Will we require Planning Permission?
Planning Rules for all extensions were changed 1st October 2008. There is a Planning Portal on the website – www.planningportal.gov.uk/england/genub/e/1115315160166.html Although more projects on rear elevations now fall under Permitted Development, as long as they are not fronting a highway but there are still dimensional restrictions. The best policy would be to put together full details of your intentions, together with basic sketches and a photograph before visiting or contacting your local planning department. We offer a complete service, which you will see on the appropriate page of our website.[TOP]
Will we be exempt from Building Regulations?
Yes, if – Your conservatory should be at ground level, smaller than 30 sq metres of floor area, have a glass or translucent roof and be separated from the main property with appropriate doors for exemption. At least half of the new walls and three quarters of the roof should be glazed. You would however be most unwise to proceed and not comply with the principal requirements of Building Regulations, thus ensuring that your building was structural sound, built on secure foundations and with correct lead flashing plus of course drainage. Not least of all, Health & Safety issues should not be disregarded, even though they will not be checked by a Building Inspector.[TOP]
Will I be able to use my conservatory extension throughout the year?
A correctly designed and constructed conservatory should most certainly be a year round room. There are many ways in which it can be protected from solar gain but for most of the year this will be a huge advantage in our British climate. Heating will obviously be required during the Winter months and an independent system with its own thermostat is very much recommended. Insulation values of all glazing materials should be fully researched and thermally efficient panels introduced into all concrete floors. If you do not have friends with conservatories, visit a local hotel or restaurant which has one and you will generally find it is the most popular of all rooms for 12 months of the year. Those who have a conservatory built to appropriately high standards will unhesitatingly say how wonderful it is to sit in the garden in a light bright atmosphere whatever the weather – this above all, is why they are so exceedingly popular.[TOP]
How shall I heat my conservatory?
The good news is that even on a cloudy day the temperature in your conservatory without any heating will be very much warmer than outside due to solar gain, which so far the Chancellor has not taxed and you are of course fully protected from the wind. This very much means that whatever heating you decide to introduce, it will already have a kick start. It is usually best to choose one which is entirely independent of your home system thus responding to its own thermostatic control. The most popular choice is usually a 3kw Dimplex or a equivalent convector unit, with appropriate additional units for larger Sun Rooms.[TOP]
Will my conservatory require foundations?
Whilst some may consider that their patio, laid onto several inches of concrete was secure, it would be most unwise to make that assumption. Contrary to popular belief, that a conservatory is not very heavy, any movement of unstable or made up ground could be a disaster for your glazed building, even if it only moved a small amount. Perimeter foundations of at least 600mm are recommended and many people will need to go much deeper. It may be necessary to introduce piling to a depth where secure sub soil exists with the entire floor slab incorporating steel reinforcing. The best way to establish how deep your perimeter foundations will need to be, is an exploratory dig, checking your house foundations and asking any near neighbours what depth may have been necessary for their extensions. Your local Building Control will always advise on ground conditions and give you good guidance, even though your project may not directly come under their control.
Never take chances with foundations. If you are not absolutely certain how to proceed correctly, take professional advice, as your whole conservatory and floor are supported on these and subsequent movement would be an absolute disaster, which would not in these circumstances usually be covered by your home insurance. We offer a total package to thoroughly inspect your existing ground conditions, carry out excavations and if necessary enlist a Structural Engineer to correctly establish what foundations will be necessary for the structure you are considering having carried out a soil analysis and laboratory test.[TOP]
How should my Internal Floor be constructed?
Most people would wish the finished floor level to be the same as their adjoining room, with no step up or down unless absolutely necessary or indeed requested. To make up the required height from your external ground level, you will require a concrete oversite, topped off by a sharp sand and cement smooth screed, all ready to recieve tiles, carpet, laminated covering or carpet. Depending on the height required, there are a number of ways which you can infill beneath but it is very important indeed that thermal insulation is introduced together with an appropriate damp proof membrane. Should the outside ground level be much lower than inside, then you may consider a suspended timber floor on joists, or a block and beam construction.
If you are covering air bricks, they should be ducted to outside. Drainage inspection chambers will need to be moved outside of the new conservatory base or an appropriate air tight cover fitted. It is important to be aware that your finished floor covering should not be layed until the concrete and screed have thoroughly dried and this can best be achieved with windows and doors left open, rather than the introduction of heating at this time. It can be accelerated with a dehumidifier but at the height of summer, you may even need to put down sacking and spray this to stop the floor drying out too quickly, cracking or not adhering to the concrete oversite. It is very important to remember that if your floor is not correctly constructed, serious problems may arise, with the only solution being to start all over again.[TOP]
LEAD FLASHING – We understand that some form of flashing is required and if not correctly introduced we may have serious water penetration problems. Is lead the only option and how should it be introduced?
I have heard so many differing options put forward by building and double glazing companies It is also unfortunately necessary to say that the type of flashing and quality of its installation may often fall below that which was quoted and thus expected to be introduced. I would strongly recommend that any brick or stone face should have nothing less than full lead cavity trays. This should be backed up by stepped lead flashing for pitched roofs and all of course professionally installed by appropiately skilled trades people. If the wall is rendered and painted then CODE – 4 linear lead flashing cut at least 35mm into the wall and appropriately sealed may well be an alternative. It is however very important indeed to ensure that any rendering and associated painting is in good order before constructing your extension, as it will be much harder to repair later. Solid guidance can be gained from appropriate websites, your local Building Inspector or a qualified Surveyor . . . this is by far one of the most important elements of any extension design detail. If the correct flashing is not introduced water penetration will be highly probable and any suggested or indeed earlier hidden cost savings will become the complete opposite.
If you are unsure of the lead flashing detail being offered for your extension, or should you have an existing structure where lead work is not introduced correctly, allowing water to penetrate, we offer a comprehensive and experienced service to fully assess individual homes or why your problems are occurring and the building expertise to re-introduce correct lead works.[TOP]
Box Gutters or Rear Tiled Gables – which would be the best choice?
When constructing a pitch roof conservatory onto low eaves properties and bungalows, many believe a rear box gutter is the only option but our general preference will be to bring forward a full tiled dormer. This need not necessarily be an expensive element of your project, when compared to box gutter construction. It is not a major intrusion into property roofs, as sufficient tiles are taken off which can be re-used. A timber dormer is constructed with felt and battens before re-tiling and introducing appropriate valleys. If a box gutter is constructed correctly, then it should be of a structurally supporting design, flashed into the roof of your home, fully sealed, supported below and of course additional hips are required within the roof structure – All of which means if a box gutter is designed and constructed to an appropriate standard, not only should there be little difference in price to a full dormer but the roof void within your conservatory will be substantially greater. The whole project will look more architecturally correct, you do not have the worry of a box gutter drainage becoming blocked plus you eliminate the problems of keeping it clean and free of leaves or debris.[TOP]
We do not think it an unreasonable desire to use our conservatory throughout the year, even in the depths of Winter for a dinner party with snow in the garden. If they can sit in a Jacuzzi on a mountain side in Switzerland, how should we heat our conservatory to enjoy far less cold Winters?
Have you ever been walking on a cold cloudy day, when the sun seemed to have gone on holiday to the Mediterranean? It is surprising that when it actually sets over the horizon, even though hidden behind dark clouds, how noticeably colder you will feel. The late
Accept-Charset: ISO-8859-1 with solar gain, even on cloudy days and this will very much be increased by creating an insulated glass sun room where this solar gain will be captured in an enclosed room, which is also protected from prevailing winds. My experience is that contrary to suggestions that there will be massive heat loss through such a large area of glass, most of our customers find that they do not require an excessive amount of heating, compared to other rooms within their home or expensive special glazing systems. When we are constructing for heating engineers or people with a similar professional background, they are generally of the opinion that the conservatory should be heated with a system fully independent of the principal home heating and with its own thermostat control. A very popular choice would be a 3kw Dimplex heater or for a larger conservatory, possibly 2 x 2kw units. There will be many occasions when your conservatory will be very agreeably warmer than rooms in the home, without the need for any heating at all, also providing heating for the rooms adjacent to where you have constructed. Underfloor heating is extremely popular and you have the choice of hot water or electrics, each have their own merits, although we have successfully installed electrical systems with digital controls that can be set at different temperatures for each day of the week. These require a degree of professional expertise to install and it is very important that you carry out careful research to choose the best system for yourselves. Be sure to speak with those who already have conservatories and we are usually pleased to provide the unique opportunity for you to do so from our past customer portfolio. We have noticed an increasing number of people asking about wood burning fires, which will certainly create a very cosy atmosphere within your conservatory and if you have economic access to appropriate fuel, it may well be worth considering. You should however bear in mind that some form of chimney is required and there are regulations which you will need to comply with. Every situation will have its own considerations and we will be happy to appropriately guide you.[TOP]
CONSERVATORY AND SUN ROOM BLINDS
We regularly visit a local hotel, where their conservatory is the most popular dining area. However friends of ours, who we must admit do not have a conservatory,say that if you have a glazed Sun Room on your South Elevation, it will become unbearably hot during much of the Summer!!!
I will not pause for breath to confidently say, that blinds are the only truly effective way to protect yourself from the sun’s rays, albeit during the UK’s all too short Summers but most of us will sensibly wish to sit under the shade of a tree within the garden, not in the conservatory when we are agreeably blessed with pleasant sunny days.
There are many popular myths about the best way to keep conservatories and glass buildings cool and whilst some have a degree of effectiveness over and above others, blinds are by far the most effective. They do however need to be manufactured to a suitably high standard and not least of all, have a metallic reflective coating. Many people choose to have just blinds in the roof, which of course the most important area for cooling. There are a number of ways in which they can be opened up on a grey day but best of all within a roller mounted into a cassette positioned at the conservatory internal eaves. We provide a comprehensive design and advisory service for conservatory sun blinds, based on our many years experience and solid reliable feed back from thousands of customers.[TOP]
What is the best Floor Covering?
There are of course many options and the final choice entirely personal. By far the most popular would be tiles. These can be ceramic, porcelain, quarry, slate or stone and contrary to popular belief, as long as efficient insulation is introduced beneath, these are not as cold as some suggest. Laminate or natural wood flooring is becoming more popular, not least of all as there are now many more good quality materials to choose from. If the Sun Room is to be part of your home, then carpeting is popular but you may wish to choose a tiled floor, onto which can be laid a cosy rug for the winter months, thereby enabling you to enjoy the best of both worlds. We deal with four principal UK tile importers and local stone quarries, thus offering an extensive range of floor materials and it is most unlikely that you will not find one ideally suited to your requirements and budget at our showroom.[TOP]
How do we best choose between Hardwood, Architectural Aluminium or PVC?
Rather than let the salesperson and their marketing literature influence you unduly, it is best to take independent and unbiased advice. This could be from a reputed building surveyor, a professional person within the conservatory industry, or if possible, friends and neighbours who may already have one of these buildings. Whilst appearance will be very important, most people are considering durability and low maintenance, which would usually bring Architectural Aluminium to the forefront. Timber does not necessarily mean high levels of maintenance, as long as durable Hardwood is selected, it is treated thoroughly with micro porous staining before leaving the workshop and manufacture must be to the highest of standards. Many Timber systems have a simple mitre in the corner (you will often find these joints are that which is used for basic picture frames) rather than multi faced tenons which are more appropriate to timber buildings and very much used by ourselves. No grooved weather checks where frames are joined together maybe incorporated into the building. Quite frankly many timbers used are more suited to internal joinery and will simply not withstand the passage of time – ask if you can view projects completed by these companies, which have been in place for well over 10 years and you will often uncover a reluctant excuse.There are of course numerous grades of PVC, many of which are produced with cheapness in mind – all very much aimed at beating everybody else’s price but as with any other product which is cheaper than all the rest, there is a price to pay and guess who will ultimately be left with the consequent short comings.
Steel within PVC frame work is often referred to as reinforcement but this term is totally untrue, it is simply used as stiffening.You will also find historically that galvanised steel has a tendency to rust, unless it is not to the very highest of standards, thereby leaving customers with what appears to be an initially substantial structure, which simply will not withstand the passage of time. PVC offers all too many opportunities to cut corners.
As PVC is generally considered not to be a structural material, steel or aluminium is introduced into the hollow chambers and if this is not carried out to the very highest of standards, then serious problems may well occur. We have taken down many timber and PVC structures, which have been constructed for considerably less than 10 years, which of course may appear alarming but the very simple rule to have confidence prior to placing an order is to request the opportunity of seeing a reasonable number of past projects the company has constructed, all of which have been in place for an extended period of time. It is highly unlikely that photographs in the glossy magazines you will be shown, are of buildings that have been in place for 10 years or more. If you are speaking to a quality company with the proven track record you desire, this should not only present no problem but they will welcome your request with enthusiasm. Timber is usually selected for a Listed Building or similar when customers have a passion for this traditional material. Architectural Aluminium would be the best option if you are looking for extremely high quality and a project to substantially withstand the passage of time and offering very little maintenance, this is why it is generally used for commercial projects. A good quality PVC is ideally suited to provide a project at the keenest price but it is essential that the best quality of manufacturing together with installation skills are employed, or it may prove to be false economy – PVC is used predominately for domestic glazing, whereas the vast majority of commercial glazing will be with Architectural Aluminium. Always remember the opportunity to view past projects, provides the overriding reassurance for you to proceed with confidence.
We offer an impressive and enviable portfolio of projects completed by ourselves over the past 30 plus years.[TOP]
I would like to have an open plan design, are doors into our Sun Room essential?
One of the criteria for exemption from Building Regulations, is that there must be doors separating your conservatory from the home. There is no reason however why doors cannot be omitted, as long as you are able to satisfy Building Regulation requirements, which will mean appropriate insulation values for not only the extension but those within your existing home This is called a SAP’s Rating and is carried out to satisfy Part L of Building Regulations. Should you be taking out an existing window or making a door opening wider, then a new lintel may be required and appropriate structural calculations will be necessary to ensure that no structural weaknesses are created, again all under Building Control.
Many people find that in the temperate South of England, doors between home and the Sun Room are seldom closed and the ultimate decision really depends on the amenity which you wish to create.[TOP]
What are the best methods of Ventilation?
It is understandable that a natural inclination would be the introduction of opening vents in the roof. Hot air does rise but even several openings in the roof would be insufficient to satisfactorily exhaust hot air at the height of Summer.Quality roof openings necessarily needs to be somewhat expensive, particularly if it is linked to thermostatically controlled systems and possibly rain sensors.There can also be problems created with a roof opening with regards to security, water penetration during a cloud burst and even an unwanted animal getting into the conservatory.Manual handles and rods to operate these vents can be somewhat difficult to use and a remote electrical control would certainly be recommended but once again, not an inexpensive item.
Large door openings will of course exhaust a considerable amount of heat but should not be considered as a principal method of keeping glazed buildings cool. Large opening windows are very important indeed. Smaller fanlites really only act as Winter ventilation and never if you are out for the day, as the latter is a very popular entrance for thieves. Thermostatically controlled Ventaxias are not only an efficient way to keep your conservatory cool but if thermostatically controlled, will be operating whilst you are not at home, particularly useful if the property is unoccupied for long periods. Trickle vents, sometimes referred to as nite vents, provide a very minimal amount of ventilation but of course are completely secure and most dwelling rooms in a home should have 8,000 sq mm.
Air conditioning is effective but usually expensive to introduce, there are many systems to choose from and it would be prudent for people who are considering this system to obtain an honest appraisal and speak with others who may have similar air conditioning. I would always suggest that air conditioning and heating are separate systems – if you are considering both into one unit, do your research thoroughly and you will also find that they are generally expensive products.[TOP]
What Doors would you recommend for our conservatory?
Very much a personal choice but hinged French doors are by far the most popular. These can provide a generous opening of some 1800mm (6ft. 0ins.) They should be supplied with substantial hooks to secure in an open position. Sliding patio doors will not need an area to open into but always remember the clear opening achieved will be less than half their overall width, due to the handle and door stop, usually a maximum of 1220 (4’0″). A single hinged residential door which should be appropriately wide to allow wheelchair access, does provide an effective opening to your patio and garden but not the best choice for taking furniture in and out. Bi-fold doors are suddenly receiving a great deal of publicity but because of their tracking systems, must be manufactured to the highest standard or they will be troublesome from the very beginning. They are more expensive than other door systems and although it may be appealing to create a very large opening on a particularly hot Summer’s day, it is important to ask yourself how often they would be thrown wide open in the UK. Be aware that when creating a large opening, the roof above should be supported by an appropriate structural beam. This needs to be a specially designed portal frame, which necessarily will be very expensive, to cover correct structural calculations for individual projects, manufacture and design of the portal frame and substantial materials required, which would usually be in Architectural Aluminium.
Once you have chosen the best door, it is essential to carefully think where the access into your garden ideally needs to be. Positioning them at the front, can create a highway through the conservatory and most ultimately choose the shortest route. Unless you are to have a very large conservatory, one door set should be ideal but in the most strategic position.
We have been offered so many different types of glass. Without being too technical, how can we decide the best for our Sun Room?
As glass will generally be the principal material in a glazed building, it is very important your ultimate choice is correct. A quality sealed unit is essential, usually to BS1279/2. If from a leading glass manufacturer, you will find their name inside and the date it was sealed. The glass panels should have an appropriate toughening mark etched into the glass and should be to BS6206A. These two issues are by far the most important. Many people are concerned about a footballer breaking the glass but quality toughened units will withstand the force of Shane Warne throwing a cricket ball or David Beckham bending a penalty. Shane kindly signed a ball for the Dorset Children’s Hospice Julias House which we support and yes, we did throw it at the glass to physically back up our expectations.The principal concern is not footballs in the garden but somebody walking into or falling against a glass panel, so do be certain that yours will be of the highest specificatioBS 6206 A.
Low E’ means that warmth is reflected back into the building by a microscopic coating inside the sealed unit. There are hard and soft coats with some being more efficient than others. We usually recommend a soft coat but many conservatory owners in the temperate South of England have standard glass and certainly use their buildings throughout the year. Heat reflective glass to help keep you cool, comes in many different guises.It is very important that this should be introduced when the glass is in its molten state, rather than a coating applied later. Whilst it would seem the natural choice to have tinted glass there is a word of caution, natural daylight mu will be lost to you, this is generally considered to be three hours in the evening and two in the morning, which is of course thirty five hours over a week and of course all day when the sky is grey! Many people find that although they have incurred additional costs for heat reflective glass, blinds are still required at the height of Summer and you may well suffer a degree of less solar gain when the sun is not shining, which of course is most of our year in this country. Argon Gas can also be introduced to retain warmth but it will not have an overwhelming effect and as it is an inert gas there is concern that over the years it will seep out.
Many tinted glasses are available but there is a word of caution, on a grey day or when the sun has set, they will be a significant darkening of your conservatory. Those who have plain glass, are enjoying many hours of good natural daylight that will be lost to you.
The best air gap should be 16mm or 20mm and specifications are usually written as 4.16.4 or 4.20.4 to indicate that which you would be having.[TOP]
How long should construction of my Sun Room take?
This depends on the size of each project. A conservatory or Sun Room of around 15 sq mm should mainly be completed within 4 weeks, once Planning Approval has been cleared and excavation of the foundations commenced. The principal building works should be finished during the first week. This will involve excavation of foundations and pouring concrete, building dwarf cavity walls with DPC, introducing an internal floor with damproof membrane and insulation plus a concrete oversite. If lead cavity trays are introduced, this would be during the second week whilst the preparatory building works are left to consolidate. Your conservatory installation would follow in the 3rd week and generally take around 5 days. The remaining week is in which the floor would be screeded, internal cill tiles layed and the electrics completed. It is important to be aware, that bad weather may well affect progress and that final laying of your floor finish, decorating and the introduction of blinds plus furniture should not be entertained until the conservatory has completely dried out, during the wet and colder months of the year, this will of course be consequently longer.
Some planning authorities will suggest 10/12 weeks for your application to be approved but most will be Delegated, which means it does not need to go before the main planning committee and our experience is that the general procedure is likely to be 6 weeks. When we are confident Approval is to be Granted, which is for most projects, we carry out the detailed technical survey as soon as the Application is submitted, so we may prepare drawings for manufacture, base construction and all glass units, we are thus able to achieve a completion time much more quickly following the Grant of Planning Permission.
Please call us to discuss your proposed project for advice regarding our Planning experience with many Council authorities for a realistic appraisal.[TOP]
What colours are available and recommended?
There are well over 500 RAL colours to choose from and these can be matt, satin or gloss. Our recommendation is that unless there is any overriding reason, white should be seriously considered, it will provide the lightest and brightest atmosphere within your Sun Room and substantially reflects the effect of degrading ultra violet rays. A dark brown or even green framework, may well mean a far less light and a reduced uplifting atmosphere on the all too often dark grey days and after the sun has set. Please do not only view a darker coloured conservatory on sunny days. Hardwood conservatories should incur only a small additional cost for colours but Architectural Aluminium and PVC may increase the price substantially, particularly if a non standard RAL colour is desired.
There are now designs using all three construction materials, for the frame work, which can be of dual colour. Whilst this opportunity might appeal initially, make sure you view one of these buildings carefully, as because from many positions inside and out, you will often see two colours and from experience we find that this outcome is not always ultimately pleasing, particularly for example if you have white inside and a dark brown externally – some suggest this may appear like wearing odd socks, so do be confident that it will be your best choice.[TOP]
Electrics and lighting. What are the popular and best choices.
This choice of course is very personal and a degree of practical consideration must also be applied. We would generally recommend two or three double sockets, wall lighting that will be sufficiently high not to conflict with opening hinged doors and possibly a further light centrally positioned within the ridge, which of course could be combined within a ceiling fan. It is a good idea to design lighting controlled by a dimmer switch and table or standard lamps are very popular to create a special atmosphere in your Sun Room. An external socket for your garden should be considered, and a flood light or similar mounted above the conservatory so you can sit in your garden room in virtual darkness and illuminate the garden. Some customers introduce up-lights into the hedges and beneath trees, which can be spectacular when relaxing in your garden after the sun has set whatever time of year. Contrary to many suggestions, you are able to carry out a great deal of your own electrical work but to be certain you proceed correctly, visit local Building Control, who will provide you with an appropriately informative document which clearly shows works you may carry out yourselves, even if you are not an approved electrician. However we do thoroughly recommend you use a NICEIC Certified Electrician – see www.niceic.org.uk [TOP]
Will I be adding value to my property?
The golden rule would be to carry out local research, particularly seeking guidance from reputable estate agents. Do not take everybody’s reply for granted, as you may well receive conflicting statements. Our experience very much shows that a good quality conservatory or Sun Room which can be used throughout the year, will be an excellent investment, not only considerably helping when selling your property but also when the property is substantially improved, most of our customers say that they comfortably regained all monies spent. During the many years we have been in business, there have been dozens of customers who we have constructed two or three conservatories for and all have made the same statement when contacting us again, they miss their conservatory hugely and that it very much added value to their property. ‘How soon will we be able to have a new conservatory installed?’ We are regularly asked to carry out a valuation of the conservatory itself on properties which are about to be sold. Unfortunately, we often have to say, if it is a cheap PVC system, generally constructed with window frames screwed together, or a very basic timber design and that the new purchasers are going to be looking at considerable expense to maintain the conservatory or often replace it after a few years following moving in. This means not only would there be no recoveries of monies spent but a distinct put off to a prospective buyer when compared to another property which may only have doors leading out onto a patio. However, a conservatory or Sun Room must be clearly designed and constructed as a true extension to the home.[TOP]
Would it be best to have one company responsible for the whole project?
This would ideally be the case but certainly not essential. If you wished to construct the base yourselves or employ a local builder, that is fine but be certain that the conservatory manufacturer supplies very detailed plans and that the technical survey is carried out by a suitably qualified person.
It is generally recommended that the conservatory itself should be constructed by installers who are absolutely familiar with the system you are purchasing, as a quality building can prove disastrous if not built to the highest of standards. DIY might be considered but is not generally recommended and no dramatic saving achieved.
It may be popular to employ your own bricklayer, electrician, tiler, decorator, heating engineer or blind specialist but if one person is not coordinating the overall project, then complications can be introduced for other participating trades people.
Baseworks and lead cavity trays would usually be the responsibility of a building construction team and the conservatory with its stepped lead flashing and glazing, all carried out by the installation team . . . . the more people involved, then the greater confliction of responsibilities may arise. Not just at project construction time but obviously in the future if problems occur.[TOP]
What are the best choices to finance our project?
If you do not have funds available, then a home improvement loan possibly linked to your existing mortgage, may be the best choice. It is wise to make several approaches to appropriate banks, building societies and secure loan organisations before you ultimately sign any agreement. Independent professional advice is strongly recommended before entering into any loan schemes. Even though these are heavily regulated, many people find themselves paying back far money than they realistically expected, even having attempted to read the small print.
For example ‘nothing to pay for 12 months’ or even longer, must be financed in some way, banks and financial institutions simply do not loan money for free. However attractive the package may be dressed up. Quite clearly as with so many things in life, if it seems too good to be true, it most probably is!
We are naturally keen to have works carried out protected by a guarantee – how can we be sure this will have any substance?
Fancy pieces of paper with elaborate promises will certainly not offer any assured guarantees. Head and shoulders above any confidence you would wish to have for a company’s responsibility at some time in the future, will be to thoroughly check their background, absolutely ensure that they have been in business for as long as they claim, because if it is substantially less than 10 years, it may be a hollow promise. Speak with customers who have had work carried out by your prospective supplier, which was completed at least 10 years before. Prior to signing any order, ask to see a copy of the guarantee, read the small print and ideally get it checked out by a solicitor.
There are numerous organisations offering insurance backed guarantees. Many years ago, we subscribed to one of these, which claimed it was backed by £65 billion group assets. Within the directors, were a Knight of the Realm and a senior MP, a Lord, two well known television celebrities, once of whom was a legendary sports icon and we very much felt that the package offered was secure. After a very short period of time, it closed down and the person running the company had disappeared!!! This is not an unusual set of circumstances, as there are many similar companies who have done the same and their affairs are very much recorded with the DTI. As these guarantees are often available for a very small premium of £30.00 or £40.00 your solicitors may wish to more closely examine claims being made, who is behind the company and why such a small premium would cover substantial building works onto your home for 10 years when you pay vastly larger sums to cover more basic goods and services.[TOP]
What areas do you cover and install in?
Although we are based in Blandford Forum in Dorset we have and do install our products throughout the whole of the South. Some key areas we have worked in include Bournemouth, Poole, Salisbury, Wimborne, Sanbanks, Lilliput, Canford Cliffs, Southampton, Dorchester and Winchester[TOP]
We would like a Sun Room that can be used throughout the year, how do we achieve this and select the best supplier?
This can certainly be achieved, as long as the outlines above are carefully followed. Most importantly of all, there should be insulation within the floor and cavity walls, efficient double glazing and heating to your project. Good ventilation with large opening windows and efficient shading, ideally provided by heat reflective blinds.
When you have selected the best company, ask yourself if you have thoroughly checked the background and most importantly, who actually owns the company. How many previous companies they have been involved with and what their company track records – you will often be amazed at that which can be uncovered, either through your own research, on appropriate websites or ideally via your solicitor. Many double glazing and building companies in the UK have a frightfully short life expectancy and a history of starting up again, with most of their new customers being totally unaware this has happened. These companies are very often promoting the lowest prices, which quite clearly is unlikely to mean quality workmanship and historically a guarantee which is worthless after a few years in all too many cases. You do not need to ask many people whose conservatory has been in place for a number of years to establish that their supplier is no longer trading albeit under another company name
If you would like guidance for your project in relation to any of the items outlined above, please complete the form below and email to our office. We will provide comprehensive answers all backed by our extensive experience and knowledge, for a fee of £25.00 which will be fully refundable should you nominate us to construct your sun room. [TOP]
HOW MUCH SHOULD I PAY FOR MY CONSERVATORY?
It’s unwise to pay too much but it’s unwise to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money, that is all.
When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing you bought it to do.
The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot. It can’t be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it’s well to add something for the risk you run.
And if you do that, you will have enough to pay for something better.
. . . . . John Ruskin (1819 – 1900)