Building Regulations

New windows - Ensure that they are compliant with UK Building Regulations

Posted by | October 19, 2020

Did you know that your new double glazed windows and doors must comply with UK Building Regulations?

Since 2002 replacement windows and doors have been subject to UK Building Regulations, and all newly completed double glazing installations must comply with current legislation and standards laid out in the Building Act 1984. This means that as ‘controlled fittings’ your new windows and doors will have to be certified or signed off as having met key requirements and standards.

What are the Building Regulations for double glazed windows?

The Building Regulations specify standards of materials and installation of new double glazing in 4 key areas:

  • Thermal Performance

Double glazing is, of course, installed for its exceptional thermal performance. Building regulations safeguard the energy efficiency of your windows and doors and ensure that meet minimum requirements for the amount of heat that is lost through the glass and frame. This is known as the U-value and must be specified for the windows you install.

  • Safety

The type and quality of glass used in key areas and structures like French doors or windows must also be demonstrably compliant. This will protect you and visitors to your property from injury due to falling, collision and impacts with glass. Specialist safety glazing is needed if you have an extensively glazed door or large unobstructed openable area.

  • Ventilation

Ventilation is critical for the entire property so your windows and doors must support a level of ventilation that is consistent with each room’s size and use. Kitchens and bathrooms will generate a lot of steam and so your window installation will need to ensure that it can escape adequately.

  • Means of escape

Means of escape is part of the fire safety of your windows. When replacing windows, the new windows must, at a minimum, provide an equivalent means of escape as the windows that were in place previously. On the first floor of a property, escape windows should be a priority. Only one egress window per room is needed and building regs outline the width and height, clear openable area and cill height needed.

Are there any other aspects of my double glazing installation that will be considered?

  • General fire safety is vital. Aside from means of escape, windows should not provide an opportunity for fire to spread within a property or between properties. The fire resistance of the glazing and frame will be scrutinised in line with guidance in this area.
  • Building access guidance directs that the threshold of an entrance door should be kept level and not increasethe difficulty for people with disabilities in accessing the building.

How will my new windows and doors be approved?

Getting properly installed, quality windows and doors signed off for building regulations is a straightforward process. You have options:

  1. Use an approved installer, registered with a competent person scheme like FENSA. Approved installers have demonstrable expertise in sourcing, manufacturing and installing double glazing in line with Building Regulations. They are therefore able to provide you with certification that their work meets the necessary standards. They will be listed on a database of registered installers.
  2. Get approval for completed work via an approved Buildings Inspector or the Local Authority. This method is used if you have completed the installation yourself or used and unregistered contractor. Once the windows or doors are inspected, compliant work will be certified.

Either way, your completed double glazing should have a certificate of compliance that you should retain as evidence that your windows have been properly installed.

Confidence that your new glazing is of high quality and installed expertly!

As accredited double glazing professionals we complete all work to the highest standards using only the best quality glazing and frames for every installation. Our local team of tradesmen are on-hand to provide you with all the advice you need and free measuring to get your new window installation underway.

Contact us by phone or email today to get started.