Being a homeowner comes with a lot of documentation; much of it you won't pay much attention to until it comes time to sell your property
and move on.
One piece of paperwork that many people find out they need is a FENSA certificate. But what exactly is this and why do you need it?
What is FENSA?
FENSA stands for, the Fenestration Self-Assessment Scheme, which was first established in 2002 as a response to updated building regulations. These new regulations stated updated standards for the thermal performance/ energy consumption of any door or window glazing that is installed/replaced.
FENSA is a register of and professional double-glazing installers in England and Wales that comply with the regulations and offer warranty. Its purpose is to ensure consumers can be more confident about choosing reputable companies for their installation.
What is a FENSA certificate?
A FENSA certificate is simply a certificate that acknowledges that your windows/and or doors were installed by a company that is accredited on the FENSA register. Therefore, showing that your glazing complies with the regulations.
The two most important things to note are:
How to get one?
– when you have your glazing installed by a FENSA registered company, they should issue you with your certificate. This usually happens within 2-4 weeks of the installation. Don’t be afraid to get in touch with them if it seems to be taking longer than expected, as it is an important document.
How much does it cost?
– you shouldn’t have to worry about putting aside extra money to receive your certificate, as due to it being required, most companies will include the certificate in their quote for the work. But again, don’t be afraid to check this fact when hiring someone.
Do you need a certificate?
YES! It is a legal requirement that any window or door glazing installed since 2002 has a certificate to go along with it. So, once you receive it, be sure to keep it in a safe place with all your other paperwork.
It’s especially important that you have this document if you are selling your property. Your conveyancers will ask you if any doors and windows in the property have been installed or replaced since 2002. If any have, then they will need to see your certificate. You WILL NOT be able to continue with the sale if you don’t have it.
Conveyancers do not want the risk of buying or selling a property that does not meet building regulations, and neither should you.
What if you’ve lost/don’t have your certificate?
If you can’t find your certificate, or you don’t think you ever received it, don’t worry. FENSA has a record of all the certificates that have been given out and you can order a new one directly from their website
Be aware that ordering a replacement online does come with a small fee of £25.
What if my installation was not carried out by a FENSA registered company?
It is not required by law for installers to be FENSA registered, and not being registered does not always mean that an installer does not follow the same regulations as those that are.
If the company you used was not FENSA registered, you will not have a FENSA certificate for your door/window glazing, however there is an alternative certificate you can use instead – a Building Regulations Certificate
. This certificate of compliance comes from your local council upon approval of certain building work (including doors and windows), rather than the installers.
If you do not have one of these certificates, you can apply to your local authority for a ‘Retrospective Building Regulation Compliance Certificate’ instead. Be aware that unlike a replacement FENSA certificate, this can take around 2 months and you could be charged between £300 – £400.