Your Guide To The Orangery Roof

Planning your new orangery, from the dwarf wall to the orangery roof, is a tremendously exciting experience. But perhaps the most exciting moment of all is that time when the sun slowly sets on the horizon outside your orangery, and the glazed roof above is aglow in warm ambient light.

The well-proportioned beauty of an orangery roof is an important element to any design. A balance that can only be achieved by a careful consideration of the lantern pitch, in relation to its size, in relation to the surface area of the flat roof, in relation to the decorative entablature and how all these elements of the roof work harmoniously with the size and shape of the orangery structure itself. However, there are more these roofs than meets the eye. This is your guide to understanding what makes an orangery roof and some of the important things to consider.

What kind of roof does an orangery have?

First of all, an orangery roof is predominantly made up of two essential key components; A flat roof and a glazed area, usually a roof lantern. Depending on the style of the orangery there will also be additional components such as a waterproof parapet and contemporary or classically designed decorative entablature that surrounds to the perimeter of the roof.

What makes an orangery roof?

The flat roof part of an orangery can be constructed from timber and membranes, or it can be built using a roofing system, such as our ‘warm deck’ flat roofing sytem. The central portion of an orangery roof is glazed, traditionally with a roof lantern which creates that magnificent peak and ceiling height within the orangery.

What is a ‘warm deck’ orangery roof?

A warm deck roof is a flat roof that incorporates a supporting steel frame. This allows the internal steel to remain warm at room temperature and prevents substantial heat loss. The warm deck roof is also fully insulated to allow greater control of the room temperature during the summer and winter months, and tapered to direct rainwater off the top of the waterproof flag polymeric membrane, which has a lifetime in excess of 35 years.

What is an orangery roof lantern?

Roof lanterns will be installed into the roof and their shape provides additional height to the orangery, creating a great sense of space, whilst brightening the interior by allowing plenty of sunlight to stream in. The lantern is essentially a stepped glass skylight that extends up from a flat roof. Westbury’s Timber Roof Lanterns are structural masterpieces, adding a sense of height, space, and grandeur to any room.  They allow natural light to flow into the room below, introducing warmth and calm.

When it comes to home renovation, proportions are everything and a roof lantern will not only add additional height to your ceiling, but it will also make your room both look and feel bigger.

Are there standard sizes of roof windows and is there such a thing as too big?

All Westbury roof lanterns are made to measure in the exact size and specification that the customer requires. You can choose a square, rectangle or octagonal for the lantern roof.

If a customer is looking for an oversized orangery roof lantern, we would usually advise going for two smaller ones, or we would need to include tie bars to help support the weight of the lantern.

Does a glazed roof make the room feel hotter?

They do not make a room hotter but they can help to retain the warmth in cooler months by using energy-efficient glass. We would also advise homeowners to opt for ‘Westbury Sun Guard’ which is a solar glass.

Often roof lanterns are non-opening but many feature automatic thermostatic ventilation to allow heat to rise and escape, minimising heat build-up. Our roof lantern ventilation also features rain sensors, closing them as the first drop of rain falls, so you’re never caught out by the unpredictable British weather.

Do I need planning permission to add a glazed roof? What about building regulations?

The short answer is no you do not need planning permission for a glazed orangery roof, however, as with any project, it is important to check consent beforehand. Researching whether your plans require permission and seeking professional advice before you start, can save potential stress and financial loss later down the line.

Consent will vary on location, but generally, a roof lantern can be installed on your existing flat roof under permitted development. This means that you may only require building control to approve the works, or a FENSA certified fitter to install your lantern.

What’s the cost of adding an orangery roof lantern to an existing flat roof?

As with all markets – there will be products aimed at the lower price bracket, but the reality is, these may be products that may lack critical design elements or be made with inadequate materials.

The price of a Westbury orangery roof lantern will fluctuate depending on its size and shape.

A small square roof lantern of approximately 1200mm x 1200mm and fitted by us, can cost upwards of £5,000 – £6,000 excl. VAT. On the other end of the scale, a larger rectangular 3000mm x 6000mm lantern fitted by us, may start from £21,250 – £28,000 excl. VAT.

Roof lanterns designed to an alternative shape such as octagonal and cupola are also likely to cost more than rectangular lanterns due to their more complex design.

If you’re looking for an entire orangery structure to also be built, our prices start from £50,000. This will include the windows and doors of the structure, as well as our architectural design services and installation of the timber structure. You can read more about how much an Orangery costs in one of our earlier articles.

Can you install an orangery roof lantern yourself? 

We do not offer/recommend a supply only service for our Roof Lanterns. Our Orangery Roofs always need to be installed by qualified Westbury Installers. This is to ensure that they are installed correctly to our exacting standards and will not leak.