Now they tell us! Home owners 30th September deadline

Following an announcement by FENSA yesterday, if you are a commercial or domestic UK property owner you really do need to be aware of important imminent changes in legislation that will affect what glazing products you legally must buy if installing on or after 1st October 2010, plus the fact that the double glazing industry has only just found out that it and property owners only have until 30th September to install products that comply with current standards.

Major Building Regulations changes come into effect on 1st October 2010, as published by HM Government earlier this month in approved document L1B entitled â€ŔConservation of fuel and power in existing dwellings” (and L1A â€Ŕnew dwellings”). Just in fenestration terms alone, these changes to Part L of the England and Wales Building Regulations require property owners to install even higher performing energy saving products than currently required if they a) replace their existing windows or b) have an extension or c) build a new house etc.

Consequently, from 1st October 2010 it will only be legal for window companies to install windows with a Window Energy Rating (WER) of band C or above, or a U Value of 1.6 W/m2K for installation into existing dwellings. Doors will have to have a maximum U value of 1.8 W/m2K (U values are a universal method of measuring thermal insulation).

There is now a legal deadline of 30th September 2010 for UK property owners to install windows and doors, that whilst not conforming to the new higher standards, do comply with the current Building Regulations thermally efficient standards.

These changes means that if part of your home is double glazed you only have a few weeks to order â€Ŕmatching” windows and doors to be certain they get installed by 30th September, as no double glazing installer will be legally allowed to fit windows and doors that do not comply with the new regulations after this deadline. FENSA will not issue you a certificate unless you use the new more thermally efficient glazing products, so check that every double glazed window you order for installation on or after 1st October 2010 has a Window Energy Rating of “C”, “B” or “A” or a U Value of 1.6 W/m2K and that you have seen an authorized and approved British Fenestration Rating Council (BFRC) Rating Label and certificate as proof that the particular window and glass combination you are purchasing will qualify for a FENSA certificate.

You need not do anything if the windows installed in your property have an energy rating/label/certificate of â€ŔC” or above. If they were installed before 2007, it is very likely they might not be “C” rated or above, so if you were planning to replace windows or doors, and want them to be an exact match, you will need order them soon in order to ensure that they are manufactured AND more importantly installed before 30th September 2010. At present, even if you have rotten single glazing, there is nothing in the current new legislation to force you to spend money replacing these, however, I would not be surprised if this is introduced in the future!

This is a major change, with major implications for any property owner planning to carry out improvements, as on or after 1st October 2010 these will have to be done under the new Part L Building Regulations, which does not only affect windows and doors, but the thermal performance of the entire property.

If you would like to speak with an expert windows and doors consultant at Hazlemere to get free professional help and advice FREEPHONE 08000 825825 or email info@hazlemere.co.uk especially if you would like to know more about the potential legal and cost implications for you and your property of these significant and far reaching Part L changes.

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