In the UK conservatories have usually been exempt from the Building Regulations, which has made them an attractive option for clients looking to add an additional room to their home. The exemption from the Building Regulations has meant that conservatory installations can be carried out quicker than a similar sized extension with a solid roof, and the not inconsiderable Building Regulations fees can be saved, making a conservatory a cost-effective option.
In order to be defined as a conservatory though, the building has needed to meet a few criteria
- The room needs to have at least 75% of its roof area glazed
- The room needs to be separated from the main body of the house by external quality doors.
There used to be requirements for the amount of glazing needed in the side elevations in order to be classified as a conservatory but these have been dropped and so a conservatory can have lots of brickwork, and a more solid feel.
A Traditional Orangery is constructed differently. It has a roof cassette into which an Atrium style roof is installed. The roof cassette is constructed off the internal wall of the building in much the same way that a house roof is constructed off the internal walls of a house. The roof cassette typically has a lead or similar external finish and internally has a plastered pelmet into which recessed downlighters can be installed.
There are two main benefits of an Orangery over a Conservatory and they are
- The internal plastered pelmet
- The more substantial external eaves
However clearly the roof cassette area of the roof is not glazed and because this forms more that 25% of the overall roof area an Orangery is not able to be defined as a conservatory and consequently is not exempt from Building Regulations requirements.
It is this fact, in addition to the extra construction costs, which has always ensured that traditional orangery designs are considerably more expensive than conservatories of a similar size. This has not been an issue for some clients, but has kept orangeries financially out of the reach of most homeowners.
The good news is that there have been product developments that have changed that situation.
It is now possible to construct a conservatory style building, with the glazed roof extending right to the external perimeter of the building, and the eaves of the roof installed on to the external conservatory side frames and yet still have the internal plastered pelmet. It is necessary to install an internal eaves framework, transforming a normal conservatory into what we describe as an orangery style conservatory. Externally, to provide the more substantial look at the eaves level we have developed an aluminium cornice that fits around the usual UPVC guttering. new conservatory roof