15 steps to choosing a window, glazing and door specialist checklist

Checklist provided by 

www.fensa.co.uk

 
Plan ahead – it can take weeks to months to organise new/replacement windows and doors especially if they are made to measure. 
Check all your windows and doors to see what needs replacing – you may get a better deal the more you replace in one go. 
Be aware that since 2002, not just new but replacement windows and doors need to pass Building Regulations, so you can’t just replace them yourself without Local Authority sign off. That costs you money! 
  Understand the pros and cons of different types of windows and doors: wood, uPVC, aluminium, steel. 
  Consider what is most important for your new windows and doors to achieve.  For example, do you want them to improve your home’s look? Energy efficiency? Provide noise insulation?
  Work out which style of windows/doors would be right for you and your property. Check they retain or improve the value of your home.
  Decide on a budget and consider whether you need finance through a loan, repayment scheme or if you can secure extra protection by paying with a credit card. Never hand over 100% cash up front. 
All doors, windows and glazing must comply with Building Regulations. You can’t employ ‘anyone’, they need to be classed as a ‘competent person’ who can self-certify their work is compliant such as being with FENSA.
Make sure you have a competent person from the start by only inviting window or door specialists to your home if they are FENSA certified and the windows are BFRC rated.
Be aware if you do not have paperwork to prove the doors and windows were fitted by a ‘competent person’ e.g. FENSA certified and passed Building Regulations, you may struggle to sell your home.
Be aware if you do not have paperwork to prove the doors and windows were fitted by a ‘competent person’ e.g. FENSA certified and passed Building Regulations, you may struggle to sell your home.
Ask what insurance and warranties are offered. What happens if they go bust? Don’t finish the work? A workman doesn’t turn up or leaves the site mid-job?
Be wary of promotions such as ‘VAT Free, cash’ jobs or anyone asking you to pay upfront as it is unlikely a qualified ‘competent person’ will offer/request this.  Some small operators may not be VAT registered, but they should still use invoices, contracts and have insurance.
Check you have all quotes in writing, including price, time frames, product, service levels, contracts and an agreed completion date.
Make sure you have all the Building Regulations paperwork (such as a FENSA certificate) and is filed safely. Here is an example of the correct paperwork and how to get a replacement if required.
Please note: If you are found to have carried out work without Building Regulations approval on windows and doors, then even if you didn’t do the work, it may well have to be fixed at your cost.

 


All our information is brought to you by Kate Faulkner, author of
Which? Property books and one of the UK's top property experts.
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