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What is best, a conservatory or an orangery?*

Let's talk sunny places... I absolutely love having a conservatory as part of our home, how it heats the whole house on sunny days, even in winter. I would definitely recommend investing in a conservatory, especially as a young family, it's such a lovely part of the home and we have even started to grow some peppers in there! It can get a bit confusing with similar options out there like orangeries, verandas,
 different kinds of home extensions... so I thought I would make a little guide. For us and our budget right now, we would always choose a conservatory, because it is much cheaper, is small so isn't too tricky to heat, but it makes every sunny day feel like summer in our house! *contains an advert

1. What is the difference between the two? The conservatory and the orangery are so similar, both featuring sheer glass panels to maximise the reach and flow of daylight and rays from the sun. The main difference between the two is that a conservatory is constructed almost entirely from glazed panels whereas an orangery is mostly built from brickwork. As conservatory specialists in south Devon say, an orangery combines the best bits of a conservatory and permanent extension, like a whole other room fixed on to your house, but with the warmth and sun catching properties of a conservatory. 

2. An orangery is warmer and is known to retain heat better, compared to a conservatory.  Because the orangery is built with brickwork, just like a house extension, it offers better insulation, just like a room in your house, whereas a conservatory is primarily constructed with glass and UPVC panels. This means the temperatures tend to lie at extremes in the conservatory, more glass panels mean an enhanced greenhouse effect and much hotter temperatures in summer, with much colder temperatures in the winter. This can give the orangery an advantage, with it boasting better living temperatures and conditions. Because of the heat retention it also makes more sense to invest in underfloor heating for the orangery, making it a gorgeous, warm, open and sunny space all year round.

3. An orangery is the more expensive of the two - this could be due to the brickwork foundations and the specialised roof lantern that provides better insulation, allowing the orangery to be usable in all weathers, even cold winter evenings. However, the price of self heating a conservatory may come to be costly too, especially over time and during colder months. Perhaps the orangery is more of a splurge but the better long term investment. It is also worth noting that the final cost of an orangery may depend on how much more your house will be worth once it's built and in place. 

4. Let's talk about damp... because of its ability to retain heat, the orangery is not as prone to damp and mould quite as much as the more vulnerable conservatory with its condensation trapping glass panes coupled with temperature changes, meaning there is more damp and moisture hanging about. This means you will need to ventilate a conservatory more frequently than the orangery, which can be especially tricky in the winter months when it is more difficult to leave open the windows to ventilate a large area. However, there is always the option of a dehumidifier which can work wonderfully for both conservatories and orangeries to keep moisture at bay. I say if you are looking at a larger build, it might be better to invest in an orangery or similar structure, but for a small extension, a conservatory will be fine as it is easier to heat up and manage damp in a smaller space. 

5. A slightly cheaper option - there's always the option of extending the space in your home with a verandas or canopies, if you aren't ready to commit to a whole new build on your property and you fancy opening up your home to fresh air and getting closer to the outdoors. A beautiful canopy can house a beautiful seating and eating area and is a perfect place to hoist a hammock! A porch lets the sun shine through, is much more versatile while providing protection from all weather elements.

For those in the South West why not check out conservatory & orangery installers in Devon? Whichever takes your fancy, there are extensions and conservatory styles to match any home, from bespoke modern orangeries to swish new roof replacements. I love the idea of opening your home up to sunlight. Although small, having a conservatory makes our home feel much bigger, it affords us a whole other living room or space, a whole other room to try to contain all of Oscar's cars! 

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