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Conservatory Installation, Budleigh.


It was with a mixture of trepidation and excitement that I decided as a bond was maturing, to improve my recently bought home with a conservatory.  I decided at first to go for what I considered to be the “safest option” and obtain quotes from ‘National firms’. Three were selected to give me a feel for price and quality and very quickly realised I had made a poor decision. Why? I experienced the “Hard Sell” with smartly dressed sales persons/estimators doing it all on computer in front of me and then wanting an instant decision! Another company arrived at 7pm in the dark to measure up even though I had told them I would not allow that as it presumed i wanted a conservatory of the average type. Another actually called me pedantic as I would not bend to their requirements in size and materials.  Having thrown all their salespersons and quotes out of the door (metaphorically speaking) I sat down and had a drink and a rethink.

I decided that I would “Go Native” and try two local firms who I suspected would be more costly than National companies, and possibly would not meet my specifications. So I chose family firms as stated in the phone book feeling a trifle smug that I would be supporting the local economy.

The first firm I chose was charming and helpful but while I thought they had grasped what I required did a real no-no and forgot to send me a computer print out of the dimensions and look of the finished product with the quote.  I waited and the days passed with it sitting upon the estimators desk for 8 days before the firm realised why they had not heard back from me.  I decided that attention to small details was an important hurdle for a firm to overcome to have my full confidence and they had failed. The quote though was good and beat the National firms hands down. So my last choice of firm was make or break, and if not good enough, I would forego the conservatory.

Why you may think, all the fuss? Because the size I thought I needed was large, and I had difficulty in accessing it as my doors from the dining or sitting room were on the side of the house and so an L shape conservatory to lead to the main section might be the only answer. No easy build as there was the patio to remove and steps to the lawn etc.

So at 10 am one day along came firm number 5, “Select Windows” based in Honiton & Ottery St Mary and represented by the firm’s owner/ M.D. Philip  Ross.  I had had these four fairly traumatic experiences prior to his visit and now believed I was very demanding and a difficult customer. 

Philip sat at my kitchen table and listened to the fact I wanted three quotes for three different sizes and designs of a conservatory. He did not bat an eyelid! We discussed roof design and the law regarding sizes allowed with and without planning permissions etc. Roof type materials and their costs as rain noise can be awful with plastic and minimal with glass. The type of glass was of importance and the number and type of windows, door positions, central heating and lighting needs etc.  Access was discussed and he gave me several ideas to think over. Philip measured up and told me I would have three quotes promptly and advised where I could view his conservatories in-situ in a home situation, or at his site in Honiton or at Otter Nurseries, Ottery St Mary.

He left and I was optimistic but thought the price might be more than I wanted to pay as I has realised if you were going to make a major addition to a home, make it a good one!  I had told him I had had a quote but not what it was.  The following morning at eleven am there on my mat was a properly bound and detailed description of the various sized conservatories we had discussed, with detailed dimensions and computer generated plans and designs. The quotes were appropriate for the sizes and shapes, and had been subdivided to take account of the options of all glass, part brick base, different placed and sized doorways and the different options in materials.  I was astonished at the detail and the fair pricing.

The one L shaped size was very large and so on reflection I changed my specification and rang to ask for a quote to remove a window in the rear dining room to make the doorway into the conservatory, and to replace the side doorway with a window and  then to have a rectangular conservatory at the rear with double doors and radiators and lighting and brick/block base etc. Next day that quote with the computer pictures and dimensions arrived.  I rang and asked Philip to call which he did that afternoon on his way to another project and having confirmed all in the quote documents and noted my need for the maximum size of 7 metres by 4 metres, we clinched the deal and I signed the contract without a deposit.

Three weeks later the work started and the men brought in a small digger and worked hard to keep everything a tidy as they could and to cause the least hassle to me or the neighbours. Weather permitted the footings and brick/block work and the doorway knocking into the dining room to be completed and the window installed with the necessary plastering completed, all in two weeks. Then the next team took over to install the glass conservatory itself taking four days to do a superb job. The first team then returned to finish the floor screed, the plastering and outside rendering and to complete the path and retaining garden walls. The Firm’s electricians installed my lighting, a plumber the radiators and connected through to my CH system. The path was cleaned and the doorway into the house fitted with a matching step- over to blend in with the rest of the property.

I undertook the painting of the plasterwork as it needed to dry properly, and to have tiles laid to the floor as three weeks had to elapse to ensure it was not damp. These were extras but I now have a large, sunny room the whole width of the house facing the back garden, a wow factor to the house and a retreat on sunny and dull days.

I cannot recommend too highly this family firm, who are fair and prompt in their dealings with the customer. Who offers a high quality product at a fair price. Does not hassle or try to hard sell their goods, and listens to your needs and hopes. The staged payments ensured I was satisfied with each stage of the project before I had to hand over the next payment. All questions were answered, all materials to a high standard and all the workmen were pleasant and hard working. 

This conservatory was cheaper in price than National firms quoted but of better specification and it will be a joy to me for many years to come. So Thank you SELECT WINDOWS very much indeed.

Catherine Hawkins CBE

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Select Windows
Units 7/9, Devonshire Way
Heathpark Industrial Estate
Honiton | EX14 1YF
Otter Nurseries Display
Gosford Road
Ottery St Mary
Devon | EX11 1LZ
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