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Oak Orangery; Why Add One to Your Home?

House exterior with elegant orangery in well-kept and green garden with a terrace and trees

When you decide to extend your home, there are lots of options.  From conservatories to two-storey brick-built designs, there’s lots of things you can add.  And some styles even come without the need for planning permission. An orangery is related to a conservatory but has clear differences and reasons why it might be perfect to add to your home.

What is an oak orangery?

There’s no standard definition of when a structure is a conservatory and when it is an orangery, but some experts use the 75% rule to mark the cut off point – more than 75% glass and it is a conservatory, less than 75% and it is an orangery.  There are other markers used – orangeries tend to have a brick base or more brickwork at the bottom than a conservatory while a conservatory will often have a pitched roof with a higher point. Orangeries are more likely to have a mostly flat roof with a roof lantern in the centre that is a raised point.

With oak orangeries, you get the benefits of a standard orangery but the added look and feel of real wood.  Oak framed extensions come in lots of different styles and designs with an orangery being a popular one.  Oak orangeries tie in well with all styles of house from timber framed to brick and stone and add a natural element to the property that PVC structures cannot match.

Where did orangeries come from?

Orangeries tend to pre-date the conservatory and were first used in the 17th century as a place to shelter delicate citrus trees in colder climates.  They were often found on big country houses and the homes of the wealthy who had imported trees from warmer areas that couldn’t survive outside.  So they created extensions to their homes that let in lots of light that would let the trees grow while sheltering them from the worst of the weather.

As shipping and travel made citrus trees less exotic and greenhouses began to be the place to keep plants, the orangery began to be used as a living space rather than somewhere to cultivate plants.  Many of the modern designs we use come from adaptations from Holland where the original Italian designs were adapted for modern use.

Benefits of an orangery

So why might you consider adding an orangery to your property as opposed to a conservatory or other type of extension?  Here are a few benefits to consider.

  • Create a light and airy space

Orangeries and conservatories share this benefit – they create a light and airy space that makes the most of the natural sunlight yet can be used all year round due to the advances in glazing.  They can be used for anything from a dining room, second living room or playroom for the kids to a home office.

  • Blend indoor and outdoor spaces

Such structures are a brilliant way to blend indoor and outdoor space, breaking the transition of a brick wall and solid door.  You can use different types of door such as sliding patio or French doors to further enhance the look.

  • Cost effective and strong

Orangeries have less glazing than conservatories which can make them a bit stronger while the use of materials such as oak frames also makes them a cost-effective way to add space to your home.  A quality orangery can even add to the value of your house if you come to sell it.

  • Blends with the house

Oak orangeries, in particular, can blend in with the existing house and look as if they were part of the original structure.  You can use similar windows in it to further add this harmonious look and even match design elements to the roof of the property.

  • More energy efficient than conservatories

Because orangeries have more brick than conservatories, this also makes them more energy efficient.  You can heat them for less in the winter and can also keep them cool easily in the warmer months.

Benefits of using oak

Oak framed extensions such as oak orangeries use age-old construction methods that have been reborn with high tech equipment.  This means precision measurements and joints, strengthened wood that will last longer than ever before and the ability to add energy efficiency measures to make the property eco-friendlier.

Then there’s the fact that oak is a renewable, carbon neutral and sustainable.  Make sure the supplier has either FSC or PEFC certification on the wood they provide – this ensures that they are using wood from areas with sustainable forest management.  


The oak orangery uses the best sustainable materials to create a unique and eye-catching addition to your property that is also very practical.  The space can be used for any reason and will add to the overall value of your property.