Choosing a conservatory company
One of the biggest decisions you'll face is whether to get your conservatory from a big national brand or a local firm or builder. Our research helps you make the decision based on conservatory owners' experiences.
We've spoken to hundreds of conservatory owners to see what their experiences were with local and national firms, and whether they would recommend them to a friend.
National vs local conservatory firms
There are a few options when you're choosing a conservatory firm.
- Buy off-the-shelf and install your conservatory yourself
- Buy a package from a local conservatory installer
- Buy your conservatory from one local company and get it installed by another
- Go to a major national brand such as Anglian Windows, Everest, Sehbac or Ultraframe for the whole package.
Some people like the bigger brands because of their consistency and experience. Others prefer local firms for their more individual service.
If you go local, you’ll also have to decide whether to pick an independent conservatory firm or a local builder, who is likely to have a wider range of skills than simply building conservatories. This may be good if your build is more complex or larger than average.
When we asked Which? members (2015*) about their conservatory, one in 10 people said they bought it from a national brand – mainly from Anglian.
The majority of people (70%) bought their conservatory locally, with most opting for a local specialist conservatory company rather than a builder.
The table below shows how satisfied people were with their choice of different types of firms and how likely they would be to recommend them to family or friends.
We also asked about the average cost of a conservatory and found that it varied by as much as £5,000 depending on what type of company people went with.
Look for a member of The Conservatory Association. This is a division of the Glass and Glazing Federation (GGF) and has existed since 1995. It is made up of 230 of the UK's leading manufacturers, suppliers and installers of conservatories, and it aims to promote high standards in the industry.
The GGF vets its members, who have to meet a stringent series of tests and follow the organisation's code of good practice. It also offers a free concilliation service in case of any dispute about the level of workmanship.
Also, if possible, pick a . Our endorsement scheme recognises reputable traders who successfully pass our rigorous assessment process. You can find a reliable trader by using our Trusted Traders search tool below.
It's also worth checking whether the company you are buying from is Fensa (Fenestration Self-Assessment) registered. Fensa was set up to improve energy standards, so it's a good way to ensure your conservatory is energy efficient. For those conservatories that need to comply with building regulations, a Fensa certificate is essential.
Use our home improvement checklist
No matter which company you choose, you'll want to make sure your conservatory build sticks to time and budget.
Our home improvements checklist will help you to make sure that you've done all you can to avoid any problems and stick to time and budget.
*(In June and July 2015 we surveyed 893 Which? members about their experiences of buying a conservatory in the last five years and experiences with cost in the past two years.)