How to extend a kitchen with an orangery

If you are considering a kitchen extension, a garden room or orangery can provide you with a light and bright space. Our guide will give you plenty of ideas and advice!

Combining a balanced design with flawless functionality, a garden room or orangery extension is the height of luxury and carries an air of sumptuous elegance. Westbury has been designing and building these glazed timber extensions for over 30 years, and a new open-plan kitchen remains the most popular type of renovation we carry out to existing homes.


What is the difference between an extension and an orangery?

An orangery is a combination of elements taken from a conservatory and a traditional single-storey extension. This clever curation results in a structure that benefits from the thermal insulation of an extension, with the many glazed aspects of a conservatory.

Can I extend my kitchen with an orangery?

Orangery extensions are a fantastic way to increase the living space in your property while bringing in floods of natural light. Many homeowners love the idea of a bright and spacious kitchen with distinct zones for cooking, dining and relaxing.

Westbury Orangeries have become distinguishable by their elegant open-plan kitchen, living, and dining spaces. Unlike glazed extensions of the past, orangeries have become true rooms within the home. Never too hot or too cold. Which allows them to become a functional, everyday space, such as a kitchen or the main living room.

Their bright and airy feel during the day and soothing ambience in the evening, allow these rooms to become the hub of the house in many cases.

Does a kitchen extension need planning permission?

Not always. Some single-storey extensions come under permitted development rights*, meaning that you do not need planning permission providing they adhere to specific requirements.

*Permitted development rights are an established grant that a house might already have in place allowing some building works to be undertaken without having to make an application for formal planning permission, as you would with a loft conversion or a new porch. Keep in mind that all permitted development requirements apply to the dwelling as it was originally built, or as it stood on 1st July 1948 – so you’ll have to consider any changes that the previous owners might have made. 

Sometimes your kitchen orangery extension will need planning permission, and you must check with your local planning authority first to see if you have permitted development rights; Whatever size garden room or orangery extension you plan on having.

When do you not need planning permission for an orangery kitchen extension?

Permitted Development Rights to fall into different categories depending on the project, and extensions come under ‘Class A’. Your extension must not exceed 50% of the total area of land around the original house, which is classed as your property’s original boundaries as it stood on the 1st July 1948 (providing it was built before this date), so any past extensions or changes should be taken into account.

Previously you could build a single-story extension providing it accommodated the following requirements:

  • If your property is detached, then your single-storey extension must not go beyond the rear wall of your original house by 4m and by 3m if you have a semi-detached dwelling
  • The eaves of your extension should be no higher than the eaves of your existing house, with the highest part of your extension not exceeding the roof ridge line. If your extension is within 2m of your property’s boundary, however, it must have a maximum eaves height of 3m
  • Single-storey rear extensions on a detached house must not extend beyond the rear wall of the original house
  • Side extensions can be up to half the width of the existing dwelling, and must be no higher than 4m
  • Rear extensions are allowed a maximum height of 4m

However, following recent changes that were made to permitted development rights on the 30th of May 2019, larger rear extensions are now allowed but do require prior notification in the form of a lawful development certificate (LDC) – going up to 8m in depth for a detached house and 6m in depth for a semi-detached house.**

**Please be aware, that these restrictions apply to houses, not flats or other buildings, and are dependent on the Neighbour Consultation Scheme, which means that you are still required to notify your local planning authority of your proposed work by a prior approval application and any adjacent landowners. 

No matter what you intend on adding to your home, as a garden room or orangery is designed to be used as an elegant living space, you may need to obtain approval under the building regulations. This ensures that your extension meets the relevant technical requirements and is safe for you and your family to live in. It covers several elements such as doors and windows, drainage, electrics, and structural openings. To avoid building regulations, any extension will need to be substantially glazed, smaller than 30m² and be thermally separated from the main house’s heating system.

Kitchen area in orangery

When do you need planning permission for an orangery kitchen extension?

For garden rooms or orangery extensions that sit outside of these criteria, you will need to obtain planning permission. We recommend that you dedicate some time to researching your local planning policies and seek pre-application advice from a building professional. They will also be able to advise you on building regulations, and whether you need to book a special survey or gain a warrant in support of your application.

If you reside in a conservation area, green belt, World Heritage Site, national park, or an AONB, there are stricter rules, and you may need to apply for planning permission for projects that would not usually need it elsewhere. If your home is a period property, you will need to check if your building is listed. It can be more challenging to obtain planning permission for listed buildings, as you will have to adhere to very specific regulations. You can quickly go online to the government’s planning portal to check whether or not you may need planning permission, using an interactive tool. This great resource will help you assess whether your project is allowed under permitted development rights or if you require planning permission.

If you’re choosing Westbury to design and manufacture your kitchen extension, we will submit any planning applications on your behalf. Due to the nature of our work, we’re highly experienced in applying for planning permission on listed and period properties and can work with a trusted, independent planning consultant where necessary.

Our skilled CAD designers will draw your project to scale clearly and accurately so that your plans are fully understood by the local authorities. We’ll keep you informed of how the application is progressing, so you feel supported throughout each stage. We will also take care of any paperwork that might be required, from building regulations, SAP (heat loss), and structural engineer’s calculations.

How Much Does a Kitchen Orangery Extension Cost in 2022?

Our prices start from around £50,000 + VAT and prices largely vary due to the size of the orangery. The approximate average price of a Westbury orangery is about £80,000 to £90,000 with an average size of around 45-50m2. But the total price will ultimately come down to how many sides of joinery are included, and various customisable options. These prices account for several integral parts that make a Westbury Orangery, different.

When it comes to home investments, such as designing and building an orangery kitchen, price and value for money are everything. We don’t believe in cutting corners to increase profits or up-sell our clients with unnecessary additions. Our process is to apply the same quality, materials and 100% dedication to every project, big or small. Tailored to your exact wants and needs.

Because no two orangeries are alike, we often request information from our clients to help draw up an approximate guide price. So that they’re able to consider the full budget of their project before making any commitments. Our aim is to deliver complete transparency, thorough, tailored advice and information for each project, and clear communication from start to finish. So we encourage you to ask questions and share your ideas – no matter how quirky (Such as including lower windows for your two Tibetan Spaniels).

Roof lantern

How to Create Your Dream Orangery Kitchen Extension

Creating the perfect Orangery Kitchen extension starts with a great plan and plenty of inspiration. Using our wealth of experience designing these dream spaces for clients, we’ve created this guide to help you begin planning a well-designed kitchen extension.

1. Creating flow throughout your home

An extension provides you with an opportunity to reconsider your interiors and make changes to the layout of your home, ensuring the most effective use of the new space. Often, we act as spacial designers and help clients to both incorporate and repurpose their existing adjacent spaces into the new extension. While you can use orangeries and garden rooms to create individual, self-contained rooms, most people like to knock through walls, extend openings and create a beautiful, open-plan kitchen and dining room. Initially, focus on how the adjacent rooms are arranged throughout your main house and think about how you use the different spaces.

Think about whether your requirements for your home might have changed in recent years; perhaps your children have grown up, or you now work from home? Maybe the kitchen could include a dedicated pantry or boot room to keep your kitchen clutter-free, or would you love to make some space for a wine cellar – because you deserve it!

Typically, a new kitchen design might include details of the kitchen cabinetry, appliance ranges, lighting schemes, worktop material options and electric outlets. Kitchen storage and cabinets will work better against solid walls, and you will need to position appliances like hobs and dishwashers to an external wall for waste pipes and extractor fans. In any kitchen layout, there should be a clear route between the hob, sink and fridge for ease of use. However, a new kitchen extension should include floor plans that reach into the adjacent rooms, illustrating how they can be changed and repurposed to enhance the new extension.

2. A multi-functional space is key

The kitchen is an essential part of a house; it is where people gather for everyday activities and special occasions, making it the heart of the home. If you are thinking of creating a generously sized open-plan kitchen, then you will need to consider the different zones to satisfy the multi-use requirements a kitchen naturally has. A large kitchen island can be the perfect central hub with masses of multitasking space. You can use it as a food prep zone, a breakfast bar, a social hub or a cocktail mixing station.

3. Embrace an open-plan kitchen orangery

An open-plan layout is ideal for maximising space, but it can sometimes look a little empty or lack definition without the help of walls. When choosing the lighting for your kitchen, its functionality and focus are paramount for everyday tasks such as meal preparation. Lighting positioning is integral to creating a warm and inviting open-plan space. Pendant lights can work very well above the island or the dining table to help define the different zones.

You can also potentially feel exposed in such a large room if the furniture and worktops are not arranged well. Islands and peninsulas create additional cooking space in the kitchen while giving you more room for extra appliances and cupboard storage. They will allow you to face everyone else in the room while you cook, rather than having your back turned as you prepare dinner. Try to position key features like sinks on the island, rather than against the wall.

4. Creating an indoor/outdoor link

Linking your home and garden is a hugely desirable concept, and a garden room or orangery gives you the perfect opportunity to do this. If you are planning to have a new kitchen and dining room extension, think about positioning the kitchen further back into the house with the dining room in the glazed section. Kitchen storage and cabinets will work better against solid walls, and you can enjoy the views into your garden while you eat at the table. Where their structures consist of such high proportions of glazing, they immediately improve the connection between the indoors and outdoors.

 Consider whether you would like a garden room, which has semi-glazed walls, and a roof entirely covered in tiles. A garden room is ideal if you want your extension to look like it is part of your main property, by ensuring the tiles, brickwork and other details match. An orangery consists of a higher proportion of glazing, with a roof lantern built on a flat roof and semi-glazed walls. Instead of feeling cold in the winter or stuffy in the summer, they are comfortable and inviting living spaces throughout the seasons.

Think about the kinds of doors you would like to lead out from your garden room or orangery and the width of the frames that you want, whether you want bi-fold doors or French doors for example. Imagine how you would like to open them up so you can easily access the garden from the kitchen, and feel encouraged to spend more time outside in the fresh air.

 Flooring can also help encourage a clear connection between your home and garden, especially if you have a decked or paved area outside your extension that is at the same level as the flooring inside. This creates a level threshold and makes the whole area feel like one big space when the doors are open. You can also choose flooring materials that flow continuously between the indoor and outdoor spaces. Discover the Westbury Stone Floors collection, many of which you can lay both inside and out.

5. Create a pool of inspiration

It’s easy to become overwhelmed by all the possibilities and decisions in any custom-build project. Creating a pool of inspiration to dive into when the time comes to make any decisions will help you to narrow down what is important and discover your taste preferences. You may even stumble across options that you didn’t think possible or hadn’t considered previously.

Tools like Instagram allow you to save collections of images that help to inspire you on colour choices, and layouts, and even discover furnishings that you would like to return to when your space is finished. There may even be buying guides to help you achieve similar looks within your own home.

Another useful tool is Pinterest. You can search and follow boards specifically dedicated to Kitchen Extensions, and create your own to start building a bank of inspirational images to inspire your project.