HOMEOWNERS GUIDES

Window Designs Red doorThis page is dedicated to helping homeowners find the right information relevant to their needs and supporting tradesmen as an information portal. It's a work in progress, expanding every month. If you can’t find the information that you are looking for let us know at annique@windowdesigns.co.uk and we will help you with it.

Which? published a series of articles and a survey focusing on the double glazing industry. I decided to use this as an information source and a launch point to identify any plot holes that may need filling or expanding upon.

As with most trades in the modern-day, there is a wealth of regulation and legislation that is necessary for an installation to comply with to be legal. For example, within the gas industry if you have had a new boiler installed in your home since 2010 you need a certificate certifying it. When you go to sell your home this certificate will be asked for by the solicitor. Some of the requirements are either unknown or misunderstood by homeowners and sometimes solicitors.

One of the main points that crops up frequently is the Fensa certificate; The Fensa certificate is commonly requested in reference to the certificate that is required to certify that the installed double glazing complies with the current building regulations and legislation. Fensa was the scheme introduced when it first became necessary for double glazing installers to register each installation with a competent person scheme 15 years ago, therefore has become the ‘Hoover’ of the double glazing world. I have taken many calls from homeowners asking about the Fensa certificate only to find out that a Certass or Building control certificate are the same thing and that they already have the certificate to present to their solicitor. In my experience, it is not something that is widely known and is relatively misunderstood outside of the industry.

Heading on back to the Which? survey…

The main headline of this survey was that homeowners prefer to work with local companies over big nationals. Independent companies scored more than big nationals on all aspects, outshining them the most for value for money. The vast majority of participants, around 70%, reported that they didn’t have any issues with their installation. Of the ones that were reported the most common issue was that the installation took longer than expected. It is my experience that this is the trickier aspect of managing an installation and clear, open channels of communication are essential in both directions between installer and homeowner.

It is easy for work of this nature to expand due to unforeseen circumstances, for example, there is work going on below my flat, the tradesman removed the ceiling to replace it with soundproofing, discovering that the builder who split the property into flats previously cut the end off one of the joists which are holding up my kitchen floor and left it floating unsupported! Needless to say, he spent time remedying the situation which meant the work took longer. In these situations, it is crucial that all involved are informed about not only the extra time but the extra cost which is incurred in these events to avoid confusion and misunderstanding.

Another issue that featured in the top 5 was scratched glass. Scratched glass is an unfortunate, rare (in relation to the volume of sealed units produced) occurrence which can occur during the manufacture to sealed units. It is not widely known that there is a British Standard that exists as to the extent of the scratch before it needs to be replaced, although most local companies replace them anyway.

We are constantly updating this page with helpful information. If you don't see what you are looking for get in touch; annique@windowdesigns.co.uk