Bridgerton and lockdown boost business for Derbyshire orangery construction company
Fans of the Netflix drama Bridgerton have fallen in love with orangeries which were symbols of wealth among high society in the 19th century.
Interest in these extensions to homes has soared on the back of the Regency era series streaming in the United Kingdom.
Marcus Lonsdale, managing director of The Bespoke Orangery Ltd, said that business had increased dramatically over the past six months. “I’d say it’s got to be at least 50 to 100 percent more than last year.
"I’ve not heard of Bridgerton before – I don’t watch any telly because I’m too busy. But I wonder if the increase is attributed more to lockdown when people had more time to look at the four walls of their house; if they are working all the time, these things get put on the back burner.”
No longer the preserve of the fabulously well-heeled, orangeries can range from £15,000 if it involves the conversion of an existing conservatory and up to £200,000 for a large and luxurious timber extension.
Marcus said: “A modern orangery with aluminium bifolds and modern fascias would be about £30,000.
"Most flat roof or pitch tiled roof extensions you have on the back of a house are only relying on Velux to bring the light in, whereas an orangery is more glass and allows loads of light to come into the room that you’re extending off; it is more of an attractive extension.”
Customer confidentiality prevents Marcus from disclosing full details of orangeries that his company has built for clients. However, he did say: “We did a really grand house which is quite magnificent in Mapleton. We put a timber orangery on there which transformed it. The customers had an amazing kitchen installed into their orangery and it was just stunning.
"It really is a dream project for most people having an orangery at the back of the house. Customers come to us wanting an orangery but haven’t got a clue what it’s going to look like. As part of our service we do a 3D visual of their house with the orangery on the back.”
Marcus, whose business is based in Ripley and has a showroom in Crich, said: “On average it takes eight to ten weeks to build an orangery. They are full extensions with foundations, insulated walls and then there’s the whole process of electrics and plumbing.
"Most of our orangeries will come out four metres with a detached house or three metres with a semi-detached house – if you stay under those limits, you don’t need planning permission under permitted development. The caveat is that some houses have their permitted development rights removed because of previous extensions or they are in a conservation area.”
Marcus, who has 20 years in the roofing and construction trade, began building orangeries three and a half years ago. In 2019 he went into partnership with project manager Frankie Clifford and their limited company was born.