What Is FENSA and Why Is It Important?

FENSA stands for the Fenestration Self-Assessment Scheme. This is a scheme set up by the Glass and Glazing Federation and is authorised by the UK government. FENSA operates in England and Wales.

F ENSA was launched in April 2002 with the stated aim of providing homeowners with a tool to determine the competency of their chosen installer. Because many householders replace windows and doors in their property, the criteria are designed to ensure that their job conforms to the current housing standards and building regulations and has optimal energy efficiency. By 2018, over 13 million FENSA certificates had been issued, which represents 50% of the houses in England and Wales.

What is a FENSA certificate?

If an installer is approved by FENSA, then they can issue a certificate when they replace and install windows and doors. This is a great way for customers to choose a professional contractor and have the reassurance that their work is in line with current standards and housing regulations.

When the work is complete, a certificate is provided, and your contractor registers the installation with FENSA.

Why do you need a FENSA certificate?

A FENSA certificate is evidence that the windows and doors in your home comply with building regulations, are energy-efficient and are registered with both FENSA and the local council.

Using a FENSA-approved installer

The government-authorised FENSA scheme ensures that approved contractors provide the highest standard of work, that repairs, refurbishments and new installations comply with building regulations and also achieve optimal energy efficiency. Additionally, a FENSA installer will provide you with a warranty for the work, and their guarantee must be insured. They will also register the certificate with FENSA, but it is your responsibility as the homeowner to do this with the local council.

What isn’t covered by a FENSA certificate?

FENSA covers the replacement and installation of external doors and windows, including roof lights. A FENSA certificate doesn’t cover any of the following:-

  • Conversions
  • Extensions
  • Windows and doors inside the building
  • External porches
  • Sheds
  • Detached garages
  • Caravans and mobile homes
  • Conservatories
  • New builds
  • Commercial properties

This means that if you have a Georgian property and refurbished some original sash windows, and replaced others, then these will be covered by a FENSA certificate. If you have also extended the property at the back, with a new structure in a traditional style, and fitted new classic sash windows to this accommodation, they won’t be covered by a FENSA certificate.

Does a FENSA certificate have an expiry date?

If you have a certificate from a FENSA-approved installer, then this is transferable. This means that when you sell your house, the new owners of the property can take on the certificate and rely on its validity. A FENSA certificate remains valid until the windows are refurbished or renewed again; this can be several years later.

If you’re buying a house, you can use the official FENSA website to check the property you want to purchase by its postcode and see if there is a certificate present.

If you’ve replaced windows in your home and don’t have a FENSA certificate, either because you were unaware of it or you used an installer who was not FENSA approved, then there are things you can do.

The local building control officer can check and certify the work to confirm that the replacement parts and work on your windows conform to current housing regulations. This will incur a fee.

If you are selling without a FENSA certificate, then your buyer can take out indemnity insurance. Indemnity insurance covers areas of the property which may not comply with current building regulations and insures against the potential of remedial works and the cost required to bring these elements into line. This doesn’t just apply to windows.

We’re waiting on accreditation, but you can relax safe in the knowledge that all our work on sash windows, casement windows and timber doors is undertaken in line with current building regulations and is of the highest standard. We also use state-of-the-art thermal glazing and modern draught proofing techniques so you can be sure that your home is benefitting from the best energy efficiency and performance, and our warranty is also insured in line with FENSA requirements.

Our restoration and repair services can be undertaken in situ, or we can take your windows to our workshops for more extensive refurbishment. We also make new timber windows for traditional and contemporary homes with a vast range of styles, shapes and sizes and a bespoke service for unique projects. We offer a blend of expert craftsmanship with modern techniques and materials.

Contact us to find out more about our restoration and repair services.