Your house is likely to be the biggest investment you’ll ever make, so choosing the right windows and doors is important. Having chosen the product to install, the quality of the installation is critical to the performance of your windows and doors and will depend on your choice of installer.This guide has been created to help you make the best decision for your property. Whether it’s acoustic, security or thermal performance, unless it’s fitted correctly, these benefits – that you want could be reduced. And because windows and doors are part of the main fabric of a building, it’s also vital that you protect the structure of your home.
Choosing an installer that has third party certification from Bluesky means that they have been vetted by us, a UKAS accredited certification body, no. 9413. It’s a scheme that’s voluntary for manufacturers, installers and maintainers to join, that is designed to give you an extra level of confidence when choosing the company to fit your windows and doors.
You can also download a pdf version of our buyers guide.
You may be tempted to save money with your installation but it could cost you in the long run. Here are some things to consider:
- Don’t use an installer who doesn’t register your installation with LABC. This would render the installation illegal and you could be made to fix any issues. It could also cause problems when you come to sell the house.
- Products that aren’t 3rd party certified to PAS 24 for security could allow an opportunist thief to break into your house in seconds, using basic tools.
- Products that aren’t certified for general performance, weather tightness and durability (i.e. BS 644 for timber, BS 7412 for PVCU or BS 4873 for Aluminium) may have been made with sub-standard components and could therefore fail early.
- An installer who does not provide consumer protection to cover the deposit and guarantee may lose all your money if their business fails.
- Products which don’t meet the minimum energy requirements in the Building Regulations will not only be illegal but may result in increased heating bills.
- Products that have not been certified for noise reduction performance might reduce the saleability of your property if you live in a noisy area.
Top questions for your installer
- Are the windows and doors certified to PAS 24 for security?
- Are the windows and doors certified for noise reduction?
- Are the windows and doors certified for general performance, weather tightness and durability?
- How will the installation be registered with Local Authority Building Control, i.e. will it be directly with them, or through a Competent Person Scheme, e.g. Assure, Certass, FENSA?
- Does the installer provide access to an ombudsman to deal with any disputes?
- Will your deposit and guarantee be insurance backed?
- Have both the surveyor and the lead installer been assessed against the Minimum Technical Competence standards for windows and doors? (Ask for the installer and surveyor’s MTC cards when they are on site to demonstrate this, and check that they are up to date.)
- Does the installer have their operational procedures and the quality of their onsite work regularly audited by an external body?
- What steps will the installer take to avoid damage to your home and avoid upsetting your neighbours?
You can also check online to see whether the company you choose is reputable by looking at comments and reviews and checking out their website to see if they’ve worked on houses like yours.
However, we all know that sometimes reviews can be misleading, so it may be better to choose an installation company that is a member of the Bluesky scheme.
Bluesky are experts in windows and doors, with years of experience in certification. Bluesky Certification is a UKAS accredited certification body, no. 9413. We chose to gain this accreditation in order to demonstrate our credibility.
Choosing an installer who is a member of the Bluesky Certification scheme means you’ll be choosing a company that’s been independently verified by us.
The Bluesky scheme is a voluntary scheme which attracts only the most professional installation companies. It includes independent audits to check the company’s procedures and processes, the workmanship on site and the competency of staff. This is done as part of the joining requirements and then on an ongoing basis.
Ongoing training is another important feature to maintain the highest of standards for members. Whether they work in the office, as surveyors or installers, we look for evidence that they keep up to date with best practice in the industry.
To complement this scheme, we also have a scheme for the installation of conservatories and orangeries.
Bluesky Certification checks that its installer members:
- Work to suitable installation procedures
- Have appropriate procedures for the overall operation of their business
- Have procedures to ensure that your home is looked after during the installation
- Have appropriately trained and monitored staff
- Have considerate working practices
- Provide insurance backing for any deposits that are taken
- Provide a guarantee for their installations
This can give you confidence in your installer.