Are You a Certified Conservatory Installer?

Certass CQ-Assured Warm Roof Conservatory Installer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conservatories continue to be a popular choice with homeowners looking to add more space to their homes and we have also seen a surge in interest in conservatory refurbishments using solid roof systems so that they can use their existing conservatories all year round. What’s changed is that homeowners are getting more savvy about choosing companies to carry out home improvement work for them. They want to find local traders that they can trust to do a great job on their conservatory plans.

Although conservatories aren’t a new home improvement trend, conservatory performance and the way they are installed aren’t covered by the same levels of legislation as windows and doors are. That includes the energy efficiency of the roof and frames and the quality of workmanship on the installation. Conservatory work isn’t even covered by Minimal Technical Competence, so there can be big gaps for potential issues.

By offering homeowners the same reassurances and guarantees on their conservatories as their windows and doors, installers can set themselves apart from the competition, protect their reputations and offer their customers peace of mind.

Don’t Be Left Out in The Cold with Conservatory Installations & Refurbishments

The key to maintaining your reputation for great workmanship and reducing the risk of any call-backs is to make sure that all the products you install are covered by a scheme that gives protection for your business and peace of mind for homeowners.

Many homeowners who want to find local traders for a conservatory project may have already had a replacement conservatory or a refurbishment that promised them a space that could be used in the cold winter months and the hot summer months without becoming uncomfortable. So how do you prove that this time, their conservatory will deliver what they have been promised?

For new conservatories, they are a multi-trade project and often aspects of the build are subcontracted without an appropriate level of supervision or workmanship checks. This is usually where we find installation issues occurring.

Conservatory refurbishments, where tiled conservatory roofs are being retrofitted onto existing conservatory frames to fix the problem of inefficient conservatories are a great market for installers, but they can bring their own inadequacies in terms of certification. Again, product performance isn’t regulated, and neither is the workmanship.

Installers like you need to know that the system will perform, and homeowners need to know that the work they are paying local traders for carries some kind of guarantee. That’s why we created the Certass CQ-Assured Conservatories and Conservatory Warm Roof Scheme.

How the Certass CQ-Assured Scheme Works

The Certass CQ-Assured Conservatories and Conservatory Warm Roof Scheme helps resolve any potential problem for conservatory installers. It’s an independent certification scheme and the only scheme in the industry that covers the installation of both conservatories and conservatory warm roofs. It also includes a two year insurance backed workmanship warranty.

The company that’s registered with Certass will be able to give their customer a fully warranted installation for every aspect for the work carried out to build or refurbish a conservatory.

As with all our CQ-Assured schemes, our conservatory scheme offers certification to help improve consumer confidence in your workmanship. By checking your workmanship standards, assessing your site supervisors and carrying out ongoing checks of your work, we help you to make sure that all you do adheres to the best codes of practice for workmanship.

Every installation you do that is logged with our scheme will receive a certificate of conformity and a 2-year insurance-backed guarantee provided by our finance partner. You’ll also get access to our Alternate Dispute Resolution service should you ever need it and discounts on Approved Inspector Fees if you work on a project that needs Building regulation approval.

Apply Now for Our Certass CQ-Assured Conservatory Scheme

So, to get covered for your conservatory schemes, give your customers extra peace of mind, talk to Certass today. You can just get certified under the conservatory scheme or bolt it on to our other CQ-Assured Certification Scopes – apply now online.

If you’re a homeowner, you can find local traders that are CQ-Assured on our directory.

How Certass Helps Homeowners to Find Trusted Tradesmen

CQ-Assured Workmanship Standards

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trying to find trusted tradesmen to carry out your next home improvement project can be a minefield, just because there are so many options out there. As a homeowner, you’ll be looking for great products to update or modernise your home, that have great energy efficiency and security features. But even the best products on the market won’t be right if they’re fitted incorrectly.

That’s where workmanship standards come in.

What Are Workmanship Standards?

Over the years, regulations and codes of practice have been put in place in order to set a standard for all workmanship. It covers all areas of construction, including glazing, roofing, joinery and insulation. It’s not just new buildings that have to comply with Building Regulations, retrofit and refurbishment projects also have standards to comply with. That includes the materials, the skills and professionalism of the people on site.

Workmanship standards focus on the people. There are a number of different schemes put in place to make sure that anyone who is fitting or building onsite has the right skills to do a great job. With the reassurance that the installation skills of a company have been assessed, homeowners get that extra peace of mind.

Helping You to Find Trusted Tradesmen

At Certass, we’re committed to helping tradesmen be the best they can be and we do that in a number of ways, depending on what their business does. Technically, it’s one simple, sensible scheme that covers everything, because we know how much crossover there is nowadays for installation companies.

Workmanship for Certass-approved members is covered by CQ-Assured. It’s our workmanship quality assurance scheme that has been designed to give homeowners real confidence when it’s time to find trusted tradesmen.

CQ-Assured covers building repair maintenance and improvement work, conservatories, solid conservatory roofs, cavity clearance, external works and internal fitments.

How Certass Makes Sure That Their Members are Quality Assured Installers

Every company registered under the Certass CQ-Assured Scheme is audited by our team. This involves lots of processes.

We’ll carry out what’s called a ‘desktop audit’ every year. It double checks all the important, but not very exciting, details like insurance, legal status and contact information. We also look into the workforce of the business and make sure that a company has appropriately skilled site operatives.

It’s important that the people working on your home are trusted traders. That’s why we carry out an on-site audit on application and then onwards every 3-5 years. This checks qualifications, ensures that complaint logs and records are kept up-to-date. A sample of job files are checked too and we do an on-site audit of an installation, so we can check the quality of the workmanship.

Every year, we also check a sample of work done by members that has been registered with our scheme. This gives us the opportunity to ensure that their high standards are maintained throughout the year.

What to Expect from a CQ-Assured Installer

As well as ensuring high levels of workmanship, the CQ-Assured Scheme gives installers and their customers extra benefits including: 2-year insurance backed workmanship warranties, our special Alternative Dispute Resolution Service and discounts on Approved Inspector fees for projects that require Building Regulation approval.

CQ-Assured installers also agree to work by our consumer code of conduct which means that they agree to:

✓ Provide a high level of service for customers

✓ Trade in a fair manner putting customers’ best interests first

✓ Publish accurate marketing literature

✓ Not use pressurised selling techniques

✓ Treat all customers equally and fairly

✓ Not take advantage of vulnerable customers

✓ Ensure a written quote/estimate is provided in plain language

✓ Ensure a written contract is provided in plain language

✓ Maintain the confidentiality of all its customers’ data

✓ Carry out works to appropriate best practice standards

✓ Only use materials meeting industry standards and appropriate for the work

✓ Register all appropriate installation work with the CQ-Assured Scheme

✓ Protect and enhance the public image of our industry

✓ Use the Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) via Certass for any disputes

Find Trusted Tradesmen

To find trusted tradesmen who are part of the Certass CQ-Assured Scheme for your next project, you can search our approved contractor directory.

An Easy Way To Fix A Common Non-Compliance Issue

WER_LABEL_NEW_2-779x1024Certass Auditors carry out thousands of installation inspections over the year and we’re happy to say that proportionately to the number of inspections carried out, we get few non-compliances.  This is testament to the quality of the contractors that are our members.

However, there is one non-compliance that crops up that could easily be avoided.  “I don’t want any non-compliances, what is it?” I hear you say.  The Building Regulation in question is Part L – Conservation of Fuel and Power which sets out the required thermal performance for windows and doors.

Usually the installed product does comply with Part L.  The issue is that when the Auditor carries out the inspection, they need to see the evidence to prove the installed product complies; but that evidence is not always to hand.

 

There are two ways to prove compliance

1) Window Energy Ratings (WER):

The purpose of a Window Energy Rating is to allow one window’s energy performance to be directly compared to another under standard conditions.  All replacement windows either have to be rated C or better. There are 2 ways to obtain a WER certificate:

  1. Buy your frames and units from a supplier who is part of a WER scheme. The supplier will then supply you with a WER certificate in their name or if they are a member of the TRR corporate scheme they will be able to input your company details in the certificate.
  1. If you want total freedom of supplier you can become a member of a WER scheme yourself and have WER labels in your own name.

2) U-Value:

  1. Full simulation reports carried out in line with EN 10077-2,
  2. Hot box test reports
  3. U-value calculations carried out in accordance with EN 10077-1 provided by approved operators

Going down the U-Value route to prove compliance is not the most consumer friendly way to prove compliance as they are unlikely to be easily understand what a U-Value is, whereas consumer immediately understand he relative merits of a WER label.

The Easiest Way

By far the easiest way to comply is by providing a Window Energy Rating Certificate to your customer; this can usually be sourced from your fabricator or by joining a Window Energy Rating Scheme.  As well as providing a certificate to your customer, you should also keep a copy of the WER Certificate and delivery note or invoice in the installations job file so when the Auditor requests the evidence to prove compliance you can lay your hands on it.

Call our sales team on 01292 292 095 or visit certass.co.uk for more information.

What You Can and Can’t Register With a Competent Person Scheme

Domestic Replacement Glazing Works

What You Can and Can’t Register With a Competent Person Scheme

Many works must meet Building Regulation requirements but not all works in dwellings are notifiable to the Local Authorities. Therefore, Competent Person Schemes can only register works on a contractor’s behalf with the Local Authority that are deemed notifiable. Generally speaking, conservatories and porches are excluded from Building Regulation notification requirements.

Conservatories and Porches

There are some exemptions from the energy efficiency requirements and Local Authority notification in Building Regulations for some conservatory and porch extensions. The exemption for conservatories or porches in Building Regulations:

  • Which are at ground level;
    • Where the floor area is less than 30 m2;
    • Where the existing walls, doors and windows in the part of the dwelling which separates the conservatory are retained or, if removed, replaced by walls, windows and doors which meet the energy efficiency requirements; and
    • Where the heating system of the dwelling is not extended into the conservatory or porch.

In circumstances where any conservatory or porch does not meet all the requirements above, it is not exempt from Building Regulation compliance and therefore, must comply with the relevant energy efficiency requirements and is notifiable.

Certass Guidance for registration of existing porches with Certass  

When determining if replacement doors or windows are notifiable, you need to consider the following two factors:

  • If the porch/conservatory was removed, could the remaining door to the property be considered an external grade door? i.e. is it weathertight and secure?
  • Is the porch/conservatory heated from the property’s main heating system? i.e. is there a radiator in the porch/conservatory fed from a boiler that heats the rest of the property?

If the door in the example above is not an external grade door at the time of the replacement, then the windows and doors in the porch/conservatory are notifiable.

If the porch is heated from the main property heating system, then the replacement windows and doors in the porch are notifiable irrespective of whether the secondary door is / is not external grade.

Wall Openings

Where a wall opening has been widened as part of the replacement windows and /or doors installation then these woks cannot be registered with a Competent Person Scheme and these works must be notified via the relevant Local Authority or through an Approved Inspector.

Technical Support

If as a member of Certass you have any doubt over the correct registration requirements, please contact us and one of our technical team will be more than happy to discuss your requirements with you. Telephone number: 01292 292099.