Tag Archives: FENSA certificate

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

The FENSA Certificate

14 Nov

We have had a lot of inquiries on our social media lately about replacement FENSA certificates, so we thought now would be a good time to remind everyone about how important it is.

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If your property has had replacement double glazing since April 2002, you should have proof that the windows conform to Building Regulations. This can be achieved in one of two ways; with a FENSA certificate or Local Authority Building Control (LABC) approval.

Proof that your replacement windows conform to Building Regulations is crucial should you decide to sell your property. You cannot sell without it. Your buyer’s solicitor will ask for that evidence before the sale can progress. It may be that you are a very organised person and have all your household certificates and receipts to hand so this will prove to be very straightforward. However, if you have misplaced your certificate, the situation may become more complicated. Selling your home is said to be as stressful as getting married or divorced, a death in the family or serious money issues, so any extra anxiety is certainly to be avoided.

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This is where the FENSA certificate comes in to its own. If the windows were fitted by a FENSA registered company and you have the certificate, you are sorted! If you have lost or mislaid it, you are still sorted as you can go on the FENSA website and for a small fee order a replacement. There should be no delay to the sale of your property as your replacement FENSA certificate will be with you within ten days.

The same scenario works the other way round if you are buying a property. Make sure your solicitor checks the vendor has the necessary certificates as you don’t want to find out later in the sale, there is going to be a delay. Once again if the windows have been fitted by a FENSA registered company, it should only take a few days to get a replacement certificate.

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If however, the windows haven’t been inspected and there is no proof they are compliant with Building Regulations then there may be a considerable delay in the proceedings, as they will have to be inspected and passed by the relevant LABC. Unfortunately it is often at this stage that the windows are found to be non-compliant and have to be rectified. This can be costly and time consuming.

So it is very important to check out the compliance of any replacement glazing early on in the sale or purchase of a property.

Your FENSA certificate makes life easier and is an important document.

Keep it safe!

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Thinking of new windows? What you need to know

28 Jun

Thinking of new windows? Are you dreaming of having no draughts, not hearing next doors music at all hours, feeling warm and cosy and saving money on your energy bills? Yes, then you must be dreaming of replacement double glazed windows!

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Well let’s hope your dreams come true but wait a minute aren’t there some important issues to consider? With any long term major investment in your property a degree of research and investigation is always prudent.

Did you know since 2002 the government requires that any replacement glazing installed since April 2002 must comply with building regulations. So you can’t just fit any old windows, they have to conform to current thermal performance standards. Now that may sound a bit confusing and worrying so to be sure it can be a good idea to take advice from a FENSA registered installer. They are the experts and know what they are talking about. You can trust their advice.

Once you have decided on your windows, how will you have them fitted? You don’t have to have them installed by a FENSA Fitter but the beauty of the scheme is its simplicity. Your windows are fitted and you can be sure they are compliant and you get a certificate to prove it. This certificate is essential if at some point you intend to sell your property as your purchaser’s solicitor will ask for it. So that’s another worry sorted out.

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Of course you can have them fitted by a non registered company but then you will have to arrange for Building Control to visit and inspect them. This can be a nuisance timing the visit and there will be a charge which varies depending on which local authority you are in.

It may be a good idea at this point to mention the Government’s new initiative, The Green Deal, which can provide a way to finance the new windows. You can learn more about the Green Deal in a previous blog ‘The Green Deal and the consumer’

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It is always a good idea to take your time and not rush in to making your decisions. That way you can be sure to avoid getting tangled up with a Rogue Trader. There are plenty of them out there which is why FENSA Fitters are vetted at the start of their registration and continually assessed to ensure standards are met.

So some things there to think about before you take the plunge. Please feel free to ask questions below or check out our Homeowner Info section on the website.

Just what is a Competent Person Scheme and how does it affect you?

28 May

A Competent Person Scheme (CPS) does exactly what it says on the tin. It enables someone to join a CPS to self-certify certain types of building work if they work in the building trade. This is an alternative to obtaining building regulations approval.  This benefits the consumer as they do not have to worry about getting the work checked by the local authority building control, which has a cost involved. It also saves time and removes the necessity of arranging the visit.

Of course the competent person has to prove that they are indeed competent. There are different CPS and each has its own application processes, rules and fees. Basically an assessment is made on each applicant to ensure the level of competence required is met before an application is approved. Then, once approved, there will be ongoing inspections of the work to make sure the standards are maintained.

Ok, so there you have a brief and concise definition of a CPS, but where does FENSA fit into all this?

FENSA started out as one of the original CPS and is still going from strength to strength over ten years later. To date FENSA has issued over 9 million window and door homeowner certificates.

When you join FENSA you become a member of a team of over 8000 companies nationwide. These include glazing companies, builders, national and smaller home improvements companies, local authorities, housing associations and property developers.

 

 

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What’s more, homeowners recognise the FENSA brand. The homeowner, your potential future customer, can feel confident they are avoiding dealing with a Cowboy Builder when they see you are FENSA registered.

Here at FENSA we aim to make the registration process as painless as possible. Our staff are experienced and can lead you effortlessly through the application procedures.

Once registered we continue to help you maintain the standard of your work, using local, experienced, independent inspectors to help and advise you.

You can also take advantage of some great exclusive opportunities offered to FENSA registered companies including:

  • B&Q Trade Point DIY Card (exclusive volume discounts for FENSA Installers regardless of volume purchased). No other trade scheme delivers this
  • Discounted Fuel Cards
  • Mobile Phone and Tariff discounts

By registering for self-certification you are helping raise the integrity of the replacement window and door industry as a whole and taking an active role in making the cowboy tradesman a thing of the past.

 

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If you are interested in becoming FENSA registered, do feel free to ask us any questions below.

Calling Estate Agents…

31 May

It can be tough valuing a home, or justifying that value to a customer. One of the big factors is the state of the home’s windows. Ask yourself, are they:

  • Single glazed?
  • Double glazed?
  • Triple glazed?
  • Are the seals ok?
  • Do they suffer with condensation?
  • What ventilation is in the room?
  • Have they been fitted since April 2002?
  • Do they have a FENSA certificate?

These are simple questions, but questions that can help value a home and potentially stop a sale stalling at a later stage.

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Building regulations

Replacement windows and doors have to meet building regulations (since April 2002). These regulations cover a wide spectrum of issues, including safety, ventilation and thermal heat retention qualities. If the windows / doors have been fitted after April 2002, then as an Estate Agent, you may need evidence that these new windows / doors meet regulatory compliance.

 

Making sure of a sale

A buyer’s solicitor will need evidence that replacement windows and doors meet regulations, if they cannot be given such evidence, the sale could:

  • Fall through, as the buyer will pull out
  • Stall, until the home owner has received certification (even if this means the home owner must pay for work to be carried out)
  • Stall, until the buyer agrees a new lower price for the sale, covering their costs for any work that may need to be carried out on windows / doors of the property.

There are two forms of evidence that are accepted by a solicitor, and these are: 

  • Home owner has a FENSA certificate 
  • Home owner has documentation from their local building authority stating compliance

An estate agent can pre-empt this documentation necessity, and inform the home owner that they will need this proof. A FENSA certificate can be simply re-ordered from the FENSA website, which ensures a sale doesn’t stall.

You can re order a certificate here http://fensa.org.uk/asp/certificate.asp

If though, the home owner doesn’t have a FENSA certificate, nor was the work carried out by a FENSA registered installer, then they will need to get in touch with their local authority building control – and it is best to do this sooner rather than later.

Inspection of the properties windows /doors may be required, and if so, this can take a little time to organise and at a cost to the home owner. If the windows then pass the regulations, the appropriate evidence will be created. If on the other hand the windows / doors do not meet the necessary regulations, then the problems must be rectified, or the home owner made aware that their home may be de-valued by any buyer.

Whatever the scenario, it is far better to address the issue sooner rather than later in the cycle of selling a property.

 

Recommendation

To all Estate Agents, we recommend that you inform your clients that they should expect to have to produce evidence that replacement windows and doors (since April 2002), meet building regulations. This evidence can be provided by a FENSA certificate or by appropriate documentation from local authority building control. If this evidence is not available, then the home owner should look into the situation as soon as possible.

We also recommend that home owners are aware of why they should use a FENSA registered installer for replacement windows and door installations. A good blog to recommend / read on this is: http://fensafitters.wordpress.com/2011/02/04/why-use-a-fensa-firm/

Got a FENSA certificate?

9 Dec

Since April 2002, homeowners need proof that their replacement windows meet current building regulations. Do you have proof that they do? If you used a FENSA installer then you will have received a FENSA certificate, that can be used as proof of compliance when needed. In our latest poll, we ask if you have had replacement windows installed, do you have a FENSA certificate?

Please take a few seconds and let us know…

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