My very first experince of very cheap DIY conservatories was around 1990.I remember it very clearly because it made my shudder,literally.At the time I was working at UPVC window fabricator.A few months before I got my shudder,I'd sold an old guy,(everone looks old to a 21 year old),some UPVC woodgrain bay pole,woodgrain UPVC transom section and woodgrain bead.
At the time he bought the sections, he did tell me that he was very experinced at making DIY conservatories, having made several before.I went to my then boss to ask how much to charge.My boss knew every price in his head of every UPVC section we bought and he obliged with calculator like rapidity.
'What he want to do with these sections?' He asked
'DIY conservatories,his an expert' I replied
'Is it for the Conservatory roof?' he asked
'Yes,his making his own roof' I replied innocently
MY boss, who was an engineer stormed out of the office and confronted our now astounded customer.
'You do realise, that you'll have to sign a disclaimer saying we don't reccomend theses sections for use on DIY conservatories' my boss said
'Er yes' the man replied.
So the deal was done and he paid his money.My boss walked away superoisuly muttering 'he will be back, mark my words'.
Yes, bosse's are often right and sure enough the man returned about 3 months later on a hot July day.
'I've built a few DIY conservatories but yours is different....it's making a funny noise and moving...' he muttered sheepishly.
'Would you please come and have a look?'
As it was local I said no problem,I'll follow you in the van.No need i'll take you and drop you back.His car was a brown Rolls Royce convertible that bit I remember well.We turned up to a very large detached house.
We went round the side and there was the mother of all DIY conservatories.The spirit of British ingenuity shone through.This 'expert had made the conservatory roof from our UPVC sections.When we went inside the very hot conservatory.You could immediatley see the problem and in fact hear the problem.
The Conservatory roof was making a kind of ticking noise,similar to the creaking noise sinking ships make in disaster films.What's more the roof was actually moving.The heat inside the conservatory had caused the woodgrain profiles to expand the co-efficent of expansion must have been massive.
'What should I do' he said
Very assertively I replied 'Did you make that lovely Rolls Royce that ticks like a fine watch'
The man looked at me and said 'It wasn't a good idea was it?'
'No' I replied I'd hate to see the effect a foot of snow would have on the roof,It would probably collapse'
By now The man's wife,who had been present all along spoke.
'I bloody well told you not to do it!'
'Now how much is it going to cost to have a proper Conservatory roof made?'
I went back with a large deposit for a brown aluminium conservatory roof .You couldn't get it in mahogany back then, only brown.
The motto of this story is that when you are planning your DIY conservatories project.Check the specification carefully.Conservatory roofs differ greatly even in the 21st century and if you choose wrong you could end up paying twice.