One area of this work that had always annoyed me has been the need for lintels.

As we understand it (and based on what FENSA said in it’s last handbook), the ruling is if a window or door doesn’t have a lintel when it comes to replacing it, then the company doing the replacing has to install a lintel. This cost then obviously has to be passed on to the customer. This is all fine is it’s just a single window or door. But say you come across an installation of 10 windows and 2 doors, non of which have lintels, but because you are a company who wants to fit the job right and leave the customer happy, you have to quote for them. The frustrating element here is the other local companies and cowboys won’t be quoting for them, because they know they the likely hood of a FENSA inspection catching them out in minimal.

What makes this situation even stickier, is that it’s not clear if this is a set in stone requirement. The wording from FENSA says it’s their ‘reccomendation’, but does that mean this is something you HAVE to do, or not. Because it also says that they are required if the brickwork becomes loose and unstable. So does that mean if when the window or door is removed and the brick work is solid and doesn’t move, it doesn’t need one?

You can see what I’m getting at, just like many other things in this industry, it’s not completely clear. It’s also very frustrating. Lintels on mass can add a lot to the cost of a quote, while remaining competitive, we also want to make sure that we comply with the rules.