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The background

In April 2002 the Government introduced new legislation designed to conserve heat loss in private houses. The requirements are laid out in Building Regulations Part L, and demand that all windows in newly built houses and complete replacement windows in old housing stock meet minimum thermal efficiency standards (U Values). Houses that are listed or within a conservation area do not need to comply to these regulations.

If non-compliant replacement windows are fitted the value of the house may be diminished and the home owner can be faced with a very substantial fine.

Please note this only applies to complete new windows and external doors.  New sliding sashes installed into existing window frames do not have to comply.

Gaining approval for your new window

It is important to ensure that any new window fitted can be shown to be compliant. There are two ways of gaining certification that a new window is compliant. The first way is to apply to your local authority to obtain building regulations approval. This method is time consuming and costly, requiring inspection by council officers.

The second way is to have your work carried out by a FENSA registered company. The Sash Window Workshop is registered with FENSA and authorised to fit compliant windows without supervision.

This means that once fitting of your complete new sash window, casement window or timber door is complete, FENSA issue a certificate for your records and The Sash Window Workshop gives you an insurance backed guarantee. It’s that simple.

FENSA is a specialist organisation authorised by the government as fit to supply compliant windows. A continuing monitoring scheme is in place to ensure that standards are rigorously observed.

Disguising the differences

A FENSA compliant window need not detract from the look of your home. At The Sash Window Workshop we build our windows using, amongst other techniques, a discrete 8mm spacer with a filler of Argon gas instead of the usual air gap between the panes. The difference between the detail in this window and the original is frequently hard to tell, giving your windows a more authentic look.

Buildings over 18 metres high

If the building is over 18 metres from the ground, FENSA will not issue a certificate.  If you live in a property which is over 18 metres high, you will need to contact your local council to arrange for Local Authority Building Inspectors to check that the windows or doors comply with building regulations.