Glazed Extensions – What are the Differences?

garden room extension

A far cry from uPVC...

When people think of a glazed extension, many will picture the uPVC conservatory models added to houses to create an extra room. However, there’s much more to an extension than this. Designed to add light, space and often designed to create an open plan living area, a glazed extension can really enhance the home.

However, there are a wide variety of extensions available, so it’s worth doing your research to determine which will best suit your lifestyle and your existing house. The three main types available: conservatories; orangeries; and garden rooms, all have slightly different design elements which make them suitable for different situations. Here we explain the different architectural qualities which differentiate our glazed extensions from one another:


Conservatories are mainly constructed of glass, with the roof and majority of the walls consisting of glazing, set on a brick base. Whilst they are available with uPVC frames, we use timber to frame the glazing, which gives a much softer aesthetic and can also be stained or painted to suit your taste.

Whilst conservatories may look very similar to other glazed extensions, their key differentiator is that the roof is always fully glazed, providing the maximum amount of light and heat into the room below.


Originally used for protecting citrus plants in colder months, orangeries typically have a brickwork base which often extends up to the roof, and tall glazed windows. This means that unlike conservatories, the walls are not usually fully glazed. The amount of glazing varies, with brickwork sometimes only extending up at the corners, to comprising a whole wall of the orangery. Also unlike conservatories, the roof isn’t fully glazed, but instead includes a roof lantern set within a flat roof. This is designed to let natural light in without exposing the room to a lot of direct sunlight and heat. Orangeries usually stand quite prominently from the house in most examples, often with a different yet complementing design, and a strong timber construction.

Garden Rooms

Architecturally, garden rooms sit between conservatories and orangeries in style and design. They combine the two styles to give a robust, practical but elegant extension to your home.

Like orangeries, they have a brickwork base which often extends up to the roof, but have a high proportion of glazing forming the walls, like conservatories. The roof is usually pitched, and tiled to match the roof of the building it is adjoined to, in order to create an extension which blends more seamlessly into the style of the existing house than either a conservatory or an orangery. This pitched roof creates amazing vaulted ceilings which can also feature roof glazing to the gables, increasing the amount of natural light to the room.

The combination of design elements from conservatories and orangeries creates a room which enables great views of the garden through the high percentage of wall glazing, but with a much more controllable ambient temperature than conservatories, thanks to the amount of brickwork.

All three varieties of glazed extension provide valuable space, whilst performing slightly different functions. Multi-purpose rooms by design, the uses of a glazed and semi-glazed room are endless: depending on the planned use of your extension, one or other type might be obviously more suitable. In the past Westbury has built extensions which have included; kitchens, games rooms, sitting rooms, TV rooms, dining rooms and offices. Whatever your dream, Westbury takes care with every project to design a bespoke solution that works for your lifestyle.