We know everything there is to know about living spaces. Here are some questions that we’re often asked.
What's the difference between a conservatory, orangery and an extension?

If we had a pound for every time someone asks this! We never tire of telling our customers though that there isn’t too much of a difference between the three options and that their living space can be whatever they want it to be. In days gone by, a conservatory would predominantly be made up of glass – glass roof, glass walls – but then along came the tiled roof conservatory, a real game-changer. Nowadays, you can also rely on solar control glazing, used to prevent conservatories from overheating and feeling too cold.

As for an orangery, it will normally have brick or aluminium pillars, affording you privacy, warmth, and a luxurious ambience. Most orangeries also have an internal pelmet running around the perimeter of the ceiling, guaranteeing you a superb amount of thermal insulation. For the roof covering you can have a glass lantern, solid tiled roof, or something that’s a cross between the two.

Modern Orangery

A home extension will appeal to those who want an extension that looks and feels like a natural expansion of their property. They tend to have a solid feel due to the presence of brickwork and some form of solid tiled roof. Many home extensions have a hybrid roof, one that incorporates full length glass panels and / or Velux windows to entice natural light inside and keep it well-insulated. The year-round useability of a home extension is one of its biggest draws to customers.

But we don’t like to label our living spaces. Get your personalised design started by speaking to a James Oliver advisor.

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

We can’t give a definitive answer to this until you have informed us of how you want the room to function, which direction it will face, and what your budget is. If you want the dual benefit of natural light and a great garden view, we recommend having a look into solar control glazing, which will also help with temperature control.

A solid tiled roof will make it a year-round space, particularly if you also agree to have full length glass panels or Velux panels built into its design to create a hybrid roof, one that gives you the combined benefits of a solid and glass roof.

You may find that talking to a James Oliver advisor helps, who can provide great guidance on roofing solutions.

Tiled Roof Conservatory


We’re always here to answer your questions. There’s a good chance you will find an answer to some of your questions in the below section.

Will my living space get too hot or too cold at times?

No. You won’t have any issues with temperature control as our living spaces are designed to provide year-round comfort. It would be hugely frustrating when an old polycarbonate roof would cause a conservatory to feel like a greenhouse in summer. It could be worth using solar control glazing as that will assure you of a living space that provides the perfect feel. A tiled roof is another option.

Do you manufacture your roofing systems?

Yes, we do. James Oliver is part of the Conservatory Outlet Network and its sister company, Conservatory Outlet, is one of the country’s leading roof manufacturers. Every roof in our range is built at Conservatory Outlet’s advanced manufacturing facility in Wakefield, West Yorkshire.

By having such a close relationship with our roof manufacturer, it enables us to keep close control over our supply chain and check that the products that are rolled off the production line are of a sufficient standard.

Is it possible to choose different roof tiles to match my home?

You are permitted to do that. We offer a wide range of shingle and slate roof tile options, and you can also match the roof tiles to the existing roof tiles on your home. Various flat roof membranes are also available. To get further detail about roof tiles, speak to a James Oliver advisor.

Can you tell me what ‘A’ rated windows are?

That’s what we’re here for! At present, an ‘A’ rated window in the most energy efficient window you can get in the UK, as defined by the BFRC Rating Scheme. All replacement windows are labelled so that you can identify the standard of thermal efficiency that they provide.

Most ‘white’ goods, such as fridges, freezers and washing machines, are energy rated, and replacement windows are no different, using a similar consumer-friendly traffic system, rated from A-E. Knowing the Window Energy Rating of a design helps you get a full understanding of what you’re getting.

What is solar control glazing?

There is a special coating on solar control glazing that stops excess heat from being transported into your living space and retains the heat generated inside the structure. We offer solar control glazing in a series of tints, with each tint providing a different degree of light transmission and heat retention. Any of our advisors will be able to go into more depth about solar control glazing.

Can I colour-match to my existing bricks?

We have strong connections with several local brick merchants, so we should be capable of finding a close brick match. It’s important to know that there may be weathering and manufacturing differences between new and old bricks. If we experience any difficulty locating a suitable brick match, your new brickwork can always be tinted to make it match, but this will incur an additional charge.

Will Building Regulations Approval be required?

In most cases, you need Building Regulations Approval to extend a house. Certain classes of extension don’t require it. Either way, one of our surveyors, who will know all about planning and building regulations, will clarify matters, coming out to your home to take measurements and photographs. In the event of Building Regulations Approval being necessary, James Oliver will approach your local authority to get this organised.

Do I need planning permission?

If your extension fulfils the relevant limits and conditions to be classed as a Permitted Development, no planning application will be necessary. The limits and conditions are as follows:

  • 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 does it take to build a living space?

It’s extremely hard to give you an exact estimate as it all depends on how complex the project is and whether you will need planning permission beforehand. Our ‘What happens next’ guide will give you more information about the whole building process.

What is a test dig?

We conduct a test dig to determine if the local ground conditions are suitable enough to take a traditional concrete base and the foundations are sound. If we find that the ground is unsuitable, we will suggest an alternative foundation proposal such as a specialist pile foundation or concrete raft.

What is a cavity tray?

A cavity tray is a series of high-level damp-proof courses that bridge a wall cavity to direct moisture to the external face of a wall where the extension roof joins the house wall. Its main purpose is to prevent any moisture that penetrates an outdoor wall from becoming visible inside the extension.

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

Yes. To make life easy for you, James Oliver 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 James Oliver 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 James Oliver. 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.


With over 40 years of experience in transforming properties across Lincolnshire and the East Midlands, we’re proud to be the region’s most trusted home improvements firm.

No Pressure Sales

Our sales teamed are trained and motivated to be not only fully transparent, but to make our customers at ease with the options available to them. They won’t stay any longer than they need to and won’t force you into decisions that you’re not comfortable with - guaranteed.

Designed For You

A really important ethos of our business is to make the customer feel comfortable with their home improvement decisions. Our experts are there to help you make great decisions from all the options available to you, whether that be shape, style, colour, material or finishes.

10 Year Guarantee

James Oliver 10 Year Guarantee offers you complete value for money and, crucially total peace of mind that your product are covered by our comprehensive guarantee. Our confidence in our products and dedication to our customers means we’ll be there for you well into the future.

Exclusive Products

By choosing James Oliver to oversee your home improvement project, you’ll benefit from our exclusive – and not to mention market-leading – range of products. You’ll quickly discover why James Oliver offer Lincolnshire and the East Midlands’ premier range of products.


See how affordable your home improvement can be with our Finance Calculator.
  • BUY NOW PAY MONTHLY Spread the cost of your home improvements over 60, 120 or 154 months*
  • BUY NOW PAY IN 9 MONTHS This option allows you a 9 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 9 months + £29 exit fee
Want to pay in monthly instalments after 9 months rather than one-off payment? Consider this option.
120 monthly payments
Representative APR over 10 years
This option allows you a 9 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 9 months has elapsed plus a £29 settlement fee, no interest will be charged. If, after 9 months, this is not convenient, you can pay in 120 monthly installments at 19.9% APR Representative. *Deferred for 9 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. For legal reasons the Representative Example shows interest IF the outstanding balance is NOT paid before the 9 months has elapsed. No security is required on this loan. These calculators are for illustrative purposes only and do not constitute a credit quotation. For legal reasons the Representative Example shows interest IF the outstanding balance is NOT paid before the 9 months has elapsed. No security is required on this loan. These calculators are for illustrative purposes only and do not constitute a credit quotation.

Representative Example

Cash Price
Total Amount of Credit
Defer By
9 Months
Duration of Agreement
129 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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