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How to Steer Clear of Conservatory Cowboys

27th September 2005

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Sheryl Stevenson and her husband spent more than 11 years turning a derelict barn into their ideal home and decided that a conservatory would be the perfect finishing touch.

Instead, their dream turned into a nightmare after “cowboy” conservatory fitters built the conservatory so badly it was declared structurally unsound and completely unusable.

The company had promised a market leading Ultraframe roof system, but instead used a poor-quality roof that leaked and then they refused to answer Sheryl’s calls or make amends.

It’s a familiar story and enough to frighten anyone off the idea of fitting a conservatory despite the huge amount of extra space and light it can add to a home.


How Can You Avoid Cowboys When Shopping for Your New Conservatory?

To help prevent such problems for homeowners, Ultraframe – the leading designer and manufacturer of conservatory roofing systems – has teamed up with The Guild of Master Craftsmen to establish a national register of reputable installers. The Guild Approved Ultra Installer Scheme enables homeowners to select a local installer with complete peace of mind and confidence that they will receive the highest standards of design, workmanship and customer service.

Sheryl Stevenson’s story had a happy ending when Ultraframe replaced her roof and Qualplas of St. Helens, a Guild Approved Ultra Installer, rebuilt the conservatory. Sheryl says: “The Qualplas team were totally professional and completed the job in five days. Having experienced just how much levels of service and quality can vary in this trade, I would really urge anyone considering a conservatory to find a vetted Ultra Installer and demand a conservatory featuring an Ultraframe roof.”

Sheryl Stevenson also received a Certificate of Authenticity with her new conservatory roof. The Certificate of Authenticity is an industry first from Ultraframe and guarantees homeowners receive the quality Ultraframe roof they have paid for and not an inferior copy. The certificate can be included with the house deeds and passed on to the new homeowner if the house is sold. A useful conservatory maintenance manual is also included with the certificate.

Ultraframe has produced the ultimate guide to choosing, designing and building a conservatory. The Ultra Guide to Conservatories is packed with inspirational case studies, striking photography and valuable practical advice making it essential reading for anyone planning a conservatory. It features handy tips and a useful checklist to help you design your conservatory and add value and extra space to your home. 


Recognising a Conservatory Cowboy: Things to Look Out For

Finding a trusted fitter to install your new conservatory is a time-consuming task. Knowing which company to trust can be hard – especially if you’re not sure which warning signs to look out for when drawing up your shortlist.

Can They Provide Testimonials?

A reputable conservatory installer – unless they have only just opened up shop – will have successfully completed projects for customers in its local area. They will have subsequently approached those clients for references.

Look for evidence of successfully projects the installer has been completed by looking at their website and social media pages. They may also be members of Checkatrade, in which case you’ll find additional evidence there as well.

Do They Have Recognised Accreditations?

Reputable conservatory installers will be registered with best practice, membership and ombudsman schemes that continually assess the quality of their work and service to ensure it meets a minimum standard.

Look out for the appropriate logos on the installer’s website, then visit the site and search for details of their membership for your peace-of-mind. Also, check out how that scheme/membership will protect you as a consumer.

Compare Quotes From At Least Three Installers

Even if an installer can supply solid references and holds multiple memberships with different regulatory bodies, you should still compare prices to ensure that you are a getting a fair deal. This means you’ll need to do some research.


Speak to Your Nearest Ultra Installer

Find your nearest Ultra Installer quickly by using our free search tool. Within a minute, you could have access to our accredited network. Your proposed Ultra Installer will be able to offer advice on all our products – including conservatories, replacement conservatory roofs and house extensions.

We can help, too. Complete the enquiry form at the end of your search to request more information about specific Ultraframe products. We will call you with a more detailed response and can arrange to visit you in certain circumstances.

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