Peace of mind with FENSA

2 Sep

A FENSA registered installer guarantees your job meeting Building Regulations. The installers have been vetted and undergone inspections to enable them to self-certify that their work passes Building Regulations.

FENSA is the first glazing self-certification scheme to start in the UK, they have 12 years of raising standards in the glazing industry since it was established in 2002, and it continues to work closely with government and industry. FENSA installers are continually vetted and inspected to ensure that compliance with the Building Regulation standards is being maintained.

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On completion of the work you, the homeowner, will receive a FENSA certificate soon after the job is finished. This needs to be kept safe as it will be requested by the solicitor when you come to sell your home.

Benefits of FENSA

Other than knowing your windows and doors are being fitted to the high standard demanded by Building Regulations there are more benefits of using a FENSA installer:

  • Offer Guarantee/Warranty: to cover the costs of completing rectification work in respect of defect.
  • Insurance to back up the guarantee/warranty in the event the installer ceases to trade.
  • Deposit Protection
  • Replacement certificates – Can be ordered online. FENSA can offer support to your solicitor when tracing missing certificates during the sale of your property

How to get the best from your installer

Here are some hints and tips for when you are searching for your window and door installer (or indeed any contractor), and some practical steps to take when dealing with them.

  • Get recommendations from family and friends.
  • Shop around and ask for references – and follow them up!
  • Get everything in writing – including cost estimates, timeframes, product selected etc
  • Ask three installers to quote for your project.
  • Ask them what insurance they provide – for things such as deposit protection.
  • Check your installers’ credentials. If they claim Competent Person Scheme registration they will be listed on the relevant website: www.FENSA.org.uk

If you decide to go with an installer not FENSA registered you will need to organise an inspection of your installation job by your local building inspector. This can cost up to £250. If the installation is deemed to be below standard then the homeowner will be responsible for sorting out any problems. This is why we highly recommend using a Competent Persons Scheme like ourselves.

Beware Rogue Traders

We would also like to make you aware that not all window and door companies who claim to be registered with a Competent Persons Scheme actually are. So the only way to guarantee that the company you are using achieves this standard is by searching for your installer through a Competent Persons Scheme website such as FENSA. We have a tool on our website which allows you to search for a FENSA registered business. http://fensa.org.uk/asp/member_search.asp

For further information about FENSA visit the website www.fensa.org.uk

Or contact the FENSA team on 020 7645 3700 or enquiries@fensa.org.uk

New IBG requirement

26 Jun

This month it became a Government requirement for Competent Person Schemes within the replacement glazing industry in England and Wales to ensure that their Registered Businesses provide all replacing windows/doors domestic customers with an Insurance Back Guarantee (IBG), rather than just offer one.

This change applies to all Competent Person Schemes not just FENSA.

To help its Registered Businesses FENSA has compiled a list of Approved IBG Providers (Insurance companies) to fit the new IBG. All insurance companies listed have been the subject of due diligence by FENSA that has involved checking the cover provided in the policies that will be sold to homeowners.

FENSA Approved Insurance Providers
(In alphabetical order)

GGFi Limited
ggfi.org.uk
T: 0870 850 8281
info@ggfi.org.uk

Home Improvement Protection (HIP)
homeimprovementprotection.com
T: 01359 252202
admin@homeimprovementprotection.com

HomePro Insurance
homepro.com
T: 08707 344344
enquiry@homepro.com

HPL
T: 01268 779782
sales@hpl.uk.com

Independent Warranty (IWA)
iwa.biz
T: 01604 604511
enquiries@iwa.biz

Installations Assured
iaibg.co.uk
T: 01234 841110
enquiries@iaibg.co.uk

Insured Windows Guarantees Ltd (IWG)
iwgltd.com
T: 01924 783650 or 08000 730506
enquiries@iwgltd.com

IPWFI Insurance
ipwfi.co.uk
T: 0844 800 4125
info@ipwfi.co.uk

NHG Guarantees
nhg-guarantees.com
T: 07917 448688
membershipsales@qanw.co.uk

Plastic Window Federation (PWF)
pwfed.co.uk
T: 01582 456147
ins@pwfed.co.uk

Quality Assured National Warranties (QANW)
qanw.co.uk
T: 01292 292701
membershipsales@qanw.co.uk

The Consumer Protection Association (CPA)
thecpa.co.uk
T: 01462 850062
info@thecpa.co.uk

The Underwritten Warranty Company
Trading As The Insurance Backed Guarantee Company
dgcos.org.uk
T: 08450538975 or 08456343771
info@dgcosadmin.org.uk

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Due to the new requirements some IBG providers will no longer fulfil the necessary criteria to sell these policies. FENSA is continually working with insurance companies to enable them to become part of FENSA’s Approved IBG Provider list.

If your insurance company is not on FENSA’s Approved IBG Provider list, you will need to make arrangements to switch supplier to one of FENSA’s approved companies as soon as possible.

All FENSA registered businesses have been supplied with the updated list directly.

If FENSA Registered Businesses have any questions about IBGs please telephone 020 7397 7208 or email transitions@fensa.org.uk

 

FENSA at The FIT Show 2014

19 Jun

The Fabricator Installer Trade Show saw its second year at the International Centre in Telford and FENSA was part of the three-day event.

The number of installers visiting the show seemed to be down slightly on last year but the number of visitors wanting to speak to the FENSA team was high and we dealt with a large number of enquiries.

The level of enquiries was to be expected given the number of changes for installers this month. Transition to Certified Installers, Minimum Technical Competence (MTC) compliance and changes to IBGs all came into effect just prior to The FIT Show on 6 June.

FENSAstandstart

To give you all a summary of the types of questions the FENSA team were asked here are a few below:

Transition to Certified Installer

Q: My FENSA account has been frozen because I have not passed a Transition inspection. What do I do?

A: You need to book a Transition inspection between now and 1st September 2014 and your FENSA account will be unfrozen. Ring or email the Transition Helpdesk – Tel 020 7397 7208 or transitions@fensa.org.uk.

Q: But you checked my documentation when I joined!

A: If you joined FENSA after July 2013, then you do not need to undergo the Transition Inspection, this is only applicable to companies who have joined FENSA prior to Jul 2013. Once you have passed it, you do not need to have them checked again for another 3 years.
 

Q: I have my Transition Inspection documents ready but am waiting for my MTC card before I book the inspection.

A: Please do not delay and wait to get your MTC done first. Both the Transition Inspection and the MTC need to be done at the earliest opportunity. They are two different things – Transitions assess the technical competence at the company level, MTCs are at the individual level.

MTCs

Q: What do I need to do to sort out MTCs?

A: One solution is to register for the FENSA MTC Card – either through experience or qualifications. At FIT we took installers next door where GGF Training could sign people up there and then. If you’d like to book in then please contact GGF Training today (tel/0844 848 2855 or training@ggftraining.com)

Q: I’ve been doing this for 40 years why do I need one?

A: You don’t need one if your work is approved by Local Authority Building Control. If your employer is self-certifying with a scheme like FENSA, you are required to comply with the industry’s MTC requirements. Your industry experience still counts – a minimum of two years is required which is self-declared and verified by taking a Knowledge Test and an Onsite Assessment.

IBGs

Q: Is FENSA making money out of all these IBG policies now required?

A: FENSA does not earn a penny from the sales of IBGs – either now or in the past.

Q: My insurance company is not on FENSA’s Approved IBG Provider List. Do I have to change my IBG provider?

A: Yes. You will need to immediately contact your insurance company and advise them of the requirement. You may find that they are in the process of approval and then you need not take any action. If your supplier is not prepared to apply to become approved by FENSA then you will need to change your supplier.

If you need any further information on any of these topics please call:

Transitions and IBG – FENSA on 020 7397 7208

MTCs – GGF Training on 0844 848 2855

 

Master Fitter Challenge

ConwyValleymasterfitter

In addition to meeting our registered businesses and offering guidance on the topics above the main highlight of the show was the Master Fitter Challenge. FENSA sponsored the event as part of its commitment to promoting best practice among fitters.

The eight finalists were David Pulford and Jack Elm from Everest, David Keats and Jonathon Mountford from DK Windows, Steven Price and Terry Griffin from Conwy Valley Windows and Conservatories, Karl Kinsey and Paul Casbolt from Yes Glazing Solutions, Scott Higgs and colleague from Walkers Windows, Dave Eagles and colleague from Xavier Windows, Craig Hanson from Pennine Trade and Retail and last year’s winner Arron Clegg working with his father Andy from Eco-Sash.

Spectators looked on as the finalists competed against one another over the first two days of the show. An individual GQA inspector was assigned to each team who were each tasked with replacing a bay window, installing a residential composite door and fault-finding a second resi-door.

Taking this year’s title were Karl Kinsey and Paul Casbolt from Yes Glazing Solutions with runners ups prizes going to Conwy Valley and Eco-Sash.

YesGlazing Winner

We would like to congratulate all the winners on their success!

FENSA announces sanctions for non-compliance

4 Jun

FENSA has received confirmation from UKAS* that it has met the Conditions of Authorisation required by the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) – the rules under which FENSA operates. This means that it has been accepted that a successfully transitioned FENSA Certified installation company will have met all the competency requirements of Transition – including for staff competence.

The FENSA certification approach requires the introduction of a sanctions policy that will be levelled at those registered businesses that do not complete a Transition Inspection by the deadline of 6 June 2014.

These are the details:

A non-transitioned registered business will find its FENSA account frozen from 9 June (and will be informed of this at the point of notification on the FENSA website). To unfreeze the account, the installer will need to contact FENSA via the dedicated Transition Helpline or Email (020 7397 7208 / transitions@fensa.org.uk).

These businesses will be required to make a commitment to undertake a Transition Inspection before the 1st September 2014. Immediately they make that commitment the FENSA account will be unfrozen. The FENSA inspections body (the BBA) will then be in contact to arrange this Transition Inspection.

Registered Businesses with ‘frozen’ FENSA accounts will be prevented from registering notifiable installations and will no longer have the company listing publicly available on the FENSA website.

From the 1st September 2014, where Non-Transitioned registered businesses fail to follow these procedures and fail to inform FENSA of a notifiable installation for a Transition Inspection, the following additional sanctions will apply. The FENSA account will be frozen until a Transition Inspection has been successfully undertaken and failure to complete a Transition Inspection by the 31st December 2014 may result in the registration being suspended and the issuing of a 28-day notice of registration removal.

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The position regarding Minimum Technical Competencies (MTCs) is clarified as follows.

Up to 31 May 2015 a FENSA registered company is required to employ operatives (installers and surveyors) who are deemed competent, or are adequately supervised by competent colleagues, to ensure that a job complies with Building Regulations and is safely completed. Demonstration of competence during this period could be by the holding of an industry recognised competency card and/or qualification.

The FENSA registered business will need to record that its staff comply by maintaining a register of approved surveyors and installers. This Staff Competency Register will be available on the FENSA website.

After 31 May 2015 all relevant installers, surveyors and installer/surveyors will need to prove competency – by holding a recognised card or relevant qualification.

Chris Mayne, FENSA managing director commented: “FENSA, and the other glazing CPSs, operate under 21 Conditions of Authorisation set down by the government (DCLG). FENSA is assessed against these Conditions by UKAS. Condition 9, which all CPSs have to meet, requires us to assess registered businesses on technical competency against national occupational standards under MTC.” Mayne adds: “This means that our registered businesses that have transitioned to Certified Installer will be deemed compliant.”

“To help the industry achieve this FENSA will be launching a Staff Competency Register in the summer (available online to companies that have Transitioned) for companies to record the status of their employees and sub-contractors. Compliance will be assessed by BBA during its usual inspections.”

“However, the competency requirements move forward, post 31 May 2015, to focus on the individual installers and surveyors. All operatives who work for self-certifying installation companies will need to hold a competency card (like the FENSA MTC Card) or relevant qualifications. They will need to demonstrate that this is the case.”

There will be sanctions in place that will apply to companies that do not follow this procedure – and they will include inspections, re-inspections, suspensions and potential cancellation of FENSA registration.

The employment of competent operatives by self-certifying installation businesses is a requirement of all glazing Competence Person Schemes. If a company wishes to continue self-certifying it will need to state that it has a competent workforce. The easiest route to achieve this is by getting its operatives registered for the FENSA MTC Card – and selecting either the industry experience or qualifications route – http://www.fensa.org.uk

*UK Accreditation Service (UKAS) – is the sole national accreditation body recognised by government to assess against agreed standards for organisations that provide certification, testing, inspection & calibration services.

Trickle vent windows advice for homeowners

1 May

A recent question and answer session posed in the Daily Telegraph about the use of trickle vents has been the source of much debate on Twitter by members of the installation community.

Jeff Howell’s advice to a reader on whether he or she needed to replace windows with trickle vents with like has served to highlight the complexities facing many a homeowner and installer.

Our parent company The Glass and Glazing Federation outlines the current correct guidance on using trickle vent windows.

All buildings have to be ventilated in order to maintain the health and well being of everyone using them. There are two kinds of ventilation: background and rapid. Background ventilation can be provided by trickle ventilators. Rapid ventilation by opening the window.

The need for background ventilation depends upon the building and how it is currently being ventilated. When it comes to replacing windows an installer will need to determine if background ventilation would be required.

If a window is not well ventilated then it can lead to condensation build up which, if left, can lead to the proliferation of potentially harmful mold spores.

Current building regulations* state that it is only mandatory to install trickle ventilators within a replacement window if there was a trickle ventilator within the existing window. This is so buildings that were originally designed to have background ventilation continue to do so. Removing such vents could lead to serious problems with condensation at any point of the room where it loses heat (a thermal bridge) and not just on the windows themselves.

The above answers the reader’s question posed in the Daily Telegraph but it was not the same advice given in the article itself which referred to a period in 2010 when originally trickle ventilation was going to be installed in all replacement windows. This recommendation was changed following discussions between the fenestration industry and the Government department responsible for buildings regulations, which agreed this would not be required.

If you have any comments or questions then please do share them below.

*Source: Approved Document F Clause 7.3: Where the original windows were fitted with trickle ventilators the replacement windows should include them.

New webinar series announced

4 Apr

FENSA has launched another round of its popular free webinar series on the Government-backed Minimum Technical Competency and Transition to Certified Installer schemes.

The 6 June 2014 deadline for compliance with both is fast approaching and FENSA expects the webinars to be very popular. As well as finding out more about each topic, you will also have the opportunity to ask your own questions.

The dates are:

Pass your Transition Inspection

Thursday 17 April 1-2pm

Book your free place now

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8606627735031126530

 

Pass your MTC Assessment

Thursday 24 April  1-2pm

Book your free place now

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7391012077408518914

 

Pass your Transition Inspection

Wednesday 7 May, 1-2pm

Book your free place now

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2015782303700016898

 

Pass your MTC Assessment

Wednesday 14 May 7-8pm

Book your free place now

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/928730341689993218

 

Pass your Transition Inspection

Thursday 22 May, 7-8pm

Book your free place now

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6842308496148358146

 

There is no limit to the numbers of attendees – so hurry and book your place today!

Waste not Want not!

28 Mar

When you decide to have new replacement energy efficient double glazing in your home, you may quite understandably be worried as to what happens to your old windows. Many questions spring to mind such as can the materials used in the manufacture of the old windows be recycled, does your local council allow building waste at their recycling site, will it cost for the disposal? Lots of things to consider.

However there is good news as many double glazing companies now collect the frames and glass from your old windows to be sent to specialist recycling companies. These recycling companies work with window companies and installers, to ensure that the old window frames do not end up in landfill. If you chose a company that offers this service, you don’t have to worry about this happening as the materials from your windows will be recycled and be made in to new PVC products or even to produce new windows.  If you are replacing wooden doors and frames, you may be able to pass them on to a company that can restore them and sell them on, once again preventing them being wasted.

 

International Recycling Symbol

International Recycling Symbol

 

It is good to know that the recycling of your old windows prevents the valuable materials being lost to landfill sites and also reduces the amount of raw materials being used up. So, not only are you being green by having energy efficient windows fitted, you are being green by protecting the environment.

An organisation called Recovinyl was set up in 2003 as part of the original Vinyl 2010 Voluntary Commitment to advance the sustainable development of the PVC industry by improving production processes, minimise emissions, develop recycling technology and boost the collection and recycling of waste.  You can read more about its objectives by clicking the link.

 

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If you are feeling particularly adventurous you can recycle your old windows and frames within your own home, turning them in to interesting decorative objects or even making new useful products. You might also find in your local area an organisation that can make use of your old windows.

We would love to hear about your ideas on recycling double glazing, please share them in the comments below.

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