Having a conservatory built in London: Recommendations?
October 5, 2005 5:54 AM   Subscribe

Does anyone have recommendations for how to have a conservatory built in London? I'm looking to get a conservatory built in Wimbledon (probably 4m x 4m) and have had a tough time finding valuable independent advice. Thems shark-infested waters out there!

Having been burnt once by an independent vendor who ran off with my deposit, I'm looking for testimonies or recommended research materials or sites -- for instance Amazon sells a book here: called Conservatories, A Complete Guide: Planning, Managing and Completing Your Conservatory which isn't exactly what I had planned but looks useful to at least QA what they're doing.

I tried Which? magazine but a) it doesn't seem to expose even the index of its back catalog and b) I'm not coughing up £8/ month for it! Though I would happily pay for the actual review.

thanks in advance!
posted by kiwi.es to Home & Garden (9 answers total)
You might start looking through this.
posted by StickyCarpet at 6:04 AM on October 5, 2005

Best answer: Until the Wimbledon library closes for refurbishment, which I think is at the weekend, you can get the Which? back issues there. There's a new library by Raynes Park station.

I've not built a conservatory, but I'm starting to think that vis-a-vis contractors of any stripe, I want to see an 0208 land line number...that is, I want to know that they are local. Even better if they have a bricks-and-mortar operation. You can always ask for local references, and then be sure to follow them up (maybe even ask if they mind if you stop by and see the work so you're sure it's not the guy's mum or something).

I've got a scanned-in copy of the "small ads" from the Raynes Park and West Barnes Residents Association at home; I'll try to remember to "you have mail" you later from home. There are some builders listed there.

In my experience, they expect things to be slack over the winter, so you might find some guys who are pretty much ready to go right now.

Your local community probably also has a monthly circular. I used to live in Wimbledon Hillside and there was a resident's mailer that went around periodically. I can't remember if they did adverts. If anything, that's a decent source of fairly activist neighbours who might give you some advice.

I totally agree about the sharks.
posted by sagwalla at 6:16 AM on October 5, 2005

Wow, I learned a new word today, or at least a new definition for a word I already knew! We lunkheaded Americans call those greenhouses and the snooty schools where artsy kids go to learn music are called conservatories. Boy you can imagine my confusion!

Just so I actually contribute to your question, here are some tips.
posted by Pollomacho at 7:52 AM on October 5, 2005

Sorry to perpetuate the derail, but using the word conservatory to mean glorified green house is hardly unknown in the new world, for example the Lincoln Park Conservatory which looks like a piece of Kew Gardens that floated off and came to land on the shores of Lake Michigan. Using conservatory to mean smallish, glazed living area tacked onto the back of your semi det does seem to be an anglicism though.

On a more practical note, given their popularity in suburban England these days there must be plenty of conservatories in Wimbledon -- the trick would be to find someone local who would recommend the builder who built theirs.
posted by Quinbus Flestrin at 9:02 AM on October 5, 2005

I've got a plumber friend in Wimbledon. I'll ask him and see if he can recommend anyone.
posted by blag at 9:24 AM on October 5, 2005

Drive round the streets, see if you can see any houses that are having (or have just had) recent building work. Knock, and ask the owner who did the work and if they'd use those contractors again. If they say no, ask why.
posted by essexjan at 11:21 AM on October 5, 2005

okay...you should have mail.
posted by sagwalla at 12:29 PM on October 5, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks all. I have been looking at conservatories being built in Wimbledon and have had half a mind to ring but you really want to talk to them about 6 months later after the leaks have been fixed :)

posted by kiwi.es at 1:47 PM on October 5, 2005

No luck I'm afraid - both the chaps he recommended are tied up until the new year.
posted by blag at 4:06 PM on October 6, 2005

« Older Help me sleep less.   |   How to raise fishtank PH? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.