Replacement Windows

From April 2002, replacement windows came within the scope of the Building Regulations and from then, anyone who now installs replacement windows or doors will have to comply with more stringent thermal performance standards.

The only exception was a short grace period for contracts signed by March 31 2002 so long as the work was done before 1 July 2002. This grace period did not apply to DIY work.

One of the main reasons for the change is the need to reduce energy loss and its use. It is essential that the performance of our existing buildings is improved if we are to meet national and global energy saving targets.

How this affects you

When the time comes to sell your property, your purchaser's surveyors will ask for evidence that any replacement windows installed after April 2002 comply with the new Building Regulations.

There will be two ways to prove compliance:

  1. A certificate showing that the work has been done by an installer who is either registered under the FENSA or CERTASS schemes, or                  
  2. A certificate from the local authority saying that the installation has approval under the Building Regulations.

FENSA & CERTASS are self certifying schemes approved by the government. The work of every installer will be inspected by FENSA or CERTASS appointed inspectors to ensure standards are maintained. On completion of the work the local authority will be informed and certificates will be issued to householders confirming compliance with the Building Regulations.

Any installation done by a firm which is not in either of the above schemes, or is done as a DIY project by a householder, will need local authority approval under the Building Regulations. Local authorities will know of all the approved installers in their areas and will be able to identify unauthorised work very easily. You should note that responsibility for ensuring that work has been undertaken in accordance with the Building Regulations rests with the owner of a property.

Before you agree and sign a contract to buy replacement windows, be sure to confirm that the installer is approved under one of the above schemes.

For further details of the FENSA scheme, refer to the FENSA website and for the CERTASS scheme, refer to the CERTASS website.

If not, then an application for approval under the Building Regulations, accompanied by the relevant charge, will need to be made to Brighton & Hove City Council

Further information is available from the Building Control office at the Information & Advice Centre, Hove Town Hall, Norton Road, Hove or  telephone (01273) 292030 or 292070.