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.

Pesky Doors being Replaced

We have been contacted a couple of times now on Twitter about replacement French doors and the need for a FENSA certificate. So lets look at a typical question on this subject:


I had a conservatory built back in '98 and had the existing wooden French windows between the house and the conservatory kept. However, in 2002 I had these removed.


I am now selling the house and I need to put windows back. I have bought some windows and have now hung them myself, putting the conservatory back to how it was in 98. The house buyers solicitor is now requesting a FENSA certificate for the installation, which I obviously don't have.


My question is, do I actually need one? After all I have replaced the windows that were there back in 98. My second question is do I need them for single glazed doors, which is what I have used?


Ok, well first things first, these are essentially replacement doors. You may ask why? Well that is because they replace the original footprint of the property. Because they are replacement doors, certification will need to be provided to the house buyers solicitor (and it is why the solicitor is asking for these). So for anybody out there reading this thinking, I was going to do that&. then remember; the easiest option is to have a FENSA registered installer to supply and fit the new doors. In that case, you would receive your certificate and there would be no issues.


However, in our question, the home owner hung the doors themselves, so in order to obtain a certificate; they (or you if you have done the same thing) will need to go back via their local authority with a retrospective inspection through building regulations. Oh, and you will need to do this for certification.


The second part of the question asks about single glazed doors. This is a bit of a problem. Single glazed doors wouldnt pass a building regulation inspection. This will cause an issue as you won't be able to gain a certificate from the local authority. Unfortunately for the homeowner, these really need to be double glazed.


It's a good example...


Hopefully this example of one of the questions we are receiving will help home owners out there understand a little more about replacement doors and windows. Unfortunately, looking through many discussion groups on the web, there is a lot of miss-information/confusion coming from home owners. Hopefully this post will help.

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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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