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Conservatories Customer Testimonial
The Truth - including both good and bad - how it happened
Some years ago, my Mum and Dad decided to expand the family home again, and the latest improvement would be to expand the morning room to have a luxurious modern conservatory extending from the already existing perfect location for a conservatory on a South-facing wall in a sun-trap.
Some shopping-around was done first, and this eliminated companies that were too pushy in their salesmanship or too shoddy in their workmanship, and the choice from the resulting shortlist was then decided in terms of value for money. Anglian won the contract, and then we entered into agreements about how the whole construction project was to be completed. For example, I knew that there was one special particular location which would give the conservatory windows the optimal view of a local tower landmark, Boston Stump, so chalk lines were drawn and agreed upon by the Anglian representative. The Anglian representative had a shrewd eye to business and thought we would allow the conservatory to be constructed with just a poky little hole of a door to get through to it from whence the morning room window was to be removed, but we insisted on having a full RSJ Lintel and this was agreed upon!
The vertical height measuring expert came along with a measuring stick and compared the floor height inside with the outside ground level and wrote down some figures on a pad. Unfortunately he failed to take into account the fact that the family home had several layers of old thick ancestral carpets and this threw off the vertical measurement by half an inch or so. This was only discovered later, but was rectified thanks to some skillful engineering on the part of the people who were laying the *cosifloor and concrete, and by the subtle thinning of the cosifloor and the addition of a near-undetectable ramp, the conservatory perfectly fitted the house without disjoint of any sort.
When the builders were about to cut the outside house walls they had got something written on the plans, but this didn't match the already-agreed chalk lines on the walls, so this had to be pointed out, but once that was corrected, work proceeded and the conservatory was now in the correct position both laterally and vertically.
The builders, to their credit, were very helpful when a special request was made to help to salvage the old window sandstone window sill from the window that was to be removed. It was with considerable skill that the disturbingly flexible sandstone sill was extracted and put somewhere safe. So if anyone wants to buy an intact 100 year old sandstone windowsill, it's on Zyra's Bazaar
The foundations for the conservatory were dug about 4ft deep, maybe more, certainly far in excess of the requirement to support the expected load. We'll not blame the builders. They are compelled to dig them that deep regardless of the sense or nonsense of it, because of various too-many-rules laws in the UK!
However, at least good sense was seen on the guttering, where we managed to get the rainwater to be directed into a water butt for the garden, rather than wasted.
The completed Anglian Windows Conservatory is a great success, and has the perfect view of the distant tower, and being a luxury double glazed conservatory on a South-facing wall in a sun-trap it is remarkably good at attracting heat. So, in the cold of the UK Spring and Autumn, when people have their winter coats on, when they are invited into the conservatory they remark on how warm it is. In the heat of summer, it gets so hot that it is no place to keep a vinyl record collection, and the sun can easily melt the plastic leaving the discs with a kind of flouncy edge which gives the stylus far too rough a ride. You can see why mp3 and ogg vorbis took over, can't you?
I think the only regret with the Anglian Windows Conservatory was that the company had the annoying habit of pestering everyone on their "previous customers list" to see if they could sell them anything else. It was pretty obvious we already had got an Anglian Windows Conservatory as they had fitted it! As for double glazing, this had already been fitted by Everest some years ago, and really, Anglian should have noted that fact in their file once they had been informed. The house had no need of the fascias and soffits being done, but that's not the point. Anglian should have taken the hint and stopped being a nuisance! Plus, it is no excuse to say "If you don't want us to call, you should join the Telephone Preference Scheme" as it is a company's own responsibility to manage their own telephonic pollution problems.
I trust the Anglian Windows company has reformed their ways since then, and there will be no repeat of this kind of nuisance.
Leaving aside the annoying phone problem and the special adjustments that were required initially to get the conservatory positioned exactly right, I consider the project a great success. It's been many years now, and the conservatory has been resilient against weather, plant growth up the outsides, damp, and other problems. It is a quality construction and should last for a long time to come and will add considerable value to the house!
The window locks are so strong that during an experiment in sound, where microphones had to be hung through the windows, one of the lock bolts completely severed a coaxial microphone cable all the way through. Great care had to be exercised in placing the alternative satellite cable so it did not get severed. The conservatory is very secure, and would be a poor choice of location for attack by intruders. Plus, because of the clever design of the window locking mechanism, the windows can open both vertically to allow ventilation, or horizontally to allow access, or can be locked leaving all the integral dead-bolts in place.
The glass is toughened and made in modules with a layer of inert gas inbetween. These are so strong that when an explosion went off right outside the conservatory during an experiment to make diamonds, the outer pane of toughened glass shattered leaving the inner pane intact. Plus, as it's a modular system, the Anglian Windows company easily replaced the entire module for a sensible fee which was paid for by the home insurance
The conservatory roof is so strong that when a piece fell off one of the chimney pots and crashed into the conservatory roof, it left only a small hole, and only in the outer layer, leaving the inner layer intact. The small hole was easily patched up with a piece of perspex. To see the strength of a conservatory roof at its best, you need to see it in winter. Thick snow piling up on top of the conservatory roof gets shrugged off by the steep roof slopes, and the roof even stands heavy impacts from snow avalanching off the higher roof of the house. You might think of conservatories as something for nice weather, but remember they've got to be able to stand up to winter conditions too.
When moving house, the antique dinner tables were taken out through the conservatory windows, which was quite a relief, as they would not fit through the standard sized doors (they had been got in through the old window).
Time always takes its toll on any construction, but the maintenance required on the Anglian Windows conservatory has been minimal. It's never needed painting, and only seldom cleaning. It is a remarkably resilient construction. It's never leaked, sagged, subsided, or shown signs of age. Probably the only long term problem has been the minor point that walls that had previously been outside were now inside and didn't take well to having wallpaper on, and the paper tended to peel off with some snowlike flakes of brick "salt" coming off, but this is no big thing really.
SO, there you have it, a customer testimonial of Anglian Conservatories. Mainly good, some bad. But that's the way the truth usually is.
* Cosifloor is a special type of stuff consisting of a layer of polyurethane underneath compressed chipboard. The result is a floor which feels a bit like wood but has good insulation versus the damp ground beneath.