Advice for homeowners

Harry

Meet your
FENSA Advisor

This is Harry.

You might recognise him from our TV ad.

Harry works for a FENSA Approved installation company. He's on a mission to help professionalise installers and protect homeowners across the UK, so he started this advice column.

A problem with your conservatory

Please be aware that the installation of a conservatory or porch falls outside the scope of the FENSA competent persons scheme. FENSA can only deal with complaints regarding non-compliance with the Building Regulations of replacement installations of windows, rooflights and doors, not porches or conservatories.

Here are a few points to bear in mind:

Conservatories and porches are not covered under the FENSA scheme because under the Building Regulations they are generally not considered to be part of the thermal envelope of the property.

If a conservatory is installed with integrated heating, then it becomes classified as being part of the thermal envelope of the building and therefore needs to comply with Building Regulations. The installation would need to be referred to the relevant Local Authority Building Control, not the FENSA scheme.

Inner doors leading to the conservatory or porch (if they have 50% glazing or more) and have been replaced on a like for like basis only, do come under the scope of FENSA.

If you do need further help then we would advise you to contact one of the organisations below or any trade association that the company may belong to.

USEFUL CONTACTS:

  • British Woodworking Federation http://www.bwf.org.uk/about-bwf
  • Conservatory Association http://www.ggf.org.uk/group/conservatory-association
  • Trading Standards http://www.tradingstandards.uk/home.cfm

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What to check before appointing an installer

Check that you use a FENSA Approved Installer but also check the following:

  • Ask family and friends who have used installers about their satisfaction and whether they got a FENSA certificate.
  • Check the installer's references by talking to their previous customers.
  • Get at least three quotes and check you are being quoted like for like.
  • Cheapest is not always best and good contractors are always in demand.
  • Get quotes, timeframes and the fact that you will get a FENSA certificate all in writing. A proper written contract with an agreed completion date will help prevent confusion later on
  • Check the warranty on the installer's work and ensure they have enough insurance to cover their warranty. Domestic glazing installers that are registered with a competent person scheme like FENSA are legally obliged to provide warranty insurance to cover your installation should the company cease to trade within the life of the warranty.
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