Fitting compliant double glazing avoids future hassle

Vertical Aluminium Sliding Sash Hazlemere Windows Installtion in Penn, Bucks
A Vertical Aluminium Sliding Sash Hazlemere Windows Installation in Penn, Bucks
It genuinely appears to me personally that from the hundreds of calls a week we get in the sales office at Hazlemere Window Company’s High Wycombe Head Offices that too few UK property owners seem aware of the new Building Regulations that came into effect on 1st October 2010. Plus it seems that my firm of independent double glazing manufacturers and installers are one of a minority in the industry currently complying with these new regulations. Whilst this is very frustrating for double glazing suppliers like ourselves from a competing on a level playing field point of view, it is something I am proud of.

Whether some firms appear to be supplying non-compliant products deliberately or through ignorance of the new Building Regulations I have no idea. I also wonder whether the building trade and property owners are aware of the long term implications of installing double glazing products that are non energy rated to the new standards? I understand that FENSA, the official body set up by the Glass and Glazing Federation to ensure firms comply, have already withdrawn membership from over 500 FENSA registered installers for non-compliance.

Consequently, every installer in the UK is not currently in a position to show potential (or existing!) customers a Window Energy Rating (WER) certificate for each of the products they are supplying. Unless the fitters installing your windows can produce a certificate for each particular combination of frame and glass they fit to prove they are energy rated windows, then it is likely that the products have not been simulated, approved and authorized.

The property owner, builder or professional installer that actually fits a replacement window into a UK property is the one who has the legal obligation under Building Regulations to fit compliant, simulated and/or approved products. Consequently, home owners who don’t ensure that they are buying compliant products run the risk of major problems down the line when they come to sell their property of being unable to produce the certification and documentation their buyers solicitor will demand.

The new Building Regulations state that all replacement windows must have a Window Energy Rating (WER) of â€ŔC” or above or a combined U value of a maximum of 1.6 W/m2K. The only way you will know if the windows you are buying actually achieve these new minimum legal requirements is to check that the particular double glazing products you intend to purchase have been independently simulated, approved and certificated. If the manufacturer, supplier, installer or builder cannot produce a certificate from approved bodies like the British Fenestration Rating Council or BSI, then it is likely the windows are unlawful.

The bottom line for UK home owners replacing existing windows and doors is to check what they purchase meets the new stricter criteria and that if the firm they are dealing with is FENSA registered, that they will get issued a certificate by FENSA at the end of the process to confirm that the products installed comply with the new Building Regulations, as this will be needed if they/their relatives ever intend to sell the property in the future.

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