We have compiled a list of commonly asked questions about our living spaces to help you get started.
What's the difference between a conservatory, orangery and an extension?

This is certainly one of our most frequently asked questions! The differences can be difficult to describe because the definitions have been blurred more recently. Traditionally, a conservatory would be predominantly glass, including the roof and all walls. However, many homeowners are now choosing to have a tiled roof installed, so they ensure it is as thermally efficient as possible throughout the year. However, we do offer a selection of solar control glazing if you want to stick with a glass roof for the views and additional natural light. This will prevent your conservatory from overheating.

An orangery often consists of more bricks or aluminium pillars. Homeowners who want a more room-like feel will often opt for an orangery over a conservatory.

Modern Orangery

The solid walls offer additional privacy and warmth. Often, they will feature a pelmet around the roof, increasing the additional energy efficiency of the space. As for the roof style, it’s completely up to you! You could choose a solid tiled roof for thermal reasons or a glass roof to create a brighter space.

If you are looking to extend your home in a natural-looking way, a home extension may be the best option for you. An Orion Windows’ home extension is designed to feel like a more seamless extension of your home. Traditionally, home extensions incorporate more brickwork and a solid, tiled roof. However, it’s now common to choose a hybrid roof which includes full length glass panels and Velux windows. This will ensure the living space is bright and well-ventilated.

Don’t get bogged down by the labels. Speak to an advisor at Orion Windows who can organise an installation that is bespoke to you and your requirements.

Tiled Roof Orangery Extension Internal Detail
Should I choose a tiled roof or a glass roof?

Both tiled roofs and glass roofs look great on our collection of conservatories, orangeries and extensions. To help you decide which would work better, you will need to inform us on which direction you would like it to face and your budget. For lots of natural light and a full aerial view, a glass roof may be the answer. Our advanced solar control glazing will ensure your living space is a comfortable temperature during heatwaves and freezing temperatures.

If you are looking to invest in a year-round extension, a solid tiled roof may make the most sense. We can add full length glass panels or Velux windows to create a hybrid roof, combining benefits of both.

Contact us to receive advice on which type of roof would work best within your budget.

Tiled Roof Conservatory


We’re always on hand to listen to your ideas and answer your questions. You’ll find a few more common questions below.

Will it be too hot in summer and too cool in winter?

Our conservatories, orangeries and extensions can be used throughout the year, regardless of the temperature outside. In the past, conservatories overheated due to the materials used, but our modern living spaces remain a comfortable temperature at all times. If you are particularly concerned about a year-round space, a solid tiled roof should be considered, but we also have excellent performance glazing that introduces solar control to your home.

Do you manufacture your own roofs?

Yes, we do. Orion Windows is part of the umbrella company, Conservatory Outlet Group, and its sister company (Conservatory Outlet) is one of the UK’s best roof manufacturers. Made in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, our roofs combine exceptional performance and stylish aesthetics.

Our tight-knit relationship with our manufacturer helps us to have control over our own supply chain, and therefore guarantee the quality and excellence that we are known for.

Can I choose different roof tiles to match my home?

Yes, you certainly can. At Orion Windows, we proudly carry a variety of shingle and slate roof tiles. We can possibly match the roof tiles on your current property, if required. There’s also a selection of flat roof membranes for you to choose from. An Orion Windows advisor will be more than happy to supply you with additional details.

I hear a lot about energy rated windows! What does 'A' rated windows mean?

A rated windows are extremely energy efficient. They are actually the most energy efficient windows, as defined by the BFRC Rating Scheme, the UK’s national system for rating the energy efficiency of windows. The rating features in the Building Regulation as an acceptable form of showing compliance with the rules of energy efficiency.

The energy efficiency ratings used by Window Energy Ratings couldn’t be simpler to understand with an A-E traffic-light system incorporated, similar to the ratings found on common white goods, such as freezers, fridges and washing machines.

The ratings label has been devised to help homeowners make better decisions when it comes to the energy efficiency of their new replacement windows.

What is solar control glazing?

The difference with solar control glazing is that there is a clever coating added to prevent your room from overheating, whilst restricting the amount of heat that escapes from the inside of your home. This ensures your space remains a comfortable place to be at all times. We have a variety of options when it comes to tinted glass – each one will give off a variation of light transmission and heat retention. Get in touch to learn more from an Orion Windows advisor about our performance enhancing glass.

Is it possible to match to my existing bricks?

We strive to find the closest brick match available in order to create a seamless transition between the new and old parts of your home. There could be some possible weathering and manufacturing variations between the two sets of bricks, so we will ensure you are happy with the match before we start building. If our closest match does not meet your expectations, there is an option to get your new bricks tinted, but this will involve an extra fee.

Do I need Building Regulations Approval?

You will most likely need approval under Building Regulations as most extensions do. Having said that, a few types of extensions don’t need approval. An experienced surveyor will be sent from Orion Windows to your home so they can issue guidance on what is needed. Once they have confirmed what is required, Orion will arrange the approval by contacting the correct authority.

Do I need planning permission?

As it’s considered to be a permitted development, an extension or addition to your house should not require an application for planning permission. However, the below typical conditions must be met:

  • The ground area covered by the extension and any other buildings within the boundary of the property, excluding the original house, is not more than half the total area of the property.
  • Any part of the extension is not higher than the highest part of the roof of the existing house.
  • The eaves of the extension are not higher than the eaves of the existing house.
  • Any part of the extension does not extend beyond any wall facing a road if it forms the principal or side elevation of the original house.
  • The eaves are no more than 3 metres in height if any part of the extension is within 2 metres of the property boundary.
  • The materials used in exterior work, except in the case of a conservatory, are of similar appearance to the existing house.
  • An upper floor window on a side elevation within 15 metres of a boundary with another house is obscure glazed; and is non – opening unless the parts which can be opened are more than 1.7 metres above the floor of the room in which the window is installed.
  • A side extension does not exceed 4 metres in height or be wider than half the width of the original house.
  • In a single storey extension
    • the extension does not extend beyond the rear wall of the original house by more than 4 metres for a detached house or 3 metres for any other type of house;
    • the height of the extension does not exceed 4 metres;
    • no part of the extension is within 3.5 metres of any property boundary with a road opposite the rear wall of the house.
  • In an extension with more than one storey
    • the extension does not extend beyond the rear wall of the original house by more than 3 metres;
    • no part of the extension is within 7 metres of the property boundary opposite the rear wall of the house;
    • the roof pitch of the enlargement is as far as practicable the same as that of the original house.
  • If you live in a house within a conservation area, World Heritage Site, area of outstanding natural beauty or National Park-
    • no part of the exterior of the house is clad with stone, artificial stone, pebbledash, render, timber, plastic or tiles;
    • the extension is not more than 1 storey or 4 metres in height;
    • no part of the extension extends beyond a principal or side elevation of the original house

How long will it take to build my new living space?

Unfortunately, this is not an easy question to answer, as it really depends on how straightforward the installation is and if there are any necessary planning requirements. Don’t hesitate to speak to an Orion Windows advisor or request our guide, ‘What happens next’, created to help our customers get a more accurate idea of timeframes.

What is a test dig?

A test dig is performed to check local ground conditions before going ahead with the installation. It checks that the ground will have no issues with a concrete base and foundation. If it appears to be unsuitable, we can issue guidance on other foundations, which include a possible specialist pile foundation or concrete raft.

What is a cavity tray?

A cavity tray is put in place to stop moisture from penetrating the outer wall, which could be seen in your living space. It’s a number of high level damp proof courses that direct moisture to the external face of a wall.

Do you offer finance to help me pay for for my new living space?

Yes. To make life easy for you, Orion can arrange a variety of affordable and convenient easy payment finance options (subject to application & status). Applying for finance is simple and we promise you a quick decision. Everything can be sorted out with you in the comfort of your home or at your local Orion Showroom, so you can enjoy whatever you’ve set your heart on right away.

What do we need to do when our finance is approved?

If you’re arranging your own finance, you’ll need to call us as soon as you get the go ahead. If you’re taking up one of our offers, the company will tell us both directly, so there’s no need to call as we will get in touch with you.

What happens if finance is refused?

Finance companies can turn down people for lots of reasons, for example if you’ve moved several times over the past few years. In these circumstances, we always do our best to help and sometimes it’s worth trying another provider, especially if they know you.

I’ve applied for finance with Orion. How long will approval take?

Sometimes our finance company will say ‘yes’ almost immediately and on other occasions it may take them a few days. This short delay can be for any number of reasons and you should not be unduly concerned.


See how affordable your home improvement can be with our Finance Calculator. Explore the different ways to finance your home improvement with Orion Windows with one of the three finance options shown below – simply click on the finance option that best suits you.

  • BUY NOW PAY MONTHLY Spread the cost of your home improvements over 60, 120 or 154 months*
  • BUY NOW PAY LATER This option allows you a 6 month payment holiday from the date of completion.
60 monthly payments
Representative APR
120 monthly payments
Representative APR
154 monthly payments
Representative APR
This finance option allows you the convenience and flexibility of spreading the cost of your home improvements over 60, 120 or 154 months*. You must make the minimum repayment each month. However you can also make additional payments and therefore control the length of the loan and the amount of interest you would pay. No security is required on these loans. These calculators are for illustrative purposes only and do not constitute a credit quotation. *120 & 154 months finance only available for orders over £8,000.

Representative Example

Cash Price
Total Amount of Credit
Duration of Agreement
60 Months
Rate of Interest
12.4% p.a. fixed
Representative APR
12.4% APR
60 Monthly Payments
Total Amount Payable
Pay within 6 months + £29 exit fee
Want to pay in monthly instalments after 6 months rather than one-off payment? Consider this option.
120 monthly payments
Representative APR over 10 years
This option allows you a 6 month payment holiday from the date of completion. Pay 10% deposit when you order, and as long as you pay the outstanding balance in full before 6 months has elapsed plus a £29 settlement fee, no interest will be charged. If, after 6 months, this is not convenient, you can pay in 120 monthly installments at 19.9% APR Representative. *Deferred for 6 months from the date of completion – £29 settlement fee applies if the loan is repaid in full during the deferral period and NO INTEREST will be paid. If the loan is not settled in full within the deferral period, then interest will have accrued from the start of the agreement on any amount still outstanding at the end of the deferral period. Interest will continue to be charged until the agreement is repaid in full. For legal reasons the Representative Example shows interest IF the outstanding balance is NOT paid before the 6 months has elapsed. No security is required on this loan. These calculators are for illustrative purposes only and do not constitute a credit quotation. These calculators are for illustrative purposes only and do not constitute a credit quotation.

Representative Example

Cash Price
Total Amount of Credit
Defer By
6 Months
Duration of Agreement
126 Months*
Rate of Interest
19.9% p.a. fixed
Representative APR
19.9% APR
120 Monthly Payments
Total Amount Payable
Settlement Fee


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