Building Regulations deadline looms for property owners

It may seem a long way off, but I do genuinely worry about how many UK property owners are actually aware they only have until Thursday 30th September 2010 to order windows and doors to match their existing ones, that comply with the current building regulations, but cannot meet the higher thermally performing requirements of Part L of the new Building Regulations that come into force on 1st October 2010.

Likewise, are all UK home owners aware that if they want cheaper double glazing they only have until 30th September to order it? As, after this final deadline, UK double glazing manufacturers, suppliers and installers are not permitted by law to take orders for non-compliant product (i.e. a vast number of existing products), and even if ordered before 1st October 2010, no window or door that only complies with the current standards can be installed after 6th April 2011. All replacement window orders dated on or after 1st October 2010 can only be for “C”, “B” or “A” rated products or those that can achieve a combined U-Value of 1.6 W/m2K

The regulatory facts are that FENSA will not issue a certificate for non-compliant products (i.e. those that are “D” rated and below) ordered after 30th September 2010 or installed on or after 6th April 2011. This has implications for property owners wanting to sell, as without the certificate, it may well affect the value of their homes, or incurring the cost of having to replace the new replacement windows, with “C” rated windows that do comply with the new higher thermally efficient standards required by the Government.

HM Government do not appear to have notified UK home owners of the impending changes, which not only affect windows, but also doors which need to have a maximum combined U Value of 1.8 W/m2K, plus new build/extensions have to be overall far far more energy efficient, meaning the thermal efficiency of the entire property has to be greater through more efficient boilers, cavity wall insulation, loft insulation, higher specification products, energy rated windows and doors etc.

The building industry, double glazing industry and home improvement market, seem to have been left to advise UK property owners of the substantive changes, as they will have a major financial impact on any home owner who builds an extension or new property after 1st October 2010, as the higher costs of making the new building compliant to the new Building Regulations will be significant.

Consequently, property owners who want to beat the 30th September 2010 deadline, save money and install decent replacement double glazing (like Sapa Monarch Monaframe aluminium windows and doors) that will do a perfectly good job (which, after all meet the current building regulations), whilst it is still available, must order it in writing before 30th September to achieve their goal. As long as these double glazed windows and doors are installed on or before 5th April 2011, then they will be FENSA compliant, so I can only hope that property owners who were planning to replace any of their existing windows a) find out about the Government’s deadline, and b) take advantage of the last remaining “window of opportunity” before it closes forever!!


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