Our friendly advisors love helping customers as much as they can, so feel free to quiz them. Some of the more common questions they get are answered below.
Can you tell me the difference between a conservatory, orangery and an extension?

We get asked this question a lot, quite understandably, and in all honesty, there isn’t that much of a difference between the three and you can have any form of living space you like. As you probably know, a conservatory largely consists of glass – glass roof, glass walls. But many modern conservatories have a tiled roof and dwarf walls which enhance thermal comfort inside this classic style of home extension. You can also request solar control glazing for a conservatory to further weatherproof the room and prevent it from ever overheating or getting too cold.

As for an orangery, that typically has brick or aluminium pillars, great for privacy purposes and warmth, and that also gives it a luxurious feel. A further trademark feature of an orangery is a pelmet around the roof of the building, which also aids with thermal comfort. In terms of its roof, you will find that orangeries have varied roof coverings, such as a glass lantern, solid tiled roof, or something in between the two.

Modern Orangery

What’s great about a home extension is that it is purposely designed to look like a natural extension of a home, rather than something that has very obviously been added on. It has a very solid look and feel and will often include a solid tiled roof of some variety. Hybrid roofs are popular though, incorporating full length glass panels and/or Velux windows for extra light and ventilation. The year-round useability that an extension provides is one of its strongest selling-points and its ability to keep the weather at bay.

In any case, such labels don’t mean much. Chat to a 5 Star advisor to uncover what will benefit your home most.

Replacement conservatory roofs this example has glass or lightweight tiles. Interior view.
Is it better to have a tiled roof or a glass roof?

It’s hard to say as it all depends on how the room will be used, which direction it will face and how much money you can spend. If you’re keen to have lots of natural light travelling inside the space and want a nice view of your garden from the interior, it could be worth including solar control glazing, which will keep the temperature consistently right.

To be guaranteed a space that you can use day in, day out, a solid tiled roof should come into contention, particularly as it can accommodate full length glass panels or Velux windows. That’s when it almost becomes a hybrid of a solid and glass roof.

You can discuss solid tiled roofs and glass roofs in more details with a 5 Star advisor.

Tiled Roof Conservatory


Our friendly advisors love helping customers as much as they can, so feel free to quiz them. Some of the more common questions they get are answered below.

Will my new living space be too hot in summer and too cool in winter?

That’s the worst-case scenario as you don’t want to be estranged from your living space at key times of the year, and it won’t happen. We don’t use old polycarbonate roofs on our extensions, so there is no possibility of them feeling like baking hot greenhouses in summer. Solar control glazing is one product that can help ensure external conditions don’t interfere with the space, and a tiled roof is another of them.

Do you manufacture your own roofs?

5 Star is a member of the Conservatory Outlet Group of companies, and its sister company, Conservatory Outlet, is one of the country’s leading roof manufacturers. The roofs they expertly manufacture are all built at a hi-tech facility in Wakefield, West Yorkshire.

By having such a tight relationship with our manufacturer, it enables us to keep a close eye on our supply chain and ensure that our roofing systems offer the exceptional quality that we are famous for in Kidderminster, Stourbridge and throughout Worcestershire.

Can I choose different roof tiles to match my home?

Yes, you can do that. You’re able to pick from a wide selection of shingle and slate roof tiles. It shouldn’t be difficult finding a tile that colour matches any existing tiles. 5 Star also supplies a series of flat roof membranes. More details can be given to you by a 5 Star advisor.

Can you tell me what an ‘A’ rated window is?

A rated windows are most energy efficient windows that you can buy in the UK, which is defined by the BFRC Rating Scheme. All replacement windows are energy rated to indicate the level of thermal efficiency they provide. It also tells you whether a replacement window complies with current Building Regulations.

Window Energy Ratings use a consumer-friendly traffic-light style, with windows labelled from A-E, very much like White Goods e.g., fridges, freezers, washing machines. Knowing the energy rating of a set of replacement windows tells you the standard of thermal efficiency you can expect them to offer.

What is solar control glazing?

There is a clever coating within the glass you get in solar control glazing that stops too much heat from entering a room and stops too much heating escaping from it. This glazing can be tinted in different ways all depending on the degree of light transmission and heat retention you want. A 5 Star advisor can tell you more about the impact solar control glazing can have.

Can I match to my existing bricks?

The team at 5 Star will do everything they can to find a brick that matches your current bricks prior to the commencing of any building work. It’s important that you know there may be weathering differences between existing and new bricks. If the closest brick match we can find isn’t what you want, you can always for the brickwork to be tinted accordingly, but this will come at an extra cost.

Do I need Building Regulations Approval?

Building Regulations Approval is necessary for most home extension projects. However, there are certain classes of extension that don’t need it. One of our surveyors will be able to clarify this, who will come out to your home to assess exactly what is needed. If it transpires that Building Regulations Approval is required, 5 Star can help to get this organised and will contact your local authority.

Do I need planning permission?

Not if the extension meets the limits and conditions to be classed as a permitted development. You won’t have to make a planning application if the following guidelines are adhered to:

  • 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?

We can’t give you an exact timescale until we know if planning permission will be needed and how complex the project is. We have produced a ‘What happens next’ guide which gives you an insight into timescales and you can obtain from a 5 Star advisor.

What is a test dig?

We must do a test dig at the site of the proposed extension so that we can determine whether the ground conditions are suitable for a traditional concrete base and foundation. If it proves to be unsuitable, we will come up with 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 it to stop any moisture that penetrates an outer wall from being visible in an extension.

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

Yes. To make life easy for you, 5 Star 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 5 Star 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 5 Star Windows & Doors. 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.
  • 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.
Spread the cost over 60, 120 or 154 months...
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. *154 months finance only available for orders over £7,500.

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
Pay a 20% deposit when you order and, and as long as you pay the outstanding balance in full before 9 months has elapsed (plus a £29 exit fee), no interest will be charged. You will have 9 months to clear the balance to avoid paying any interest (except the £29 exit fee). If, after 9 months, this is not convenient, you can pay in 120 monthly instalments at 19.9% APR Representative. *Deferred for 9 months from the date of completion - £29 exit 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 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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Want to speak with an Advisor? Give us a call on 01562 60800

Our friendly team will be pleased to help with any questions you may have.