The Fenestration Self-Assessment Scheme has been set up to help compliance with strict new Building Regulations for domestic properties and Document L in particular, effective from April 2002. The purpose is to ensure higher standards of work and product specification.

Anyone who installs replacement windows or doors must comply with improved thermal performance standards. As there are over 1 million installations of replacement glazing every year, putting all of these through the Building Regulations applications process would flood the system. The FENSA scheme allows installation companies that meet certain criteria to self-certify that their work complies with the Building Regulations. FENSA will:

  • Inspect samples of work by the installer to ensure that standards are maintained.
  • Inform local authorities of completed installations by registered companies.
  • Issue certificates to householders confirming compliance.

Work done as a DIY project or by a non-registered installer will need full local authority approval under the Building Regulations.

Advice to householders:

  • As a householder, you are ultimately responsible for ensuring that the work complies with the Regulations.
  • Before signing a contract to buy replacement glazing, be sure to ask the installer to confirm that he is able to self-certify.
  • Retain the certificate issued to you by FENSA when the work is completed. Without this you may encounter difficulty and expense when the time comes to sell your property. The purchaserís solicitor will ask for this documentation during the search procedure.
  • Installers must meet certain entry criteria which include:
    • A commitment to comply with the Building Regulations.
    • Evidence of general competence Evidence of commitment to fair trading.
    • Willingness to offer insurance backed guarantees before installation.

It can be seen that this criteria are set out to ensure that the consumer is treated fairly and that property repair in the UK meets an acceptable standard. Thus if you are quoted by an installer is not registered with FENSA it is probably best to look elsewhere.

For more details on FENSA visit www.fensa.org.uk.