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Advice for
homeowners

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

Harry's advice

Why you should always use a FENSA Approved Installer

Apr 5, 2019, 09:17 AM by Chesney Bax
There are many installation companies out there who are able to fit replacement windows and doors. But how do you know which one to choose to install windows or doors in your home?

There are two key things you need to know:

(1) Will their work on your installation comply with building regulations?

(2) Will you have proof of that compliance you can present in future if required?

The good news is there's an easy way to find out - ask if they're a FENSA Approved Installer.

Because to become a FENSA Approved Installer an installation company must pass a stringent vetting process as well as regular assessments to confirm its installation work complies with relevant building regulations. That takes care of (1) above.

As for (2), if you choose a FENSA Approved Installer, as long as your installation falls within FENSA’s remit (this includes replacement of external windows, doors, roof windows and roof lights in your home) you'll receive a FENSA certificate when the work is completed. This confirms that your installation complies with building regulations and has been registered with the local council.

By finding a FENSA Approved installer, you’re protected from the risk of cowboys who don’t adhere to these compliance 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 complies with building regulations. 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.
  • 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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