m2K, significantly outperforming standard building regulations.
Choosing between a new orangery and a conservatory might also depend on the age of your house. A contemporary dwelling with architectural designer flourishes may be better suited to the brickwork-and-glass integrated looks of the orangery, particularly one made from high-performing aluminium. Maidstone and Dartford’s older housing stock might be better suited to conservatories that have traditional Victorian or Edwardian stylings.
All this said, there are no hard or fast rules. Orangeries can incorporate some of the stylings of the conservatory, especially around roof design and specifications, and the reverse is also true. Whichever extension you choose, you can be sure that Fine Line is here to answer all your questions and guide you through the process of giving your home the valuable extra space that it needs.
Come and see for yourself
We are always keen for people to visit our show centres across Kent, seek our expert opinion and see for yourselves what we do, and how we can help you realise your vision. We’re always available to chat, either in person, online or by phone, so don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to discuss your project and get a free quote.