FENSA is the Fenestration Self Assessment Scheme. The scheme was set up by the Glass and Glazing Federation, in partnership with some other industry bodies, after the government launched the new Building Regulations for double glazing companies.
When you buy new windows, doors or roof lights for your home, you are required to make sure that the replacements comply with current thermal performance standards and Building Regulations. This means that you need to get a certificate stating that the windows are compliant. This certificate must be issued by a Competent Person scheme, and FENSA is the most common authority for this (Local Authority Building Control representatives can also issue the certificates).
An Industry Standard
FENSA is the industry standard for self-certification of compliance with the Building Regulations. While there are other options for certification, purchasing a product that bears the FENSA logo and having a FENSA installer do the job is the most convenient option because it means that you don’t have to register the new window or door installation with the local authority yourself. This means that it could save you a lot of time, and hundreds of pounds, too.
There are thousands of companies that have joined the FENSA scheme across England and Wales, and FENSA re-assesses their installers on a regular basis to ensure that they are always working to a high standard. If you choose a FENSA-approved installer to fit new windows for you, then after the job is done you have the option to rate the installers via a feedback form – that feedback is taken into account as a part of the assessment process, so you can be confident that any installer you hire has had consistently good feedback.
Insurance Backed Guarantees and Deposit Protection
Getting new windows installed can be expensive work. FENSA installers are required to have a number of protections in place to take care of their customers, including an insurance backed guarantee on all replacements and doors. If you pay a deposit on the work, then the deposit must be protected by an indemnity scheme or some other form of protection.
After the work is done, you should be given a certificate to prove that the work complies with building regulations. You should keep this certificate because you will need it if you decide to sell your property. If you lose the certificate, it is possible to re-order it via the FENSA website.
If you are installing windows yourself, then you will need to get a certificate issued by the local authority. If you use an installer that is not FENSA registered, then they will need to get a certificate either through the local authority or through a different issuing body. The penalties for failure to comply with building regulations are severe, so do not simply take it on faith that a contractor is able to self-certify. Confirm what trade body they are a member of, and be sure to get a copy of the certificate once the work is done.