Since April 2002, all replacement glazing has come within the scope of the Building Regulations. Since then on, anyone who installs replacement windows or doors will have to comply with strict thermal performance standards.
One of the main reasons for the change is the need to reduce energy loss.
The Building Regulations have controlled glazing in new buildings for many years but they represent only a very small percentage of our total building stock.
It is also essential to improve the performance of the much larger numbers of existing buildings if we are to meet increasingly stringent national and global energy saving targets.
When the time comes to sell your property, your purchaser's surveyors will ask for evidence that any replacement glazing installed after April 2002 complies with the new Building Regulations. There are two ways to prove compliance: -
It is estimated that around 2 million installations of replacement glazing happen every year. If all of them went through the normal Building Regulations application process it would place an enormous burden on local authorities.
It is essential to have a way to ensure that the work is done properly without an unreasonable increase in the administrative and financial burden on installers and property owners.
The answer is a scheme which allows installation companies that meet certain criteria to self-certify that their work complies with the Building Regulations.
The scheme is known as FENSA, which stands for Fenestration Self-Assessment.
It was set up by the Glass & Glazing Federation, in association with all key stakeholders, and meets with central Government approval.
A sample of the work of every installer will be inspected by FENSA appointed inspectors to ensure standards are maintained.
FENSA will also inform local authorities of all completed FENSA installations and issue certificates to householders confirming compliance.
Any installation done by a firm which is not registered to self-certify, or done as a DIY project by a householder, will need full local authority approval under the Building Regulations.
Local authorities will know of all the approved installers in their areas and will be able to identify unauthorised work very easily.
You should note that you, as the house owner, are ultimately responsible for ensuring the work complies with the Building Regulations.
The basic requirement is:
Be sure to ask whether the installer is able to self-certify. If not, either they, or you, will need to make an application to the Council for approval under the Building Regulations and pay any relevant charges.