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  • FIRST POST
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 6th Dec 16, 7:26 PM
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    Davesnave
    Conservatory fitting issue
    • #1
    • 6th Dec 16, 7:26 PM
    Conservatory fitting issue 6th Dec 16 at 7:26 PM
    I'm not having much luck at present.

    On and off through the year I've been preparing for the fitting of a new combined conservatory/porch, which was sold to us in January.

    The specs were modified in September when the surveyor made his site visit prior to manufacture, but nothing was changed after that, except the price!

    We agreed a number of changes, and in the absence of a written spec, I supplied an annotated final drawing based on the rather small ones sent to me by email.

    The fitters turned-up last week and within a few hours they'd put in a sill which neither my builder nor I were happy with. It appears that the surveyor made an error, having the sill made as one piece, when there was a change of level clearly shown in the plans.

    Their solution to this was to make a cut and the result is shown in the photo below:



    As I understand it, the fitters intend to put an end cap over the cut end and "it will look fine." There was no discussion with me prior to him taking this decision.

    picture share

    The builder and myself have both queried this and said we're not happy, but the fitter has maintained that this is what had to be done: a different arrangement wouldn't shed water properly.

    I feel I'm being blinded with science (or BS!) here, so I've put the picture up for commentsfrom those familiar with UPVC window fitting etc.

    Meanwhile, the roof has gone on.....but there's another panel in the conservatory part that's Pete Tong as well, so we may be seeing the surveyor tomorrow.

    Do we (can we) ask for a change here? Unlike the other item I've recently sought help with, I haven't paid for this yet!

    What would you do?
    Last edited by Davesnave; 06-12-2016 at 9:03 PM.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
Page 4
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 13th Jan 17, 10:45 PM
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    Davesnave
    Re: Pointing you could try Brick acid but do a test area first.
    Originally posted by leveller2911
    Don't worry, it wasn't really me who did the pointing; it was a member of my extended family. They know it went a bit paridae-up and have said they'll try acid when next here.

    Yes I might have done it slightly better, but I don't know for sure. I've only done stonework and I'm very slow.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • thebaldwindowfitter
    • By thebaldwindowfitter 14th Jan 17, 12:54 AM
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    thebaldwindowfitter
    Thanks but the whole of the rest of the bungalow is like that, and it has been since 1974. So was my last house, built in 1937. No damp in either.

    Ground level will be about 150mm below the bottom brick.

    The corner bricks are wet because water has been peeing down over them from unfinished gutters.
    Originally posted by Davesnave
    Your house which can be clearly seen from your pictures has brickwork below dpc or at least it does on the left hand side(other side looks painted ) which lines through with the bottom course of your conservatory/porch or at least it is in your pictures .you are talking about rendering the blockwork below dpc on your new build to match your house or am i being stupid
    if you think peoples advice is helpfull please take the time to clicking the thank you button it gives great satisfaction
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 14th Jan 17, 7:54 AM
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    Davesnave
    .you are talking about rendering the blockwork below dpc on your new build to match your house or am i being stupid
    Originally posted by thebaldwindowfitter
    Yes, because I'm not aware of a difference between using brick or block in this context, and the rest of the bungalow, with the exception of the extension to the left of the porch, is already rendered that way, with a bell cast at the DPC.

    Now this might not be 'correct,' but it's the vernacular style around here, usually with a thick band of black paint/tarry stuff at the bottom of the render and not necessarily with any DPC, especially on the houses made of cob.

    My 1930s house was done in the same fashion, and again, we never had a damp problem, so it has not occurred to me that it might be problematic. The render will be a very thin coat, just to disguise the fact that it's blocks.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • leveller2911
    • By leveller2911 14th Jan 17, 10:52 AM
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    leveller2911
    Don't worry, it wasn't really me who did the pointing; it was a member of my extended family. They know it went a bit paridae-up and have said they'll try acid when next here.

    Yes I might have done it slightly better, but I don't know for sure. I've only done stonework and I'm very slow.
    Originally posted by Davesnave

    I can lay a coarse of bricks under a door,window frame if necessary but thats my limit... Thing is if its not being done for payment and its a favour from family etc then its really not a problem.
    • thebaldwindowfitter
    • By thebaldwindowfitter 14th Jan 17, 6:04 PM
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    thebaldwindowfitter
    Yes, because I'm not aware of a difference between using brick or block in this context, and the rest of the bungalow, with the exception of the extension to the left of the porch, is already rendered that way, with a bell cast at the DPC.

    Now this might not be 'correct,' but it's the vernacular style around here, usually with a thick band of black paint/tarry stuff at the bottom of the render and not necessarily with any DPC, especially on the houses made of cob.

    My 1930s house was done in the same fashion, and again, we never had a damp problem, so it has not occurred to me that it might be problematic. The render will be a very thin coat, just to disguise the fact that it's blocks.
    Originally posted by Davesnave
    So the brickwork below the render on the left of your new building is that not original ? because it looks it to me and a beld bead at dpc level which is the correct way
    if you think peoples advice is helpfull please take the time to clicking the thank you button it gives great satisfaction
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 14th Jan 17, 8:30 PM
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    Davesnave
    So the brickwork below the render on the left of your new building is that not original ?
    Originally posted by thebaldwindowfitter
    Please, can we keep this thread on-topic. Thank you.
    Last edited by Davesnave; 01-02-2017 at 10:10 AM.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 1st Feb 17, 11:00 AM
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    Davesnave
    UPDATE: We've had a reply, of sorts, from the MD in which he waffles a great deal and doesn't apologise for the shoddy fitting of the box gutter.

    Incidentally, our builder has confirmed that he rang the surveyor to ask about roof modifications to allow proper fixing of the gutter, but he was told, "Don't do anything, just fit a new fascia board."

    So there was never any intention to fit it correctly.

    The MD has offered to put in noggins between rafters so the whole thing isn't just hanging on a fascia board, but I think our next move will make that suggestion redundant.

    He has also offered us a site meeting, which we'll take up in the hope that the people who were lied-to along the way can be present. However, our real intention is to make it plain that the roof angle has to change. So, that'll be a new box gutter, won't it?

    As someone pointed-out earlier, hell will freeze over before they agree to do that, but what other options have they? They can stick whatever caveats they want on the drawings and measurements they supply to their customers, but if I read the Consumer Protection Act correctly, in the absence of 'proper' drawings, customers must rely on what they are shown and told,

    So....we relied on the crap stuff they sent us, which forms part of the contract, and now they can engage with us about supplying it.

    After all, we are reasonable people.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • Furts
    • By Furts 1st Feb 17, 11:15 AM
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    Furts
    Noggins sounds like progress. But the box gutter must be fixed adequately back into these noggins. Hence the fixing of the noggins into the rafters is paramount. Equally the noggins must be appropriate sized, graded, and should ideally be treated and treated cut ends.


    The problem is are the conservatory folks competent to sort all this out ? Are you confident the work can be done, and inspected, without the box gutter being removed?


    My take is you have an impossible situation here. I will re-iterate what I have already said - remove the conservatory roof and box gutter and start again.


    You know you are dealing with cowboys. This time round watch them like a hawk!
    • DaftyDuck
    • By DaftyDuck 1st Feb 17, 7:47 PM
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    DaftyDuck
    Whatever resolution is offered, the roof angle must meet that specified by the self-cleaning glass. Equally, the box gutter must be fitted according to similar specifications.

    Any resolution I accepted would also need an independent insurance backed warranty, at no additional cost. Edit... And an independent inspection on completion, before further payment.

    If they can't meet that, they can't fit the conservatory, can sling their 'took, take it all away, and repair any remaining damages.

    Frankly, I'd personally prefer they boogie off by now, and I'd find a better installer!
    • thebaldwindowfitter
    • By thebaldwindowfitter 1st Feb 17, 11:09 PM
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    thebaldwindowfitter
    Please, can we keep this thread on-topic. Thank you.
    Originally posted by Davesnave
    Sorry i was trying to get my head round why you would do such a thing your job has gone bad from the planning stage by the looks
    if you think peoples advice is helpfull please take the time to clicking the thank you button it gives great satisfaction
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 2nd Feb 17, 5:37 AM
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    Davesnave
    Sorry i was trying to get my head round why you would do such a thing your job has gone bad from the planning stage by the looks
    Originally posted by thebaldwindowfitter
    I can only reiterate that I have lived in houses rendered from ground level since 1987 and I've never had any issues with damp.

    Our part of the job is fine from a structural POV. I will either clean-up the bricks or render the lot, depending on how I feel when the matter in hand is resolved.
    Last edited by Davesnave; 02-02-2017 at 5:39 AM.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • Furts
    • By Furts 2nd Feb 17, 6:27 AM
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    Furts
    The golden rules for your meeting with the MD is crystal clear. I expect you have already done so but here goes and apologies for stating the obvious. Have an independent, reputable, witness present. Introduce the person as such. Issue an Agenda for the meeting. Have your documents available for the meeting. Have minutes taken by an independent person. Issue these minutes following the meeting.

    A local councillor would be a good person to have as the independent witness - perhaps the chair of your Parish Council? Whilst independent if they have some technical nous you can get them to act in your favour - simply by applying tact and strategy. They could even back you and help present your case.

    Basically, you need an audit trail that will stand up to court scrutiny. You also need to physically out number the incompetent MD. In addition you have to hit the arrogance of the MD and show that person you have ammunition in your guns.

    Your argument about roof angles is a weak area for the meeting. Here you have fallen foul of a fundamental con common to many, and perhaps all, conservatory companies.

    Best of luck!
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 7th Feb 17, 9:39 PM
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    Davesnave
    My take is you have an impossible situation here. I will re-iterate what I have already said - remove the conservatory roof and box gutter and start again.
    Originally posted by Furts
    Well, it looks as if that might not be quite so impossible now, as I've found a legal slip-up.

    The company have breached their own T&Cs. Let's face it, if they mess up in a practical sense, their paperwork is likely to be similar, and it is.

    The T&C state that anything not in the original contract must be itemised, the price agreed and then signed-for by both sides.

    The gutter isn't in the original contract, or in the later addition to that. It must have been forgotten!

    So, as I read this, we can't be forced to have it.

    We have given the firm a fortnight to come up with a plan to achieve a 10 degree pitch with a different gutter. Our hope is that they can't, or won't, comply. We'd really prefer another company.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • Furts
    • By Furts 8th Feb 17, 9:50 AM
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    Furts
    I have vague recollections of you posting months back saying something was not priced in, or the figures were not adding up. So perhaps this is not a complete surprise?

    What you are experiencing is par for the course from conservatory/double glazing companies. I reiterate comments made before - you are dealing with an unregulated industry with countless unskilled, semi skilled and dubious characters working in it. You have experienced this for yourself with all who have been involved. If you get another company in it will be more of the same, but this time round you will be wiser after the event.

    You have three scenarios to take on board. First you have posted nothing to say 5 degrees is an unacceptable pitch. What happens if the company refuses to increase to 10 degrees? Second whose design concept and idea was it to introduce the vent units? Was this your idea? Third where do you stand on the structural works to your roof? They were never done before the conservatory was built.

    5 degrees should, in theory, be adequate for a roof in typical conditions - which is why I have emphasised what have you established to condemn this.

    I am dealing with one at present - this is failing not because of the pitch but because of sag. The seals cannot cope with the deflection. Not an area you have commented on but what have you checked and confirmed here?
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 8th Feb 17, 10:27 AM
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    Davesnave
    Thanks for acting as Devil's advocate.

    At 5 degrees of pitch, the easy clean glass doesn't work. Pilkingons have published info on this.

    10 degrees is what they said they were building, so that's what we understood we were paying for and we have a right to insist on that, or any other pitch below that, if good reasons exist for going lower. The point is, we were never consulted.

    I have on record from the manufacturers' technical dept that <5 degrees is considered poor for water entrapment with roof lights and they issue warnings, so 5 degrees itself is marginal. A person exercising 'care and skill' in design would advise on this, wouldn't they? 4.9 degrees isn't some magic figure.

    But in any event, our info was that we were getting 10 degrees.

    Our position on the roof mods is that our builder offered these in May/June last year when the tiles were off, but he was told not to do anything. Seems plain enough to me where responsibility lies there. He wasn't to know what the company planned to do.
    Last edited by Davesnave; 08-02-2017 at 10:37 AM. Reason: added info.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • Furts
    • By Furts 8th Feb 17, 10:42 AM
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    Furts
    If you have easy clean Pilkingtons, and you have this in writing, then you have established a case. Good.

    The 10 degree we jointly suspect was lowered to reduce cost with the box gutter. But the box gutter detail looks completely wrong for your conservatory...

    The roof light detail has always surprised me. Not something I would be a fan of. If you have established a minimum pitch here, and have this in writing, then good.

    If it ends up in court you will need a witness statement from your builder saying he was advised not to do anything. A weakness here - the builder should have known much better than this! However strap detail box gutters are available, so push along these lines.

    Your issue could be sag - and all the more so because your box gutter is not correctly fixed.

    I assume you have done your maths and established the as built pitch is...whatever it is!
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 23rd Feb 17, 9:03 PM
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    Davesnave
    UPDATE

    We've now met with the company MD and surveyor.

    They have accepted responsibility for inadequate fixing of the box gutter and tacitly agree that we were never consulted or informed over the box gutter details, thus breaking their own contract.

    They do not dispute that self/easy clean glass needs 10 degrees to work properly, but argue that as it's the default provision, that's irrelevant! We have 5 degrees.

    They think a tall box gutter would be 'obtrusive.' We think form follows function and that their aesthetic views aren't more important than ours.

    They have agreed to replace the strange cut off sill on the porch with a straight one.

    Despite this, after 90 minutes of to and fro, all of it recorded digitally by both parties, no overall conclusion was reached. Instead, MD will look into the cost of a new taller box gutter, then either offer to alter things to meet our expectations, or instead, offer us a cash discount.

    We are pretty sure he will try the discount route next as it will be the easiest/cheapest option.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 14th Mar 17, 8:48 AM
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    Davesnave
    FURTHER UPDATE:

    It's now 3 weeks since the site meeting.

    No offer has been received from the company. However, that's academic now, as we sent all the details to the GGF after two weeks of silence.

    I'll post again when anything significant happens.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • Furts
    • By Furts 14th Mar 17, 10:40 AM
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    Furts
    FURTHER UPDATE:

    It's now 3 weeks since the site meeting.

    No offer has been received from the company. However, that's academic now, as we sent all the details to the GGF after two weeks of silence.

    I'll post again when anything significant happens.
    Originally posted by Davesnave
    Your conservatory company are broadcasting loud and clear regarding their contempt for reasonable standards of design, contempt for reasonable standards of workmanship and contempt for concepts of warranty and customer service.

    I do empathise with you - been there myself in the last week.

    What have you got to loose? Name and shame the company so others will be warned before considering doing business with this bunch of cowboys.

    Even if you drive them out of business, which might be a good move to all money saving consumers, I trust you have plenty of money held back to sort out the mess you find yourself in.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 15th Mar 17, 9:32 AM
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    Davesnave
    I won't drive them out of business. They get mixed reviews, but on the whole people recommend them and they've been going for 40 years with the same directors.

    This is part of the problem; the world's moved on since 1977! Their communications, show what a huge divide there is between my/their understanding of consumer legislation.

    The funniest thing to come out of all this was when I took up the suggestion to get a local councillor to chair our meeting. Picking one I know well, I gave him a call. He replied that he'd love to, but it wouldn't be advisable, as he had 'escorted' the firm's MD off his premises when they'd messed-up big-time at his house back in 2002. He has a file like mine. It's even the same colour!

    My councillor friend didn't get his roof sorted by them. In the end, he added a steel structure and put up a GRP roof. As a consequence, his living room is very dark.

    I will name them, but I want to hear the GGF's take on this first.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
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