Conservatory Snagging

What faults to look for in your new completed conservatory

You're bright spangly new conservatory is finished and the builder is looking at you as you heap (hopefully) praise upon them about what a wondeful job they've done. But wait a second. Before you sign that document and possibly cheque to say your happy with the job have a closer look at the finish on the job. Are you really pleased with it. Is it up to scratch? Are there any snags with it?

The following is a list of potential issues you may find with your conservatory along with some advice in how to spot them.

  • Does it generally look neat and tidy. Anybody who is really good at their job should be proud of the work they produce live by the addage 'if a job is worth doing it's worth doing well'. Maybe I'm too old fashioned?
  • Has all the rubbish and building material been removed.
  • Are the seals around the windows clean without smears of adhesive sealant. This is a sign that the mastic hasn't been applied correctly and perhaps by someone rushing the job. Also look for consistent size bead of sealant with no gaps.
  • Are there any significant scratches on the windows, doors or roof panes of glass or polycarbonate?
  • If you are having any glass fitted to block out some UV do any of them look different from the rest. It may be that the unit has been installed the wrong way round.
  • If the UV or heat protection has been applied as a film or spray coating does it look neat (if visible) and if its a film is it smoothly applied to the glass without ripples or tears?
  • Do the doors and windows undo and close easily. Do you feel like you have to pull the door upwards to close it?
  • Are all the windows and doors level with each other and the rest of the conservatory?
  • Has the correct safety glass been fitted? You can tell by the positioning of a British standard kitemark in the corner of each pane. If they haven't seriously question whether it is safety glass. If a window is less than 800mmm above the ground or glass in doors up to 1500mm above the floor then they probably need safety glass
  • In the corners of the windows frames you will probably see faint diagonal lines which are part of the manufacturing process. Are they faint or have large cracks started to appear. This is a sign of a badly manufactured window frame and should never have been installed.
  • Are the trims, the plastic joins between sections of the conservatory securely fixed in place? Ours fell out all the way round the side and the kids hid them round the garden...
  • Do the double glazed units have any mist in-between the frames? If so it may be sign that the seal that keeps the inert gas or air inside has failed.
  • Does the lead work the waterproofs the join between the house and the conservatory look tidy. It should extend at least 150mm over the conservatory from the house wall and be neatly staggered up the side of the house along the slope of the conservatory roof.
  • Is the guttering continuous around the conservatory without gaps or badly misaligned joints. Does it look like its been forced into position at any point? This is a sign of someone installing it wrongly and then not being bothered to correct the mistake.
  • Where is the water drainoff from the conservatory going to go to? It shouldn't just go on to the floor. At the very least it will go to a soak-away which should be at least 5m away from the conservatory. If its like ours it will be a sink hole visible in the lawn!
  • Do you feel happy with the job? Any nagging doubts or questions, this is the last chance you may get to have someone quickly address them
  • Conservatory Snagging: Fault finding your new conservatory

    "I have a problem with conservatory door that do not lock after being left open for a couple of hours. the company (Anglian) has been twice to adust them but I have no faith in what they do as they reckon it is down to expansion and contraction of the UPVC. The girl on the phone says it happens with all UPVC doors and is not Anglians fault. I contested this as I said it is Anglians fault as it is an Anglian door that I have. Looks like I will have to keep phoning when it happens untill my 10 year gaurantee runs out in 8 years???? "

    Peter Tunn

    "hi i have a conservatory that was built 5.5 years ago and the windows keep getting really wet on the inside and has started to blow one of the window seals,the only form of heating in the con,is a conservatory gas fire,i have a 10 year insurance backed guarantee any ideas thanks"


    "Please can anyone help. I have had a very expensive conservatory built and the draught from the roof is unbearable, being an expensive glass roof. Please can anyone advise, how to detect where the draft is coming from. The company who fitted my conservatory don't want to know. Please can anyone advise."


    "Hi,have a new conservatory that is out of square and not sealed around the floor.the large sliding door is moving violently in the wind so we cannot use the room,freezing.they will seal the base but have said the door will move as their is a tolerance is 1 1/2 inches out of square,should this be acceptable,as the door is no airtight,its awful."

    R Marshall

    "Having paid almost double the price of the cheaper conservatories to get what I thought would be the best, I find now the cold weather is here, there is so mucg=h condensation that the walls are striped with water marks and water drips off the beams. Any ideas?"

    Warwickshire unhappy customer

    "Hi just had new conservitory built last week with a pilkington glass roof but whn its going dark the roof has condensation over it what can we do the floor and plastered walls have drie out now?"

    julie hilton

    "Our conservatory was completed on Friday but in the sunlight the grey antisun polycarbonate roof is full of scratches and smears, we have tried to clean it but its still really bad and looks terrible. When the sun goes down it looks OK. What can we do and where do we stand on this? "

    worried customer

    "We had many faults with our conservatory build by **** but thanks to your site we managed to spot them all (19) bar one. Now the roof panel which is polycarbonate is leaking. I have noticed that the polycarbonate does not meet the pvc panel joist so water just comes straight through."

    Jane Clarke

    "i had sum terrible problems with my new home and conservatory. i called yorkshire new home snagging and they got the builder back to sort it .dodgy leadwork they said . one to watch out for i think"

    mr sparrow. west yorks

    "Good comment. Check before paying!! I am having a conservatory built at present. I have dozens of photos showing bodges and defects. Perhaps the site would like these?"

    David Valentine