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Is this acceptable standards? - several photos included


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We have just had a conservatory installed onto the house I am renovating. Im no expert in conservatories, infact I know nothing about them - never had one and never paid much attention to how they are fitted.- Id like to know what you all think to the installation here....I think its a shoddy lash-up myself. The company that installed it obviously think its fine, plus a French neighbour sees no problems....Am I being too picky?

Before work started, the mason who was to do the walls and the conservatory team met to discuss the plans. They agreed on the finish for the walls. One the mason finished,they came back and checked all was well with a laser level etc and were very happy, telling me installation would be no problem.

The slate topping to the walls is slightly uneven as planned for, the frame was placed onto it and levelled. I expected the gaps to be filled with some kind of rubber or foam joint, but they have instead used (going by the number of empties in the bin) over 20 tubes of silicone to plug the gaps.







I used to work with silicone a lot in a previous job and find their finish to be very messy. Im more concerned with whether silicone is the "done thing" for this job? The frame thickness varies depending on how many sliding panes there are in that section, but it ranges from 8 to 12 cm or so, with the gap varying from near zero to up to about 3cm. If this void has been filled with silicone, it will take months to cure - if it fully cures at all!

Then there is the roof panels...


These panels (same at the other side) have been twisted quite severley into shape. They had serious hassles trying to cut sections to fit these gaps and it looks to me like someone got their sums wrong when calculating the general shape. It was originally to be one piece, but they had to fit the join strip and do it in 2 sections. They took quite afew attempts and wasted sheets to get these the right shape.

They sit in a bed of silicone 5cm deep to fill the gaps....


The end is butted directly against the cementwork with no support. The cream alu trim seen here is just glued in place with more silicone and doesnt support the panel in any way....


The outside is "sealed" to the wall with another fat-fingered smear of silicone....



The whole thing cost a lot. If I had paid with my money, I would be very unhappy with the standard of installation. Like I said, Im no expert in this field, but common sense and previous experience of silicone makes me think this will be leaking like a seive witin a year.

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Do they as yet have a sort of "Arisans d'enfer" in la belle France as yet?

If not then perhaps they could use this for the first show of the series! [6]

With all that pre-loading, I hate to think how the roof panels will react under Summer sun...................

"Lash Up", was  an accurate description.

I wouldn't pay a sou for it.


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I'm surprised you need to ask the question Dave!, the surveyor, (who presumably took the dimensions for the conservatory), the macon and the CONservatory installers were singing from different hymn sheets, but the final stage simply should not have proceeded when the macons differences with the measured conservatory were noted.[:-))]

You need to make that call . . .

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Its not my house and its not me thats paying, so Im not that bothered to be perfecly honest - I was paid to rennovate the house, which I have done to a standard I would like to think is pretty high. This is between the conservatory people and the owner as far as I am concerned.

The mason did all the groundwaork, walls and cement banding on the face of the building to plans I drew up after consulting the owner and censrvatory folk - he has done everything exactly to spec and I think his work is to a pretty decent standard. It all seems to have gone wrong when the conservatory people have started - the basic shape is wrong, hence the angles of the end roof panels not matching those of the cement bands on the wall, and the finish throughout is as you can see in the pictures.

Out of interest, what is the normal way to seal between the alu frame and the wall it sits on?

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If ally or UVPC, then usually it sits on a flexible and squashable membrane bonded to the wall: and then has a modest bead of suitable sealer either side.

The roof, of course, should be flashed as normal.

In any case, the point of contact with masonry or whatever, have to allow for taking up the expansion differential: quite obviously, stone/brick/cement expand a wildly different rate than ally or UVPC.



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In the UK a lead flashing carefully cut  in to staggered brick joints, over here a zinc bande de solin held on with a couple of nails (if you are lucky) and then wodges of mortier colle thrown over it to "seal", - in your area four fingers of mastic [:P]

What you have pictured is disappointingly par for the course in my region, and when you consider the price.......... [:'(]

Regarding the irregular gap at the sole plate they could have foamed the gap, trimmed off the excess when cured and scribed in some flat UPVC trims fitted with a neat bead of silicone, that is what I and most window/conservatory fitters would have done but on second thoughts why bother when you are on job & knock and have a van full of silicone!

In the last couple of days I have seen two examples of soi disant "maçons" at work, one was building the flank wall of a house exension, he had not built up the corners first and was not using a line, it was directly in front of me when I was exciting a car park, suffice to say that a half blind man (me) from 50m could see that it was as lumpy as a dogs c o c k, and was getting worse on each row, I dread to think what form it will be when he reaches roof level.

The other had just finished making a combined parking and terrace area using dalles gravillons, at first sight it looked great, as smooth as a marble floor but closer inspection revealed that he had laid them butting against each other with no mortar joints on top of a dry lean mix cement dalle directly onto terre battu. That one should be interesting when it rains and after the next winter if it lasts that long.

What really depressed me was when I took a party of students from the local lycée professional to a journéé portes ouvertes at a Centre de formation d'apprenticesage, they had the best students explaining their metiers and the best examples of work on show. In the building trades with the notable exception  of  menusiers and tailleurs de pierre the standard was absolutely appalling. If this is the best standard that they are tought to it explains why I am so often asked to do work for other people even when it is something I have never done before.

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Looking again at the photos Dave something appears to be very amiss with the roof judging by the way those multiwall sheets have been cut, either the side wall is not square to the building or the roof section has a fall towards the building.

Is there an upstairs window from which you could take a birdseye view photo?

I also note that the roof angle does not match the rendered section, was that done by the maçon for the conservatory or already there?

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The roof is on a slope - not a massive slope but enough to make it tricky to fill in the last panels. Had the roof been flat, the twisted section would have been a simple flat rectangle, and it would have just required a small triangular panel to finish the hole at the front corners.

The angle of the roof doesnt match by a long way - it was the mason who did the rendered band, which has been done according to the plans agreed by him, myself and the conservatory people. The conservatory walls are too low by about 20cm or so, which is what throws off that angle.

I will get some overall photos tomorrow to sow the shape - the basic form is fine, and the whole thing seems to be square, its just these details that have spoiled it.

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There may be one consolation Dave? They should have enough horse poo to grow some lovely roses judging by the cowboys who have thrown it up!

I agree with another poster that I wouldn't part with a centime for a job like that! It really is a mess.

We have seen similar thrown ups to this and not from so called cowboys, but big French companies, that have taken over a year from the time that the large deposit cheque has been cashed to the time they started the bodge. From there it went down hill?

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I couldnt help but show my OH these pics - he is a timeserved joiner so does both new build and renov (£200-£600k region) to a high standard for folks much richer than us in UK.  He agrees the roof is a total *mess* - polite version, and said sand mastic outside, NEVER silicone... We're Scotland, so everything has to be built to withstand the beautiful seasons we get (all 4 in one week sometimes).Even if it takes us 10 years to renovate he wont hear of employing anyone other than a sparky and plumber for bits he or his electrician father cant do/need certified.  With many trades laying off employees throughout UK/Europe it can only get worse.  With many of our suppliers/local firms (I work for a small building firm) going bust if something goes wrong eg a window mechanism breaking or a sub contractor painting the outside of a house and breaking tiles when walking on roof, it is getting tougher to actually get anything done about it.  Some cash cowboy recently did a block paving job nearby which caused us a great deal of amusement, clearly clueless and the result is up and down like a  h o okers drawers - god help them when it rains....

I WAS worried about our project never getting finished with our limited time/holidays but I can see his point now!  Better late than bodged!  I feel really sorry for the owners of this conservatory.

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Here are some overall shots of it. It looks good from a distance (if thats your thing - its not to my taste at all) apart from the silly false arch things in each window pane. These were specified by the owner and obviously no thought went into the fact that as some of the panes are different sizes, these arches are therefor of a different radius, which looks odd.

Its massive - 24m squared.






From upstairs...




My French brother in law was round this morning - known for his high diy skills and attention to detail. His verdict..... "Its shit, but what did you expect? Its been done about as well as you could have hoped for."

He reckons I will struggle to get anywhere trying to convince the installers that its not up to scratch. He reckons its just par-for-the-course round here and certainly nothing unusual. This was confirmed by the neighbours when they were round previously - they saw no problems at all with it.

Then he made a suggestion that I am really kicking myself that I never thought of before....I should have specified all the parts from the company and installed it myself. It was certainly nothing complicated, I could have definately finished it much better, and I could have pocketed the hefty installation fee paid by the owner for myself. [I] Too late now though [:(]

It was done by a large local company - well known in the area for these, windows, pool covers etc etc. They have a massive factory showroom and several fit teams. The stonework was finished last autumn. We agreed the conservatory team would wait till spring to install. They put the frame and roof up in 4 days, had to stop for 4 days of bad weather, then finished it off after a further days work. They got on with the job and certainly didnt drag it out needlessly. I have no complaints about the rate they worked at at all.

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It's not that bad, I kind of agree with Kathy, it's going to be out of proportion its a big room now.

Bigest problem is its newness, personally I would have matched the structure to the colour of the shutters for a more sympathetic look.

Each to their own.

Dave's issues with the fitting, seen worse, to get a really good fit means more hours of fiddling, something people really don't want pay for useually

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A few observations.

The fixed panels and the centre multi-wall one appear to have a zinc flashing correctly fitted so you should insist that they do the same on the side panels although it will look sh1te being a completely different angle to the rendered portion.

The roof support beams look to be overspanned and if so will be particularly at risk from snow loadings, can you advise what section and material they are?

I cant see any gutters.

Go on, give us a clue how much the plastic and glass bit cost, not the groundworks and masonry which is well done and  is rightly a significant cost. I usually find that the price of the thrown up plastic bits is out of all proportion to the real value.

If it is more than ten times the price of the one that I built I will post some photos.

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This project shows one of the instances where a half decent overseeing Site manager could have been able to intervene and prevent installation of a substandard item.

Inadequately designed, Poorly made to the Macons dimensions, Amateurishly assembled and finished.

The vertical panels are inaccurate dimensions to those that the macons have used on the wall of the house.

The angled wall design of the two corners require a more complicated roof design.

The fitted roof and the way it has been constructed is totally inadequate for snow, storm and the base construction.

The over-use of silicon is probably the only thing that could be remedied and is the least of the problems.

Apart from that it does give a large and well lit additional space, while the roof stays on . . . [Www]

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Yes, its massively out of proportion compared to the rest of the house - but the sizes and shape were nothing to do with me. On the plus side, it gives a wonderfully large room with fantastic views - once finished inside it will be a lovely place to sit. Assuming it doesnt get too hot.

The roof sections are a sandwich construction - inner and outer skins are aluminium with a styrofoam type filling. They are perhaps 60mm thick. I saw 4 people standing on the roof during fitting, so its reasonably strong, but whether its strong enough to cope with a foot of snow remains to be seen.

The gutters are the one part that actually impress me. They are integrated into the frame and completely hidden.

As for costs - lowly skivvies like me are not privvy to such matters - although from what snooping I have done I believe it to have cost in excess of 20k euros. Not including the stonework. Personally, I believe the owner has been well and truly reamed. Without lubricant. The more I learn, the more I believe the owner is Bill Gates-style rich. This is certainly no skin off my nose, Im out of here at the end of the year, and the costs are a drop in the ocean for him. This doesnt excuse the poor build quality, but there isnt a lot I can (or can be bothered to) do about it.


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The roof will be auto-portant like the toles bac acier isolant so you will have no snow problems, I would get them to fit a bande de solin over the glazed side panels as they have on the roof sections, glad to hear it has gutters.

I will try and load a photo of mine which cost one 40th.

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Your photos appear to have gone Dave.

Anyway here is mine, this is what a lot of determination, hard work, a little luck and £500 can bring you


Probably about the same amount of (one) man days labour to make.

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