The Definitive Guide To Conservatories (and Orangeries) to Enhance Your Home

Historically, a conservatory was somewhere exotic plant species could be grown, so it makes a lot of sense that people also call them Orangeries (the difference is that an orangery is a more specialised conservatory).

As far as home improvements go though, a conservatory is far more than that. It’s a place where you can sit and watch the outside world without worrying about the weather.

It’s a place where you can take advantage of the sun and its important FREE daily Vitamin D dose (10 minutes a day is good along with an apple will do wonders for anyone’s health).

But by far the best thing about a conservatory is the feeling of peace and quiet you get anytime you’re feeling a little stressed or need somewhere to escape to.

The outdoors indoors is how we’d describe a conservatory.

How To Position Your New Conservatory

Any house with a garden or outside area can be adapted to have a conservatory. Typically they are added where an existing entrance is located. That may be a patio door, a back door or an existing window opening. But even where none of those exist (for example, there’s only space to add a conservatory to the side of your house) that’s not an issue.

Often though, extensions including conservatories are attached to a back door or French style patio doors and to open the space further are then widened. This lets more light into the existing room as well as adding easier access to the conservatory or orangery.

Perhaps the most important consideration is the angle of the sun in relation to the conservatory. We’ll cover that in the Blinds and Curtains section of this guide.


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Planning Permission and Building Regulations

A big worry for many people is planning permission. It’s important to know that planning permission is not the same as building regulations.

Building regulations ensure that health and safety standards are being met, and any competent conservatory installer (including Custom Choice of Peterborough) will be able to help you with this.

Health and safety is not just concerned with safe building development of course, it’s also there to ensure the finished building itself is safe to use (which is where building regulations come in).

Always choose professional companies who hold the correct insurances and certificates when undertaking any building work – you don’t want any nasty surprises down the road (especially when it comes to selling your property).

Planning permission is not always required and your Custom Choice Home Improvements advisor will be able to help.

Note also, that rules and regulations do change, so it’s important your installation company is up to date on these too.

One example of this is where your planned conservatory will extend into more than half your garden, in this case you’ll need to apply for planning permission.

If you’re extending on the side of the house, it must not exceed half the width of the house. Permission must also be sought for boundary restrictions. A good installer will help you with these (if in any doubt, give Custom Choice Home Improvements a call on 01733 300686 and they’ll be happy to help).

Conservatory Styles

When planning a conservatory, think about its main use. Will you be using it as a potential breakfast (or other meal) eating area? Is it somewhere you’ll be wanting to spend a lot of time? If you have children, will it become a play area?

All of these things matter and will have an impact on the type of conservatory to be built including its structure and materials.

Floor to ceiling glazing can be used, but it’s usually more practical to start the glazing a few feet from floor level. This is especially useful if you want seating (with optional underseat cupboards) to be installed against the walls.

Size matters of course. Bearing in mind planning permission, the size of your house and garden will determine the maximum size of your conservatory, so if you’re looking to create a large extra space for your house, take this into account.

Generally speaking, the stronger the construction of your conservatory, the more value it will add to your house. Many people opt for a brick built lower wall and brick built corner pillar style orangery (with aluminium structure for the large window areas) for this reason.

It’s worth thinking about a conservatory in terms of how it adds extra space to your living accommodation and what that space can be used for when it comes to selling your house.

Whereas conservatories tend to be mostly aluminium and glass construction, Orangeries are usually more robustly with brickwork and lantern roofs as standard.

Blinds and Curtains

Because of the large areas of glass, and depending on the siting and use of your conservatory, it’s a good idea to plan your blinds and curtains beforehand.

If the conservatory is south facing, it’s likely the sun will be shining through all day, so careful thought will be needed if you don’t want your conservatory to be too hot during the summer.

There are many options to choose from and a visit to Custom Choice Home Improvements showroom and expert staff will help you choose the right style and comfort for your needs.


There’s also a wide range of flooring available, but always talk to a specialist as conservatories, tending to be the hottest places in a house, need more consideration when it comes to the type of flooring to have.

Stone or tile floors are a good choice, but carpet, vinyl or laminate flooring is fine too. Perhaps the worst type of flooring to install is natural wood because of the excesses of temperature.


Traditional conservatories usually have glass ceilings, but as stated earlier, Orangery style conservatories look great with a lantern style roof. These tend to have a smaller glass area and so keep the room a little cooler in hot weather.


You may want to install the highest strength safety glass to prevent accidents or possible intrusions into your house.

Locks on external doors and windows also matter, but any decent conservatory installation firm will ensure the minimum standard, which these days tends to be a 7 point mechanism on all external doors, as well as windows locks to all windows.

Where the conservatory is being built onto an existing external opening, it adds another layer of protection to the building.


A conservatory not only adds value to your house, it becomes a valuable place to enjoy the peace and quiet of your home come rain or shine.

Because of the wide open space of a conservatory, it also makes a great place for your family and friends to get together for celebrations and other social events, and with direct access to the garden, means everyone stays in sight, which is especially important where you have children and pets.

Why not pay a visit to Custom Choice Home Improvements and discuss their wide range of styles to find out if a conservatory is something you’d enjoy and treasure. The number to call is 01733 300686

A Selection From Our Custom Choice Conservatory Gallery

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