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.

Double glazing - so many questions...

Like most industries, if you are a consumer, looking to purchase a product you can sometimes get overwhelmed with all the things you need to take into consideration. Just purchasing a TV can be tricky, you dont want one too small or too big for your room, then you have to think, do you want HD? Do you want a digi receiver in it? Will it work with your current surround sound? What additional cables do I need and WHY&And thats just purchasing a TV.

Purchasing replacement windows and having them fitted is no different. There are so many things you need to take into consideration, some obviously far more important than others. In this quick post, we aim to give you, the consumer, the answers to some of those all important questions.

Cant I just pick the ones I like and get anyone to fit them?

Well essentially, you can. Remember though that all replacement glazing comes within the scope of building regulations. Anyone who installs replacement windows and doors must comply with the current thermal performance standards, and you will need a certificate to prove compliance with building regulations.

Ok, so how do I prove my windows are compliant?

You need to get a certificate; either from local building control or via a FENSA registered company. If you use a FENSA registered company for your replacement windows, it is nice and easy. They can self certify that their work meets the regulations. They can then provide you with a FENSA certificate.

Who is FENSA?

FENSA is the leading body providing homeowner protection in the double glazing industry for windows and doors. FENSA works with thousands of double glazing contractors in England and Wales.

Why compliance with current thermal performance standards?

This is to reduce energy loss in line with Government policy. Its essential to improve the energy performance of existing homes, and this is one way in which the Government can do that.

How do I know which companies to avoid? Are there cowboys in the industry?

Alas there are in all industries, and the double glazing industry is no different. At FENSA we work hard to ensure consumers dont meet cowboys, and we do that by encouraging people to report cowboys, or misuse of the FENSA logo to us. In addition, we publish a lot of material on how you can spot and avoid cowboys in double glazing.

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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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