Find out what conservatory owners really think of local builders and conservatory companies compared to national firms such as Anglian Windows and Everest.

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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. There are a few options when you’re choosing a conservatory firm. You can:

Buy off-the-shelf and install your conservatory yourself Buy a conservatory and installation package from a local installer Buy your conservatory from one local firm and get it installed by another  Go to a national brand, such as Anglian, Everest, Sehbac or Ultraframe, for the whole package.

National vs local conservatory firms

Some people like 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.

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Not all companies selling conservatories will install them. Make sure you check whether the company you buy your conservatory from will also do the installation. If they don’t, get recommendations for local installers and check whether installation is included in your quote. To help you ensure you’re asking all the right questions and getting the best service for your money, Which? members can download our handy conservatory checklist, which includes all the questions you need to ask.

Conservatory accreditation

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 conciliation service in case of any dispute about the level of workmanship.

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.