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Orangeries and Garden Rooms – How Are They Different To A Conservatory?

All you need to know about how to plan and design the perfect orangery for your home

When attached to a home an Orangery or Garden Room are similar to conservatories, however are generally of more substantial proportions and construction including full height solid pillars and roofs although roof lanterns are often included within the roof structure to increase the sense of space and light.

An orangery or Garden Room can create an unique feature to your family room and help link the house to the garden. Careful consideration of siting will be required to ensure that the orientation of the garden room won’t make the orangery too cold in winter or too hot in summer. The function of the space is also a key consideration – will it be used as an quiet sanctuary or an entertaining space?

An orangery structure can also be beneficial where there are first floor windows above or where there are restrictions on how tall the planning department would allow.

Garden Rooms can also be detached structures and can have a number of functions including as a guest bedroom suite, an office, play room/ den, a gym or leisure facility among many others.

Planning And Building Regulations For Orangery And Garden Room Structures To Existing Homes

Depending on whether the garden room is attached or detached can have a big impact on the regulatory aspects.

Attached building
 Planning. For attached orangeries and garden rooms, to existing homes, it is suggested that in most cases planning authorities will apply their local policies whether that be for single storey rear extensions or any specific conservatory policy. It may also be possible to create an orangery through permitted development legislation.

Building Regulations: for attached orangeries, to existing homes, the building regulations have a limit on the amount of glazing allowable for such an extension and traditional conservatories, due to the amount of glazing would require external (thermally broken etc) doors to separate the main house from the new garden room. Other regulations would control aspects such as the heating system. With careful and design it may be possible to allow the garden room spaces to be separated by normal internal doors or by having no separating doors at all.

Detached buildings
 Planning: for detached garden room, permitted development would potentially allow substantial structures to be created, however there are restrictions on several factors including external heights, position relative to boundaries as well as the percentage of residential curtilage built on.

Building Regulations: Depending on several factors, including the size of the structure and whether there is any sleeping accommodation, garden rooms may not require building regulations approval.

Whilst this section specifically deals separate spaces many of the issues relate to the main spaces of a home particularly family rooms, which we have developed a specific article for. Please follow this link for more information.

Hunter Architects & Planners expert involvement with Orangery and Garden Room projects

Flooded with light with excellent proportions and views over your garden adding a garden room could be a fantastic addition to your home.

Orangeries and Garden Rooms, whether attached to or detached from your home, can have a range of styles with limited structure, contemporary or traditional details and materials including oak frame.

Hunter Architects have been involved with numerous orangeries and garden rooms whether these have been added as part of a wider programme of extension and remodelling of existing homes or within bespoke new build homes.

The examples on this page, as well as within our project gallery show a wide range of solutions. The following case studies illustrate two very different scenarios.


Garden Room in Flintshire

This project sought to replace an existing conservatory which, like many, had little use due to it being too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter. This conservatory effectively cut the house off from the garden. As part of the redevelopment of the property a new garden room structure was added, which was integral to the main family room. The rear garden wrapped around the property and substantial corner doors were added to maximise panoramic views. The garden room was designed so that there were no structural elements to the corner to ensure no break within the views when the doors were open.


Garden Room in Lancashire

Contemporary Garden Room with stunning views over open farmland. Originally conceived as a detached structure and then later, via a glazed link, added to the main house as part of a wider remodelling project a contemporary garden room sits adjacent to a more traditional victorian dwelling. Large corner doors and windows provide access and links to the garden and terrace. An overhanging roof provides shelter to allow the space to be used throughout the year.

Please note that the above comments are given as a simplistic over view of orangeries and garden rooms and should not be treated as specific advice.

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