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.

Catching the rogue traders

Rogue traders and cowboys are a big concern within many industries, not just the double glazing industry. We at FENSA are keen to catch rogue traders but in order to do so we are aware that we need to educate people on how to spot potential cowboys. We work together with installers to reduce the number of companies that practice foul play.

 

Talk to us, let us know

 

Lets face it, we could always do with help in catching rogue traders, so if you are an installer or a consumer and you believe that an installer is not quite what they claim to be, then please let us know. A good example of this in action is a company based in East London who were not registered as a FENSA installer, but were caught advertising the FENSA logo on their website. This was brought to FENSAs attention by a homeowner and FENSA reported it to the Trading Standards agency.

 

Identifying and reporting rogue traders

 

To make this a quicker process, FENSA provides a quick service via its website that allows anyone, installer or consumer, to check that a company is actually registered with FENSA or find registered installers in your area. You can do this by entering the exact company name.

 

FENSA role

 

FENSAs role is enabling companies to self certify compliance with building regulations and disciplining those who are not complying with the regulations. FENSA uses independent inspectors to check on installation work. FENSA also reports companies that practise foul play and posts information on companies that have been prosecuted.

 

Local Authority Building Control departments regularly contact FENSA to consult on installations, or to deal with queries relating to Registered Businesses. With the current economic climate, there is a real worry that consumers will be more tempted to opt for installations that offer VAT free work, cash in hand deals and installations that arent backed by guarantees or insurance, all typical traits of cowboys. Whats worse, installations by cowboys may not comply with building regulations, putting consumers at risk and making life tough for them when it comes to selling their home. With this in mind, the role of installers, consumers and the website has never been more important in identifying, stopping and prosecuting rogue traders.

Social media

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.
A GGF Group Company