If you’re replacing windows in your home, the chances are you won’t need planning permission. However, you are likely to need planning permission if you live in a conservation area or have a listed home.
Speak to your local authority to check – or ask your installer to check for you.
If you’re building an extension or a new build property, the planning permission for the windows will come within the overall scheme.
Under Building Regulations, windows and doors fitted into new buildings now need to have a level of security built into them. This required level of security doesn’t apply to the refurbishment of existing buildings.
So, if you’re replacing your windows or doors, it might make sense to install windows and doors that meet the same requirements as those for new builds.
To do this, insist that they comply with the requirements of the Approved Document Q – as if it were an installation into a new build. The additional cost will be small in comparison to replacing the windows later to add security.
For more details on Document Q, click here.
Competent Person Schemes and Local Authority Building Control
As a homeowner, you are responsible for compliance with Building Regulations, and if your windows don’t comply you could be made to put them right.
By law, installations of windows and doors must be registered with Local Authority Building Control (LABC). For replacement windows, most installers will use a government approved Competent Person Scheme (e.g. Assure, Certass or FENSA) to register the installation on your behalf. With these schemes, homeowners get the added benefit of deposit insurance and an insurance backed guarantee.
If the installer is not a member of a Competent Person Scheme, the work will need to be registered directly with LABC, which will cost more.
For details of the Assure competent person scheme click here
It’s not just the quality of the actual installation of your windows and doors that you’ve got to look out for, it’s the little things too. Like whether the installer takes appropriate care of your property, for example, by keeping it clean with dustsheets and carefully removing your old windows.
Mythbuster – Competent Person Schemes
Competent Person Schemes only demonstrate that the installer meets the minimum legal requirements for installing windows and doors in England or Wales and are not intended to give assurance of the quality of the installation.