How do I buy an Orangery Extension? – An interview with Emma Leach, Designer at Westbury

So you’ve been dreaming about it for a while, that beautiful and bright living space, and you may now be thinking but ‘how do I buy an orangery extension?’ We understand that the thought of starting any building project can be daunting, which is why it is our aim to ensure that every step towards building that dream space is transparent and stress-free.

There’s something truly magical about that first timber frame taking shape. As we watch our clients’ faces light up with excitement, we know we’re creating a room that’s not just about extra living space – it’s about a space that will spark joy for years to come. One of the incredible designers weaving this enchantment into reality is Emma Leach. Today, we’re delving into the world of owning an orangery with Emma.

Emma, can you share how someone can embark on their journey to owning an orangery or a garden room? What’s the initial step?

‘Every home is unique, and our journey together starts with a simple enquiry. Call us, ask any questions, and share your dreams with us. We’d love to see photographs of the area where your orangery will stand, as it helps us understand your property’s style and your aspirations. Knowing the project’s size and your property’s address also helps us navigate any planning restrictions, like listed status or conservation areas. Our orangeries start at just £65,000 + VAT, covering an area of over 15m². But every project is unique and dependant of a lot of variables. So in the beginning we will offer to provide you with a no-obligation guide price.’

That seems simple enough, what about the nitty-gritty of foundations and structural work?

‘At Westbury, we work closely with a structural engineer, eagle eyed for every project detail, backed by over 30 years of experience in navigating building regulations. While some clients prefer their own structural engineer, it’s not a must. We can handle the entire project, from planning to regulations. When it comes to foundations, they’re as unique as your soil type, tree proximity, and property-specific aspects.’

Are there different planning rules and restrictions based on the type of extension you’re envisioning?

‘Planning rules often hinge on your existing property rather than the garden room, orangery, or conservatory itself. For instance, a listed building might lean toward granting planning for a garden room with a roof pitch matching the existing structure. But we’re all about flexibility – your home dictates the design. Our designers take your needs into account and design to meet them within any practical restrictions. With our expertly crafted drawings, we sail through any challenges, ensuring a smooth journey from start to finish.’

We offer both supply and install or supply-only services – can you give us more insight into those options?

‘Absolutely! With our supply and install option, we collaborate closely with your chosen contractor, providing meticulous working drawings and necessary support. They handle site foundations, masonry walls, plastering, plumbing, and electrics. Our fitting team will then swoop in to make the structure watertight – a comprehensive service from design to installation with a 10-year guarantee. We have hired a team of specialised installers, and choose not to subcontract the installation of our product. Which means our team is familiar with every detail of our products and have a direct connection to our brand and company.

As for supply only, we lead in the design phase and deliver components to you, offering installation guidance to your contractors.’

How long does it take to transform your dream into a reality, from start to finish?

‘Our journey from the first inquiry to Westbury’s finishing touches usually takes a minimum of 6 months, although each project is a unique adventure.

It all starts with your initial inquiry, which sparks our design team into action to create a guide price. If you wanted to proceed, we’ll arrange a visit with your designer to delve deeper into your project. They’ll design your garden room and provide a formal quotation within 2-3 weeks. Upon your approval, we issue the a deposit invoice, start the planning application (if needed), and initiate a site survey.

Once planning is secured (usually around 8 weeks), our skilled craftsmen bring your designs to life in our workshop. This is an exhilarating time to see your dream take shape. Manufacturing takes about 6-8 weeks on average, followed by installation, which can take 3-6 weeks.’

Lastly, roof lanterns have been in high demand lately and some of our clients chose to only buy a lantern from Westbury. What makes them so special in our home extensions?

‘Light plays a pivotal role in every space, and our designers know that well. Roof lanterns are soaring in popularity because they’re masters at letting natural light flood into your home, while keeping heat and brightness in check on sunny days, thanks to their solar-reflective glass. You won’t need to fret about furniture fading due to reduced UV light.

At Westbury, our roof lanterns boast automatic vents that open when it gets warm and close when it cools down or when it rains. You’ll always enjoy a comfortable, enjoyable space! ‘