What Regulations Govern Double Glazing Installers.
The over-riding Regulations governing the installers of double glazing are contained within the the Government’s Approved Document L (Fuel Conservation) complementing the new energy efficiency regulations, which was issued on 1 October 2010.
This legislation extended Building Regulations to cover replacement window and door installation. From April 2002, all installers and buyers of replacement windows and doors are required to comply with improved energy efficiency requirements. Introduced to reduce heat loss in order to conform to more stringent energy efficiency targets. Glass products will be expected to have lower heat loss, measured by their “U” value.
In addition to these more stringent product specifications all installations are now open to inspection by Local Authority Building Control, unless arrangements for self-assessment have been made.
As the annual rate of replacement window installations averages approximately 2 million, clearly the Local Authority Building Control service could not cope with that level of installation and a serious backlog would occur and the rate of installation would be seriously curtailed. Not only would the public at large be inconvenience but the Government targets on energy efficiency would be seriously affected.
For this reason, a self-regulating system was introduced within the trade to govern and oversee proper standards in accordance with the legislative requirements were being maintained. This overseeing organisation is referred to as FENSA.( Fenestration Self-Assessment Scheme).
So what steps should be taken to ensure that no contravention of legislation is taking place and that the home-owner need not apply for building regulation approval.
Self-certification will cover:
- Where a window is completely replaced (not repaired)
- Making sure the new windows are at least as efficient as the old ones
- The openers must be as good or better than the old ones
- Openers should be configured the same (if the old was side hinged, the new must be side hinged)
- Openers can’t be smaller than the old ones
- Fire escape
- Where safety glass must be used
Plus some others – check local regulations
The self-regulating scheme overseen by FENSA.
FENSA regards itself as the leading regulatory body within the double glazing industry for windows and doors working with thousands of installers throughout the country and offering an overseeing security to the client.
The Government have expressed confidence in the FENSA certification scheme An independent report commissioned by the Government found FENSA to be the most successful of all competent person schemes to date in the UK, across all industries. They are satisfied that a FENSA overseen installer will install products to such a standard as to ensure compliance with the appropriate product requirements and will meet building regulation standards in terms of the installation.
FENSA offer the following
- You don’t need to do anything; they will register your work with the local authority.
- Save you the extra cost and time of arranging assessment by Building Control
- Deposit Protection (if you give a deposit)
- 5 to 10 year guarantees with ‘insurance backed guarantees’ that can run alongside & cover the installer’s own guarantee
FENSA’s role in enabling companies to self-certify compliance with the building regulations and disciplining those who are not complying with the regulations provides you with peace of mind.
Avoid work that is not insured by guarantees (including illegal work that does not meet building reg’s), as to do that could be a costly experience. Using a registered contractor ensures that the work complies in all respects and carries a longer guarantee that the product will remain problem free.