Bit of a public service announcement this one, don’t do these often, but there you go.
On the 7th of this month FENSA sent out an email to announce that replacement windows, doors and roof lights that are installed into building higher than 18m could no longer be self-declared as compliant. 18m is around 6 or 7 floors high depending on the building, but the number of floors isn’t the key here, it’s height.
This has come into effect immediately. So if you have any ongoing contracts with window, doors or roof lights being installed into particularly tall buildings, you will need to contact FENSA.
From here on in, anything installed over 18m tall it will need to be inspected by your local authority. Naturally, there will be fees involved.
Key facts from FENSA
In the email sent by FENSA, these are the key facts they state:
- Installation companies can only self-certify replacement glazing work in buildings less than 18 metres high (approximately 6 or 7 floors.
- No self-certification in buildings higher than 18 metres (approximately 6 or 7 floors).
- Where a building is higher than 18 metres, no jobs can be self-certified with FENSA. This is regardless of where the window, door or roof light is located within the overall building.
- Instead, approval from the relevant Local Authority Building Control (or independently approved inspector) must be obtained for the work to be legally compliant.
FENSA also state that moving forward, installers registering jobs with them will be required to tick a box to self-declare that the installation is below the height of 18m.
Where will this affect?
For those of us who work in the residential sector, this new rule will rarely play a part in what we do. Most installers will deal with homes that only have two floors, a few with a third. That is just the nature of the residential market in most places.
However, this will play a part for those installers who tend to do a lot of work in high rise accommodations. The inner-city flats and apartments that most towns and cities have. Most of these will be over 18 metres high and will now become subject to this new rule.
What this means is that the cost for these contracts will go up as a result. Probably not enough to force new consideration on the actual project taking place, but the costs will fall upon the building owners. Each council area will charge differing amounts for their inspection fees. In Wakefield, my neck of the woods, it costs £160. However they do state that anything over 10 windows and then there would be a bespoke charge. So, my guess is that for window installations on said high-rise flats or just generally tall buildings that have a fair few windows, those charges are going to run into the hundreds.
From a residential perspective though, I don’t think many installers will find this an issue. Often, windows of this height or taller, and in great numbers, are dealt with by commercial window and door installers, or whole building renovation companies that include window and door installation as part of their overall package. Those sorts of contracts come with legislation far more heavy duty than a simple self-certification.
Still, if you find yourself fitting windows and the view is good and it’s a bit windy, you’ll need to ring your council and not FENSA. You have been warned.
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