Advice for
homeowners

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FENSA Advisor

This is Harry.

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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

Harry's advice

Why you should always use a FENSA Approved Installer

Apr 5, 2019, 09:17 AM by Chesney Bax
There are many good installers out there who’ll do a good job of fitting your replacement windows and doors. The crucial question is, “Are they good enough?” How can you be certain? Ask a friend for a recommendation? Check a Google review? Or just look at their past work? There’s only one way to be sure: find out if they’re a FENSA Approved Installer.


Because to become a FENSA Approved Installer, that company must pass a stringent vetting process. And then be continually assessed to ensure consistency with the relevant Building Regulations.

 

By using a FENSA Approved installer, you’re protected from the risk of cowboys who don’t adhere to these standards. Poor or, worse, illegal work could cost you hundreds to put right.

 

And even if your non-approved installer’s work is okay, it must be registered with the local authority. If that isn’t arranged by the installer like it is with FENSA or other competent person schemes, you’ll need to do it yourself. This will cost you time and a surprising amount of money arranging assessment by Building Control.

 

So, when it comes to replacing doors and windows remember that a FENSA Approved Installation company will save you time, money, and worry. And you’ll gain that peace of mind that comes from knowing the job’s done right. Which is also valuable to prove when selling your home.



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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.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • If the company requires a deposit, ensure they offer deposit indemnity and get proof or a receipt for any deposits paid. The deposit should not exceed the indemnity value of the installer's deposit protection insurance. Some less reputable companies may ask for cash upfront to secure a 'one time only offer' or 'special deal'. You're very unlikely to get your money back if there is a problem later unless you take out a deposit protection. If you do pay for goods upfront costing more than £100, use a credit card so you can claim against the credit card company if anything goes wrong.
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