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Replacement windows and doors

All replacement glazing comes under the building regulations. This means that anyone installing replacement windows or doors has to comply with strict thermal performance standards.

If you sell your house your purchaser's surveyors will ask for evidence that any replacement glazing installed after April 2002 complies with the building regulations. The ways to comply are:

  1. a certificate showing that the work has been done by an installer who is registered under one of the following schemes:

    - FENSA Scheme. FENSA stands for Fenestration Self-Assessment
    - CERTASS Scheme. CERTASS stands for Certification and Self Assessment.
    - BSI Scheme. British Standards Institute; or
  2. a certificate from the Local Authority saying that the installation has approval under the Building Regulations.

The self certifying scheme

Installation companies that meet the standards are able to self-certify their work.  They must be registered under the FENSA, CERTASS or BSI schemes.  A sample of work of every installer will be inspected by their appointed inspectors to ensure standards are maintained. FENSA, CERTASS and BSI will also inform local authorities of all completed 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.

Before you sign a contract to buy replacement glazing, 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 your local authority for approval under the Building Regulations and pay any relevant charges.

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