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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 5
    • Furts
    • By Furts 15th Mar 17, 10:17 AM
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    Furts
    You and me have problems with conservatories.

    I can only reiterate what I always say and hope Money Saving followers take heed. The conservatory industry is a huge, unregulated industry. It sails so close to the wind that is barely possible to differentiate between those that are sound and those that are are cowboys. It is an industry stuffed full with dodgy characters, spivs, and charlatans.

    Any consumer wanting a conservatory needs to consider exactly what they are entering into. It truly defines the concept of "Buyer Beware".
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 18th Mar 17, 7:26 AM
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    Davesnave

    Any consumer wanting a conservatory needs to consider exactly what they are entering into. It truly defines the concept of "Buyer Beware".
    Originally posted by Furts
    This thread is more or less dead now, but when these issues are done & dusted, I'll start a new one and put the company name into it.

    My latest piece of news is that the GGF are unable to assist at present, as their conciliation officer is off sick.

    They have just the one?

    That title is going to get tricky if I have to put the GGF into it as well!
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • Furts
    • By Furts 18th Mar 17, 8:35 AM
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    Furts
    Remain savvy and keep yours wits about you.

    It is worrying that matters have progressed this far. Remember who funds the GGF and do not expect the report to be fair and reasonable. It could be thus if you get your procedures in place! A reputable witness, is one step towards this as is minuting and recording/submitting this before the report gets written.

    However without an expert report you are fighting a difficult, if not impossible, battle.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 18th Mar 17, 9:57 AM
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    Davesnave

    However without an expert report you are fighting a difficult, if not impossible, battle.
    Originally posted by Furts
    This is my problem, I'm afraid. Who do I go to?

    It's all very well saying that, but I presume I need someone who knows the industry and who isn't a member of the GGF. Is that correct?

    I'm out here in the sticks, in Devon, and I've no idea how to locate such an individual. I think the'yd have been here by now if I did!

    Any pointers?
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • Furts
    • By Furts 19th Mar 17, 6:46 AM
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    Furts
    Nobody will coming knocking as an expert, as you have found. I once used an expert to contest with a GGF based case. I won, but the irritation was I supplied all the info for the expert, and steered them in the right direction. However, they would argue they knew all this anyway.

    A reasonable punt would be an experienced Clerk Of Works. But bear in mind you are working with a smoke and mirrors concept (a conservatory) and a smoke and mirrors industry. Equally, 99.9% of consumers have little, or no, interest in work being undertaken properly. Consequently supply and demand applies. There are few Clerks of Works because there are few people prepared to engage one.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 2nd Jul 17, 9:53 AM
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    Davesnave
    Update: We eventually got aquote for a different, taller box gutter and the company supplying the roof did some work showing how the existing roof might be adapted to fit to it.

    I say 'eventually' because the conservatory company hung onto the info for 5 weeks after obtaining it. The GGF were at least useful in GG-ing them up so they shared it with us.

    In a nutshell, the taller gutter would have cost over £3k and the company was unwilling to commit themselves to a price for fitting it. In other words, they didn't want to do it.

    After finally managing to speak to an engineer at the roof company, (only took me 3 months badgering!) I decided that while the tall gutter option was possible, it would have been best designed-in from the start. It had never been a viable option at the price we'd agreed.

    Soooo....it became obvious that we'd either have to scrap the conservatory we had on the basis that the company had broken the contract, or accept it and proceed with having it fitted correctly. As we were happy with the way the conservatory was performing in the hot weather, and most other things, except the roof pitch, we decided to go with the second option.

    If we'd told them to remove it, our guess was it would still have been there in September, or later. No good to us.

    This week the fitters returned. With a bit of prompting, they agreed to fit the box gutter exactly to the manufacturer's instructions, by adding noggins and drilling through the braced fixing points. They had the correct angled bit drill etc to do this, but it took 2 entire days; days they'd saved the company initially by doing the job shoddily.

    They also replaced the weird sill, shown earlier, with a straight one.

    We'd still had no liaison regarding guttering along the rest of the rear elevation, just Chinese whispers about needing a certain brand that matched theirs. However, we had our builder ready, and as soon as they OK'd our soffit and fascia materials, he put those up, ready for them. They then added all the guttering, finished off the remaining small jobs and left Friday lunchtime, having spent best part of a week here. We declined to give them a cheque and just wrote "To be discussed" on the bill.

    That discussion will, no doubt, happen in the next week or two. At present, we are minded to pay 20% less than the amount we agreed, in consideration of the product being mis-sold. The delay in our gaining proper use from the conservatory is also a consideration, since it's only now that we can have final plastering/flooring done.

    I doubt very much if the company will pursue us for the rest.

    Anyway, I'll let you know in due course!
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • Furts
    • By Furts 3rd Jul 17, 6:58 AM
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    Furts
    Well done Dave, you got your noggins in the end.

    I doubt the conservatory company will come back heavy handed and demand money. I say this because you are probably mistaken in your comment "days they saved the company initially by doing the job shoddily". Fitting is frequently sub contracted on tight, unrealistic, prices. They are unrealistic because companies know private consumers know nothing about how installation should occur. Further, the vast majority of consumers do not care about this. Hence corner cutting, and bodging are the name of the game.

    This sub contracting means the conservatory company profits are maximised. It follows there is a vested interest in the conservatory company having zero supervision and inspection of the fitters. In turn, the fitters know they are as rare as hens teeth, so the conservatory companies will do anything to keep them on board. When mistakes occur the conservatory company will delay, will BS, will defend the fitters, and will do anything to pee off the consumer.

    All this appears to have occurred in your case. Now for the costs. Because of the sub contracting it is the fitters who are responsible for rectifying defects at their expense. This means the labour costs in your scenario have not been met by the conservatory company. In turn the company is unlikely to come after you for costs they have not incurred.

    All round conservatories are a minefield area of con tricks, b-llsh-t, and snake oil, much as you have found.

    Well done on persisting and being savvy enough to weigh up what was happening. The conservatory industry has a collective, vested interest in people like you remaining in a miniscule minority!
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 3rd Jul 17, 7:59 AM
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    Davesnave
    While I think you might be right about many firms, Furts, in this case we know that the intention to do the work wrongly was there, not only in the fitters' minds, but in the company surveyor's too.

    Way back in May/June of 2016, when we had the roof off the bungalow for refurbishment, our builder 'phoned the company surveyor to ask about modifications, such as the noggins now installed. He was told, "Nothing's needed, just fit a new fascia."

    The builder knew nothing of the way the box gutter would be fixed and took the surveyor at his word. It wasn't his concern or responsibility to question the company further.

    The irony is that we'd have done all the work they've just completed absolutely free.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • Furts
    • By Furts 3rd Jul 17, 11:08 AM
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    Furts
    I am with you on all this. I am not saying it was your builders fault. My point is conservatory companies and their fitting teams operate a system that works to the detriment of consumers. Both the conservatory companies and the fitters have a mutual, vested interest in practices that you have been the victim of. Quality, and good practice are absent because it all an unregulated industry.

    As an update from one of my conservatory problem areas, there was a rebuild signed off a couple of weeks ago. The unfortunate consumer has been through over two years of leaks and defects.
    This resulted recently in around 6 man days of further remedial work. It would have been so much easier for the company and the self employed fitters to have got it right first time. The problem is they both lack the knowledge and the commitment to doing so. Much like your scenario really!
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 16th Jul 17, 6:31 PM
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    Davesnave
    Further Update:

    The response from the MD of the company is now with us.

    With the work complete , he no longer sees any justification for compensation, nor can he discern how they broke the contract.

    He has also decided that we have forgotten a conversation with his surveyor, thus implying that information we were never given was somehow imparted to us.

    It's a load of old cobblers from start to finish. We have a good paper trail and they have sweet fanny adams, so its off to independent arbitration we go .....assuming the GGF can arrange that, as their literature claims.

    There is nothing to be gained from further direct discussion with the MD.
    Last edited by Davesnave; 16-07-2017 at 6:33 PM.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • Furts
    • By Furts 17th Jul 17, 7:02 AM
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    Furts
    I am not going to re-read all the posts, so I may have the wrong gust here. If you have ended up with a functional conservatory one could argue compensation is not due. One could say compensation for what? There could be an argument for goodwill/ex-gratia payment for all the issues, but there is no legal requirement here. Hence the MD could avoid paying, or allowing, this.

    If one says my gist is wrong, and compensation is due, other issues arise. The conservatory industry is an unregulated heap of whatsit, so problems such as yours go with the territory. Bluntly, if one wants professionalism, accuracy, workmanship and so on then one does not have a conservatory built. This means you are seeking compensation for every day practices with the conservatory industry. Clearly it will be difficult to argue a case here.

    I believe you were correct to fight your corner. I also believe the standards in the conservatory industry are abysmal. The problem is 99.99% of the population could not care less about this. They just see sales spin and glossy brochures and willingly accept any dross foisted on them by conservatory companies. It follows that success with GGF is not guaranteed. They are a trade funded body who are aware of what 99.99% of people are happy to accept. It also follows that the MD could be one of those funding the GGF.

    I wish you well, but there is no guarantee you will achieve a victory.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 17th Jul 17, 8:32 AM
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    Davesnave
    I wish you well, but there is no guarantee you will achieve a victory.
    Originally posted by Furts
    I wouldn't read over all the posts either!

    The simple answer is that the company broke the T&C in the contract, which resulted in us getting something different from what we wanted and originally agreed. There is paper evidence that we were misled and misinformed up to the point of construction. Had they followed their own contract rules, we would have no case.

    They declined to make alterations to achieve our desired conservatory without charging over £3k for them, or to estimate a price for the labour, so we deducted the cost they quoted for the alterations, plus a reasonable amount for labour, and accepted what they'd given us.

    We agree that the GGF is a toothless organisation, but going to arbitration will take us away from them and into the hands of people who are independent and know consumer law. We had to use the GGF first. We have followed correct procedure to the letter.

    If it then turns out the arbitrator sides with the company, fair enough, we'll hand over the money.

    However, both sides must agree to use arbitration, so we must first see if the MD is willing......

    This is one way to test his bluster.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • GrumpyDil
    • By GrumpyDil 17th Jul 17, 8:49 AM
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    GrumpyDil
    Just wanted to say good luck and good on you for sticking to your guns. It's persuaded me to stick to mine on a smaller issue related to a leaking roof and repair that hasn't worked
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 17th Jul 17, 9:28 AM
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    Davesnave
    Just wanted to say good luck and good on you for sticking to your guns. It's persuaded me to stick to mine on a smaller issue related to a leaking roof and repair that hasn't worked
    Originally posted by GrumpyDil
    Thereby hangs another tale....

    I'm not convinced the doors they've fitted are fit for purpose either, but that's a minor point which I don't want to detract from the main thust of our complaint. We've had water in, and none of the wind behind it we often receive at 500'.

    Another good reason to hang onto the money, for now!

    Best of luck getting yours sorted.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • Furts
    • By Furts 17th Jul 17, 1:39 PM
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    Furts
    We are moving out of building land and into legalsville, so I can only add a penny worth here. Over the years I have been involved with Conciliators, Arbitrators, Ombudsmen ... and I have yet to believe there is impartial, unbiased justice available.

    You need to reassure yourself on fundamentals. Who is, and how is, the Arbitration being funded? What if it is rigged? How do you then proceed? Plus, do you really believe those names on the GGF list of Arbitrators are really independent? They might be if you picked your own person, and your own quasi legal resolution!

    The dice are loaded against you, so how matters pan out depends on the resolute behaviour of the MD. Keep us all posted here!
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 18th Jul 17, 5:14 PM
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    Davesnave
    Keep us all posted here!
    Originally posted by Furts
    It will take a while, I expect, but once we have a resolution, whatever it is, I will post the result.

    We may not get a resolution, however, because both sides must agree to accept arbitration.

    Who knows? Perhaps we'll have a claim against us in the small claims court instead. I hope so!
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • Furts
    • By Furts 19th Jul 17, 3:32 PM
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    Furts
    To my mind, this shows what a farce GGF is. Both side agreeing to there needing to be arbitration is a joke. It means GGF are washing their hands of any involvement. It means GGF have no resolution ability. It means GGF have no role to perform. It means why does GGF bother to exist.


    CIGA and NHBC are two trade organisations that come in for endless criticism. OK CIGA deserve it, and NHBC are dubious. But at least they both have mechanisms to try to resolve matters, using their staff and their procedures. In addition, consumers know more or less where they stand with these organisations.


    With Arbitration you could end up with a total idiot, yet be able to do nothing about this.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 20th Jul 17, 8:22 AM
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    Davesnave
    Strangely, or perhaps not, the GGF have a new video on their site called "Why Do We Exist?"

    Anyway, in the "rare event" of their Conciliation Scheme failing, there is now the alternative dispute resolution scheme (ADR) The Glazing Arbitration Scheme (TGAS)

    http://www.tgas.org.uk/
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
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