What paperwork is needed if I replace windows or doors or add a conservatory to my property?

Selling a property is always a stressful time, especially if the funds are needed swiftly or the purchase of another property is dependent on the sale of your own home first, so the last thing you need to be trying to source is documentation you should have been issued with when you had replacement windows and/or doors fitted, or you added a conservatory etc.

Don’t assume that just because your Solicitor says that the Purchasers Solicitor is asking for this or that, that a) it exists, or b) it is needed, as often you get asked for certain documents as routine and your own Solicitors don’t take the time to explain what is or is not needed, they simply pass on the request and add their time to your bill!

The good news, is that if you had replacement windows or doors fitted before April 2002, you don’t need to supply and documents, as they were not required. This is not the case if you have a new builders opening or an extension done under a Building Notice or Building Regulations under the supervision of your local Building Control Department.

Don’t be pressured by the Purchasers Solicitors into spending lots of time and money on trying to come up with documentation that is not required. For example if you’d added a conservatory under Permitted Development Rights you don’t need to produce any evidence of planning approval as none is needed as long as you had sufficient PD Rights intact for the size of the footprint you built and its design and construction means it is considered by local authorities as a “temporary structure”, which does not require planning permission or local authority approval.

Also if you are asked to provide evidence the structure you added complies with the Building Regulations, again these are not needed if it is under 30 square metres, has an independent heating system, is not dis-proportionate to the size of the house/garden, has walls that are more than 50% glazing and the roof is made of translucent material. If the structure does need Building Regulations Approval this should have been obtained before it was built and either you apply for it retrospectively or your purchasers can take out an indemnity if willing to cover any comeback after the sale goes through, however they will probably pass on all the legal charges for setting this up.

Please note that FENSA Certificates are only required if windows and/or doors are replaced between the main house and the Conservatory.  Conservatories on their own are out of the scope of FENSA, as are porches, garage side doors, new builds, extensions, repairs (frame not included) and all commercial properties. What FENSA does do is deal with the replacement of external windows, doors, roof windows and roof lights in your home, against the relevant Building Regulations. Note that the property must be sited on its original footprint, and the use and size of rooms mustn’t be altered.

For clarity if the existing external door between a property and a conservatory/porch is changed, the replacement door does require a FENSA certificate, as this needs to comply with Building Regulations. If the existing external door between a property and an extension is removed, but not replaced, or an door added to a porch that already has an existing external door, or you replace an external door in a garage or other attached/detached out-building, then a FENSA certificate is NOT required. In addition any replacement windows and doors installed before April-June 2002 also do NOT require a FENSA certificate (or indeed any documentation) as FENSA was not in existence.

If a new builders opening is created, and/or an existing opening is enlarged, and new windows and/or doors are fitted, then no FENSA certificate is relevant (and won’t be issued by FENSA), However in these circumstances a Building Notice or Building Control Approval (i.e. both require homeowners to submit applications to their Local Building Control Officer prior to commencing any works) is legally required. Planning permission may/may not also be required in addition to Building Regulations Approval  so you’d need to check with your local Planning Department to avoid having the possibility of an Enforcement Notice being served on you to remove the new windows/doors and put things back the way they were (hence why Hazlemere Windows strongly advises all necessary permissions are needed prior to ordering new windows and/or doors that are for enlarged or new builders openings.)3D Design Service from Hazlemere


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