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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

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.

 

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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.

You may not be able to sell your property without it!

10 Mar

It is often said one of the most stressful events in life is moving home. You put your property on the market, negotiate a sale and then find out what the solicitors need. Suddenly everything seems confusing and you have to find all sorts of documents requested by the buyer’s solicitors. Lots of the documents involved are certificates proving compliance: certificates for electrical work, gas certificates, building regulations and a very important one, your FENSA certificate!

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Over the years you might find some of these certificates have been mislaid or even lost.  However, one thing you don’t have to worry about is your FENSA certificate. If you have had replacement windows or doors installed in your property by a FENSA registered company since April 2002, you will certainly have received your FENSA certificate

FENSAlogoFENSA keep a record of all registered installations so if you can’t put your hand on your certificate, you don’t need to panic. Just by entering your postcode on the FENSA website, you will be able to order a replacement. Your FENSA certificate acts as documentary evidence that your installation has been self-certified as complying with the Building regulations. At least one part of the stressful procedure can be eliminated.

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So, when you use a FENSA registered fitter, you can be sure your windows or doors are being supplied and fitted to the Building Regulations standards and not only that, if and when you sell your property you will have a FENSA certificate ready for the solicitors!

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The Consumer and the Changes!

26 Feb

As a regular reader of our blog you may have noticed a lot of talk about Transition to Certified Installer (TCI) and the FENSA MTC card. This may have all seemed like a foreign language to you as at the end of the day, what you are interested in, is a job well done and a FENSA certificate, so you know your installation complies with Building Regulations. This is essential if you are thinking of selling your property in the future.

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The key thing here is you want a job well done. The government has introduced revised glazing Competent Person Scheme (CPS) requirements to help to ensure just that, by further improving standards in the domestic replacement window and door industry. In addition to the revised TCI requirements, the government now requires all registered installers to comply with the industry’s Minimum Technical Competencies (MTC), an opportunity for individual installers and surveyors to improve their credentials and registered companies to improve the skills base of their workforce.

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So how will these improvements to standards affect you, the consumer?

Let’s start with the revised glazing CPS requirements. These were introduced by the Department for Communities and Local Governments (DCLG) in 2012. With over 8,000 registered companies in FENSA alone needing to transition, the deadline for compliance is set as June 2014. Once a company has registered on the revised scheme they are known as ‘Certified Installers’. This will result in a further increase in workmanship standards and customer service. Great news for the consumer!

So what about the FENSA MTC card? All installers who work within a Competent Person Scheme such as FENSA will need to be compliant with the industry’s MTCs such as holding a FENSA MTC Card. This is similar to the sort of card you will have seen held by electricians and plumbers. As the name suggests, the FENSA MTC card will let the consumer know the installer and surveyor is well qualified, with qualifications such as NVQ Level 2 and from online tests. It is great to know your installer has the skills and competencies to carry out your installation to a nationally recognised standard. The FENSA MTC card also shows the identity of your installer so you know exactly who you are dealing with, and will help eliminate rogue traders. The card is very sophisticated as the data held on the installer can be viewed by scanning the card with a smartphone. The installer and surveyor’s experience, training and qualifications will all be shown and the technology ensures the data is always up to date. Standards will be maintained with the MTC cardholder being re-assessed every five years, to ensure they have kept their skills and knowledge current and they are up to date with any further changes that have been introduced.

So there you have it! Just by choosing a FENSA registered installer, the consumer can be assured of the highest possible standards in the Fenestration industry.

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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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Save Energy, save Money and save the Planet all at the same time?

28 Jun

How can you make your home more energy efficient and at the same time save on your energy bills?

There are many steps you can take to make your home more energy efficient from something as simple as turning off a light to installing replacement double glazing.

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Try out some of our tips and you will be saving energy, money on your energy bills and the planet itself. Here are some adjustments that can be made with little or no expense, several of which seem to involve turning things down!

 

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  • ·Heating: Hopefully this should be a tip that will only be useful in the winter! Turn it down by one degree and over the next few days see if you feel warm enough. If you do try turning it down another degree and so on until you feel chilly then turn it back up one degree. This can be very beneficial as every degree lower your thermostat is set at could be a saving of around £65 a year on the energy bill. Well worth a try.
  • ·Hot water: The same method can be applied to the temperature of your hot water. How many of us find it so hot we have to add cold water? There is usually no need to have the temperature set higher than 140 degrees.
  • ·Washing machine: Most laundry can be washed at 30 degrees which not only uses less electricity to heat the water but usually means the wash cycle is shorter as well saving even more electricity. Here the power of the sun and wind can be very useful to dry the laundry if you can get it outside to dry.
  • ·Fridge/Freezer: Your fridge and freezer cannot be turned off but you should check what the thermostat is set at. If it has an energy saving setting make sure it is on that and if not check the manual for the most efficient setting.
  • ·Energy saving light bulbs: These are a good investment and have come down in price. They are now made in different sizes as well so they fit in more light fittings. You will soon get used to the slight delay when you switch the light on!

What else can you do? It is a good idea to only boil as much water as you need to make your cuppa! Although this may sound like a trivial change to make, over a year it will save a considerable amount of electricity. This applies to turning off appliances at the wall and lights off when you leave a room. The accumulated savings add up and will reduce your energy bill.

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So, it is possible to make your home more energy efficient simply by turning down and turning off but what about making more significant changes?

  • ·Replacing your windows can make your home more energy efficient by reducing the amount of heat lost. A major source of heat loss in your home is through your windows. Double or triple glazed windows help to keep the cold out and the heat in. For more information on replacement windows please take a look at our website.
  • ·Insulation: Another way to help prevent heat loss is to add insulation to the walls and roof, a very efficient way of preventing heat escaping from the home. If the heat is kept in your home you will use less energy keeping it warm and so reduce your energy bills.
  • ·Solar panels: If your home is in a suitable location you may be able to add solar panels which can produce enough energy to support your home. What a great way to obtain energy, free from the sun! It maybe that there is surplus electricity produced that can be fed in to the national grid.
  • ·Eliminate draughty areas: Have you noticed a draughty corner in your home? This is bad news as cold air will be entering your home unchecked. You will feel chilly and turn the heating up. To avoid this scenario, locate where the draught is coming from and address the problem. You may be able to make the repairs yourself but if you are in any doubt it is best to consult a professional who will know the correct materials to use and where to use them.

With a little thought and application you will be able to make your home more energy efficient and reduce your energy bills.

Have you any energy saving tips? Please share them with us in the comments.

The Green Deal and the consumer

24 May

In previous blogs we have looked at the Green Deal and the installer. Since the Green Deal has now launched, what does it mean to the consumer?

It maybe you have heard of the Green Deal but are not very clear about how it functions or you may not have heard of it at all. Let’s learn a little more.

Basically it is a scheme initiated by the government to enable people to make energy-saving improvements to their homes without having to pay all the costs right away. The costs of the improvements have to be outweighed by future savings in energy consumption and consequently energy bills. This has become known as the Golden Rule. Payment for the improvements is then made through the property’s future energy bills.

Some of these improvements include double glazing, draught proofing and solar panels.

How is the Green Deal achieved?

The first thing that happens is an assessment of your property. This will produce a report which will explain what improvements could be made and how much that could save on energy bills. The important thing to remember at this point is that the report must comply with the Green Deal Golden Rule that the cost of the work must be outweighed by the energy savings.

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Ok, sounds pretty straight forward so far.

The next step is decision time. If you think the Green Deal is something you want to take advantage of, you will need to choose an approved Green Deal installer to carry out the improvements you have decided upon having.

In the case of double glazing, only companies who are certified by a Green Deal Certification Body (e.g. FENSA) against PAS 2030 to
become a Green Deal Certified Installer can install Green Deal measures.
Homeowners need to get quotes for Green Deal finance packages from Green Deal Providers who can be found at http://www.greendealorb.co.uk/green-deal-participant-register .  Of course you can get quotes from as many Green Deal Providers as you like.  Here is your opportunity to discuss with them what work you want done and whether the Green Deal is right for you.

So, how does it all get paid for?

Once all the decisions have been made your Green Deal contract will be drawn up. This will show the costs and interest charges. You should ensure you understand the repayment rules before you sign your Green Deal Plan. The payments are then made through your electricity bill.

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The Green Deal is different in as much as the actual costs of the improvements stay with the property not the individual.

Therefore if you move in to a property, it may have a Green Deal, so if you are the person who pays the electricity bill, you will continue paying the money back. This is because you will be benefitting from the lower energy bills due to the improvements already made.

Alternatively, if you leave a property with a Green Deal, you are no longer benefitting from the improvements so you stop paying for them.

There is information here if you would like to know more about the Green Deal and its benefits.