Energy Ratings Explained for your Windows

Energy ratings for homes graphic for Certass

Did you know, more than 25% of heat lost within your home typically escapes through old windows?

The windows installed in a home can make a huge difference on the overall warmth of a property, and with more and more households looking at ways to save money on their energy bills, a question we’re often asked is just how energy efficient are replacement windows?

When new energy efficient windows are installed properly, they help to reduce the overall heat loss from your home and your carbon footprint. However, old, inefficient windows can become a main source of heat loss and draughts, meaning you’ll probably be spending more on your heating bills.

That’s why, when replacing your existing windows, it is so important to make sure that they are energy efficient.

Replacement windows have to meet building regulation requirements for energy efficiency, measured either through a U-Value calculation or a Window Energy Rating (WER), with a rating scale of A-G, with A being the highest.

What are Window Energy Ratings?

Window Energy Ratings were introduced to help select the right windows for your home, by comparing the energy efficiency of the different window products.

Currently, under building regulations, replacement windows must either be window efficiency rated to a minimum of ‘C’ or have a U-Value of 1.6 W/m2K or lower (lower U-values are better as it relates to the rate of heat flow). A ‘replacement window’ means that both the frame and glass are replaced at the same time, as a complete installation.

WERs use a simple system to calculate the thermal efficiency of windows by taking into account U-Values, solar heat gain and air leakage of a window.

A window is made from several aspects, including the frame, glass and spacer bar between the panes of glass. All of these have different thermal values, so the WER is measured by combining all these aspects together and calculating a whole window energy rating.

Certass’ Thermal Rating Register

Building regulations were first changed in 2002 to incorporate thermal performance for replacing windows in homes. This prompted the development of Window Energy Ratings, and there are now thousands of window installers and products that are registered with a WERs scheme, making it easy for you to choose the most energy efficient windows for your home.

Window Energy Rating Schemes, such as our Thermal Rating Register, were established to create an easily recognisable tool that measures the Window Energy Ratings.

The Thermal Rating Register rates the energy efficiency and thermal performance of the window installation using an easily recognisable, traffic light style, A-G scale, like you find on fridges, freezers and washing machines.

The higher the rating, the better the overall thermal efficiency, helping to save money on energy bills and reducing the home’s carbon footprint.

Window manufacturers use the Thermal Rating Register to show homeowners how efficient their windows are. Each window that is rated using the Thermal Rating Register is given a unique label which shows the energy rating level, so you can easily compare and choose the most energy efficient windows for your home. These labels are usually displayed with the paperwork that comes with the window and can be viewed online too, for easy access.

Why Certass Members are Part of the Thermal Rating Register Scheme

Whilst your windows may have high window energy ratings, and a low U-Value, they need to be installed properly too.

Poorly installed windows massively contribute to heat loss, cold spots and draughts in a property, making it a key that energy efficient windows are installed correctly, by a skilled and certified tradesperson.

The Thermal Rating Register scheme is designed to show that your windows and the completed installation is compliant with building regulations, so you’ll receive energy efficient windows, and a quality installation.

Window installers that are registered with any of our glazing schemes can voluntarily join the Thermal Rating Register scheme, so that they can provide all of their window installations with WERs labels.

This means that by choosing a Certass certified window installer, you’ll get a product that has the right thermal performance features that meet building regulations, and a quality installation by a skilled tradesperson too.

Finding a Certified Installer that can Install your Energy Efficient Windows

We’ve made it easy to find a Certass certified installer that can supply and fit your energy efficient windows, with our online directory. Simply search your address and it will display a list of certified installers that are nearest to you.

Certass Goes Digital with Building Certificates

Certass has introduced digital downloads for building certificates, to make getting certificates quicker, easier and more convenient for Certass members and homeowners.

Jason Clemmit, Managing Director at Certass says: “As consumer trends have changed, lots of homeowners have come to expect electronic documents, rather than having hard copies come through the post.

“Whether it’s bank statements, utility bills or even receipts from high-street shops, almost everything is done via email now, so that’s what consumers have come to expect from their home improvement installers too.

“That’s why we’ve made our certificates available electronically. It’s doesn’t only help homeowners, it makes life easier for members too. When a Certass installer registers an installation with an email address, an email is sent with full details on how to download building certificates from the Certass digital download portal. This can be done by the installer or the homeowner.

“We’ve put a safety net in place too, in case an email address is missed, or mistyped. If emails bounce or the certificate is not downloaded within 30 days, a hard copy will still be sent to the homeowner’s preferred address.

“There’s also a 24-hour window after registration to correct any errors. After this, passed certificates are locked and emailed to consumers within 48 hours of member’s sign-off. Certificates will be in PDF format, so they can be stored digitally or printed by installers as part of their handover information.”

Certass specialises in installer and product certification for a wide range of home improvements, ranging from glazing and solid conservatory roofs to roofline and extensions.

Certass Launches Key Partner Programme

Key Partner Program

Specialist certification body, Certass, has launched its Key Partner Programme, working with system suppliers and fabricators to bring even more support to local installers.

The Certass Key Partner Scheme follows a pilot with Eurocell that was launched last year and brought the industry’s only solid conservatory roof certification scheme to installers of the Equinox warm roof system.

Jon Vanstone, Chairman at Certass explains: “Our Key Partner Programme will add even more value to our Certass members. By working together with systems companies and fabricators, we can offer practical support that doesn’t just help installers with compliance, it also gives them access to technical expertise that helps develop their skills and grow their businesses.

“Between the industry’s systems companies, component suppliers and fabricators there is an impressive wealth of knowledge and expertise that is really valuable to installers. Our programme will bring them together, so that installers can take advantage of that knowledge and get real practical support.”

The Equinox Roof certification scheme has proven popular with installation companies. Certass offers support to events for local installers, like the Equinox installation training morning organised by Derby-based fabricator, Frame Fast UK.

Jon adds: “We want to join with more fabricators and systems companies, to bring installation companies our unique CQ-Assured Certification Scheme with exclusive access to both technical and practical support.”

Do you have your Waste Carrier Licence?

Waste Carrier

In January 2014, the law for the carriage of waste changed in the UK. In short, if you transport waste of any kind, you are legally required to register as a waste carrier, even if it’s only in small quantities. If you fail to do so, you could be faced with fines of up to £5,000!

As part of our dedication to ensure workmanship quality in line with TrustMark standards, we have added the requirement for all our CQ-Assured scheme members to hold a Waste Carrier Licence. By including the licensing as a requirement, we are ensuring that we keep the highest levels of workmanship standards, giving your customers the utmost confidence when choosing you as their tradesperson.

The good news is it’s usually free to register for a Waste Carrier Licence online, you can apply for it here. If you transport waste that you produce yourself, there is no charge, however there’s an Upper Tier licence that does carry a small charge, you can see below for more details.

Why is the Waste Carrier Licence relevant?

Recently, there has been an influx of tradespeople being fined under this law as there has been a combined effort from the Environmental Agency and local authorities to enforce waste carrier regulations across the country.

We all know the damaging effects that waste can have on both the environment and human health if it’s not properly managed or disposed of, and the current regulations are in place to further protect the environment and discourage fly-tipping.

You may be under the assumption that licensing laws only apply for companies where waste carrying and disposal is the main focus of the business, but that’s not the case. It applies to all commercial vehicles who transport waste of any kind. So, if you’ve been on a job and have cleared up debris or have an empty silicone tube in the back of your van, you’ll need a licence.

What is a Waste Carrier Licence?

A Waste Carrier Licence applies to people and businesses who transport, dispose, buy or sell waste or arrange for others to do so on their behalf, basically covering any waste in a commercial vehicle. These regulations are developed by the Environmental Agency as an effort to reduce harm on the environment and health by ensuring that all businesses are authorised to transport waste and that it is disposed of properly.

Once you have registered for a licence, your application and information are made available to the public, so your customers will be able to double check that you have the correct licensing in place. If you are based in England and Wales, your details will appear in the Environmental Agency’s public register of waste carriers, brokers and dealers. For Scotland and Wales, you can find out more information on the public registers here.

Do I need a Waste Carrier Licence?

Put simply, yes! You must register if you transport waste of any kind, buy, sell and dispose of waste or even arrange for someone else to dispose of waste.

The regulations implemented in January 2014 state that if you carry waste as part of your normal business, whether it’s your own waste or someone else’s, you will need to have a Waste Carrier Licence.

Should you be unfortunate enough to be in a vehicle accident, if you are carrying waste products without a waste carrier licence, it could invalidate your insurance.

The two tiers of the Waster Carrier Licence explained

Under the licence, there are two tiers of registration, depending on the type of waste that you have. If you carry any building or demolition waste, or even empty silicone tubes, you are classed as an ‘Upper Tier’ carrier. If you have previously been exempt from carrying waste charges or you carry your own waste that you’ve produced (not including building and demolition materials) on a normal basis, you’re classed as a ‘Lower Tier’ carrier and you won’t appear on a public register. Both tiers demonstrate that regardless of the type of waste you carry, you need to be registered.

In England and Wales, under the Environmental Agency, if you are a Lower Tier carrier registration is usually free, and Upper Tier costs £154. However, these costs can vary between different agencies if you live in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Where can I register for a Waste Carrier Licence?

Registration is super easy, and you can do it all online. You can apply for a licence or renew as a waste carrier, broker or dealer here.

All you will need is the correct details that will be added to the public register, including names and dates of birth of your company executives, owners, directors or partners and details of any previous environmental offences if you have any.

At Certass, where committed to delivering the very best workmanship standards in our schemes, that’s why we have added the Waste Carrier Licence to our CQ-Assured scheme requirements.

If you need any more information, or help with your registration, you can send an email to [email protected]

The Certass Trade Association

Certass Trade Association

You asked, we listened

Introducing your new industry body for glazing, the Certass Trade Association.

Certass Trade Association is the new voice in the industry. A voice that will work alongside you to help your business grow, by offering real, practical hands on support, and to make your business’ views heard.

We understand the need for an association that works with you. We’re part of an industry where there is a lot to contend with – a lack of real support, poor customer perception and a lack of skilled labour.

That’s why we want to get involved with the development of the glazing industry, and we know by creating the largest member body (over 3000 members already) that is open to all companies in the glazing supply chain who share our vision, we can get off the blocks to making a difference and bring on the next generation of tradespeople.

It’s all about the members

The Certass Trade Association is driven by tradespeople, for tradespeople. The team have first-hand experience in the glazing industry and in successful membership bodies for other sectors, so you’ll always receive insight and knowledge that’s both innovative and valuable.

Within the association, no time is wasted on internal politics or irrelevant issues, instead we focus on what our members tell us they want and build our offering to them based on this. We further enhance our offering through collaborations, skills and practical support to drive our industry forward.

The Certass Trade Association Pledge

We want to start championing our local installers and tradespeople, that’s why we have created the Certass Trade Association Pledge.

  • To be your trusted ally in the industry for practical, hands on help and support
  • To be your new glazing voice
  • To give you the heads up with everything that’s happening in the industry and Government
  • To help you grow a skilled workforce with practical support
  • To support you with legislation and certification
  • To provide industry information you need to deliver the latest innovations and services to your customers
  • To collaborate with you to champion diversity and skills within the industry
  • To help bring on the next generation of tradespeople

What you’ll get out of your membership

So, you now know our pledges, but what will you get out of being a member?

Practical advice and support

From best practice guidelines and template documents, to checklists and guides, you will receive real support that will encourage best practice and drive innovation in the glazing industry.

Industry and Government news

You’ll get a heads up with all the news and information in both glazing and Government, so that you can build a strong workforce that is equipped with the right skills, knowledge and confidence to grow.

Access to reliable help when things go wrong

Get the feeling that there’s not a great deal of support in the glazing industry when things don’t go quite right? We will offer extensive technical advice, help on dealing with ‘difficult customers’ and useful ‘how-to’ videos for extra information.

Training and guidance

We will give you all the correct business and ethical practices, with training on maintaining business success, website and social media management, smart business management, ethical selling –  the list goes on.

Marketing support

You will receive marketing support to help promote your business, from online support packages to local advertising materials.

How to become a member

If you’re already a member of Certass, you’re in luck! You will automatically receive the full benefits of the association with no charge.

The Certass Trade Association welcomes everyone in the glazing industry. We want to collaborate with local installers, whether you’re a one-man-band or part of a larger team, fabricators, system companies, component suppliers, training providers, certification suppliers, trade counters – everyone in the industry.

It’s simple to become a member of the Certass Trade Association. You can sign up on our dedicated website, and we look forward to uniting with you to grow your business and improve our industry.

Building Regulations Explained

Building Regulations

Are you thinking about carrying out building work at your property? Maybe you are planning a beautiful extension or conversion, or even replacing your windows. There’s loads of helpful information and inspiration around to help you plan and create your dream home, but there’s not so much when it comes to the topic of permissions and the regulations that surround the work.

The first step to take once you have decided on what work you want to complete on your property would be to find a designer, architect or certified installer to help you prepare the plans and the finer details. They will be there to help with the requirements that surround the work, and to give you a better understanding of these, we have created this blog to answer some of the most common questions that we’ve heard when it comes to Building Regulations.

What are Building Regulations?

Building Regulations refer to a set of minimum requirements for the design and construction of a building that are there to lawfully protect the health, safety, welfare and convenience of the users in and around it. These mandatory regulations are made under the Building Act 1984 in England and are often changed and updated. So, if you are embarking on your home improvements project, it’s always best to keep up to date with the requirements of the building and planning regulations. It’s also a good idea to seek advice before you start any building work. You can approach your local authority’s building control team who will be able to offer their advice on your project and ensure that it will meet building regulations.

Planning Permission or Building Regulations?

If you are planning major building work such as an extension or conversion, it may be the case that you need both Building Regulations along with Planning Permission. This is because both are separate sets of requirements that have different processes. Internal building work, for example, will need Building Regulations, but might not need Planning Permission, however an extension will more than likely need both.

What’s the difference?

Planning Permission basically refers to how a building looks and where it’s positioned, which determines what you can build, and Building Regulations control exactly how it must be built. These are in place to make sure that the work is structurally safe and sound. Planning Permission is in place to make sure that the environment is protected in the public interest, and if something is built without the right permission, you may be forced to put things right to comply. However, there are certain changes to your home that can be made without the need for Planning Permission. These are called permitted developments and you can find out whether your project is included here in the Planning Portal.

Will my project need Building Regulations?

It’s always best to check and seek advice from your local authority to see whether your project will need Building Regulations, Planning Permission or both, especially if you’re in doubt. This is also something your designer, architect or installer can help with.

For certain improvements to your home and building work such as replacing your windows and doors, that’s where Competent Person Schemes come in. If you choose an installer that is part of a Competent Person Scheme, you won’t need to get approval yourself as they can self-certify that their work complies with building standards and are able to deal with any issues that may arise.

Choosing a Certass certified installer ensures that they are qualified and skilled to carry out your project to the highest standards, which comply with current Building Regulations. Once the project is complete, they will self-certify the work and you will be issued with the Building Regulations Compliance Certificate that you will need to keep in a safe place!

Finding a certified installer in Your Area

It’s super easy to find a Certass certified installer in your local area with our Online Directory. All you need to do is search your address and it will list the installers that are closest to you.

Improve, Don’t Move: Certass’ Guide to Planning Your Extension

Worker Shows House Design

More and more people are looking at ways to create extra space in their current home rather than move to a new house. Home extensions are great for all kinds of properties and create vital space to make room for extra relatives or accommodate your growing family.

Whether you’re looking to create a large, open-plan kitchen, build a new conservatory, or extend the whole back of your home to create more living space, our guide to planning your extension will give you a good starting point.

We’ve come up with five pointers to help you ask the right questions as you start to think about how your extension will look and where to find expert advice and installers you can trust.

1. Planning and research

If you’re already at the stage where you are planning your home extension, chances are that you’ve already done lots of research – but you can never do too much. Make sure you have a very clear idea of what you want from your extension before you start talking about designs. Build a wish list so that all of the features you want from your extension are included.

A useful piece of research is a book called ‘Extending and Improving Your Home: An Introduction’ (M. J. Billington, C. Gibbs). It was co-written by the previous Chairman of Certass and the current Quality and Technical Manager. This will outline processes, procedures and many of the pitfalls to help you through the whole process.

2. Designing your extension

There are several ways you can design your extension and there are numerous professionals who can be involved.  You can be involved as much or as little as you want, but every project is different and so the number and type of professionals involved can vary. These include, but are not limited to: Architects, Building Surveyors, Quantity Surveyors and Structural Engineers. Each of them would be members of professional institutes and you can search for members on the institutes websites. In addition, the amount of legislation involved can be a minefield, so choosing Building Professionals that are members of professional institutions is vital to guide you.

3. Planning Permission

Depending on the size and location of your extension, you may not need Planning Permission as it could be covered by Permitted Development Rights. There are limitations for permitted developments, so check out the Planning Portal to see if your extension is covered.

If your plans are not covered by the Permitted Development Rights, it’s easy to start a planning application online or your designer can do this for you.

4. Choosing traders you can trust

Whether you are planning on managing your extension project yourself or using a professional project manager, make sure that the builders or installers are certified by a third-party certification scheme. These schemes operate under Government license or Government sub-license, to give you peace of mind that your installation company has great standards of workmanship.

At Certass, we offer a number of schemes that cover the building fabric industry.

Our Competent Person Scheme (CPS) allows traders to register their own projects to get Building Regulations approval, as an alternative to using Building Control. Our CPS covers replacement glazing and insulation services.

For other trades, including builders, roofers, carpenters, joiners, plasterers and painter & decorators, our Government endorsed TrustMark scheme gives homeowners extra confidence when finding tradespeople.

5. Work closely with your chosen tradespeople

Before you make a final decision on your local builder or installation company, make sure you check out other work that they have done. Have a look at case studies on their website and social media pages and visit their showroom, if they have one, to get a real feel for the kind of work they do.

Your installer will be able to give you lots of expert advice on what products will work best for extension too. Ask for brochures and literature – they are usually packed full of information you need. Ask them about anything else you need to know.

For major building works, get a minimum of 5 quotes.  Don’t necessarily go for the cheapest quote; look for quotes that are close together, as this is likely to be a true picture of a realistic quote for a good job, then choose the final company based on service.

Extending your home is a fantastic way to create extra space for you and your family. By doing lots of research and choosing home improvement companies that have third party certification, like Certass members, you’ll be sitting enjoying your new extension before you know it!

Top Considerations when Replacing Windows and Doors

Window Fitters

There are loads of reasons for replacing windows and doors on your property. For lots of homeowners, it’s about getting rid of draughts and cold spots caused by old, inefficient windows, for others it’s about improving home security. Some homeowners just want to improve kerb appeal and others want replacement windows and doors that are low-maintenance.

Whatever your reasons for choosing to install new double glazing in your home, here are our top things to consider when replacing windows and doors.

Why are you replacing windows and doors?

If it’s all about getting rid of draughts and cold spots that can make your home uncomfortable, make sure that you choose energy efficient windows and doors with a high Window Energy Rating.

For the security conscious, you’ll want to look for products that are PAS24 tested and Secured by Design (SBD) accredited. SBD is the police-approved security initiative, accredited products have been designed with security in mind to offer complete peace of mind to homeowners.

If you’re looking to transform your home with new windows and doors, you’ll be amazed by the options that are out there. Choose from slimline aluminium frames, uPVC flush sash designs and timber alternative products in a full range of colours and woodgrain finishes to create the perfect look for your home.

As for entrance doors, composite doors are fast becoming the door of choice for homeowners looking for thermal efficiency and great security. uPVC and aluminium residential doors offer great performance and design benefits too.

Do you need planning permission or building control?

You do not normally need Planning Permission to replace your windows and doors, but there are some exceptions. If you live in a listed property, or your local council has an Article 4 Direction, your home will not be covered by Permitted Development Rights, so you will need to apply for permission.

Building Regulations apply to all replacement glazing, to ensure that they are safe and have sufficient levels of performance. They cover all areas including thermal efficiency, ventilation and safety measures such as fire and emergency exits.

By choosing an installer who is registered with a Competent Person Scheme (CPS) you can be sure that they are approved to replace your windows and comply with Building Regulations. They are regularly audited so they can register their own work and you will receive Building Regulation Compliance Certificates.

What about energy efficient window and door replacements?

There’s lots of jargon out there about energy efficiency of windows and doors. Here are some of the terms companies might use and what they mean:

  • A U-Value?

A U-Value is just a measurement of how effective a material is as an insulator on a building. The lower the U-Value is, the better the material is as an insulator. So, if window 1 has a U-Value of 1.1 W/m2K and window 2 has a U-Value of 0.9 W/m2K, window 2 is the better insulator.

  • A Window Energy Rating (WER)?

Window Energy Ratings are a measure of how energy efficient a window is. It uses a mathematical formula so that a window can be directly compared to another under standard conditions. All new and replacement windows must be rated as ‘C’ or higher or have a U-Value of 1.6 W/m2K or lower.

  • Window Energy Rating Labels

Certass’ Thermal Rating Register uses the simple colour coded, A-G rating energy label, similar to the stickers you see on white goods like refrigerators and washing machines. ‘A’ being the most energy efficient and G the least efficient.

How to choose a replacement window and door installer

Local installers are a great choice for replacing windows and doors at your home. They will have done work in your area before and they usually offer a great range of design options too.

Look out for recommendations from family, friends and neighbours, check out their online reviews and look at their social media pages. Lots of installers are using Facebook to show off their latest work, so you can easily see photos of their last project.

What is a Competent Person Scheme?

Installation companies that are part of a Competent Person Scheme (CPS) are able to self-certify that their work is compliant with Building Regulations. This means that when they install your replacement windows and doors, they don’t need to submit a building notice or have an inspection by your local authority.

Under the Certass CPS, installers are assessed and inspected on a regular basis to ensure that their workmanship standards are up-to-scratch. We also carry out on-site audits and check all paperwork, so that you can be sure that our members meet Government standards and offer a great service for homeowners.

Certass Shows Real Support for Installers, Fabricators & Systems Companies

Practical, hands-on support for the glazing industry is high on the agenda for Certass. That’s why the specialists in installer certification joined Frame Fast UK for a recent Eurocell Equinox Roof Training Day.

Attracting more than 20 local installation companies, the session covered best practice methods for installing Equinox, Eurocell’s solid conservatory roof system.

Jason Clemmit, Managing Director at Certass explains: “With the solid roof market maintaining its steady growth, more and more homeowners are looking for installation companies to replace their conservatory roofs with a solid roof system. That’s why we developed the CQ-Assured Installer Scheme for Conservatories and Conservatory Warm Roofs.

“Unlike windows, conservatories aren’t covered by legislation for energy performance, or by MTC, so it’s really important for us to encourage the industry to look at ways to prove their professionalism across the whole range of products that they offer.

“By working in close partnership with fabricators and systems companies, like Frame Fast and Eurocell, we can offer face-to-face, practical support and be certain that installers understand the value of training and certification for their businesses.”

Certass’ CQ-Assured Installer Scheme for Conservatories and Conservatory Warm Roofs is available through Eurocell to any installer who fits Equinox roofs.

Nigel Leivers, Director at Frame Fast UK says: “We like to bring as much practical support as possible to customers, and that means taking advantage of training and schemes offered by Eurocell and Certass. It was great to have them both join us on the day to help installers improve their knowledge, so they can win more profitable jobs.”

By signing up to Certass’ CQ-Assured Installer Scheme for Conservatories and Conservatory Warm Roofs, installers can give homeowners absolute confidence in their workmanship standards and commitment to customer care.

Jon Vanstone joins Certass

Jon Vanstone has been appointed new Chair of Certass, the specialists in installer certification for the building fabrics industry.

Jon joins Certass with a wealth of industry knowledge and he holds several positions in trade bodies and associations. He is chair of the Trade Association Forum (TAF) and the Competent Persons Forum (CPF), Trustmark Director and RoofCert Delivery Director.

Jon says: “Certass as an organisation appealed to me because it champions the local installation companies that are dedicated to great workmanship and best practice. Going forward, we want to continue to promote members and grow our services to ensure that Certass membership offers real value to home improvement companies.”

As well as growing Certass’ current offering, Jon will work with the team to plan ahead for future regulation and best practice improvements. His existing industry positions mean that Certass members will be some of the most well-informed tradesmen in the UK, helping them to prepare their businesses for exciting opportunities that lie ahead.

Jason Clemmit, Managing Director at Certass says: “We’re really pleased to have Jon on-board as part of the Certass team. We’re focussed on using our combined industry and technical knowledge to create new ways to help installers get even more out of their membership and grow their businesses.”

With schemes covering more than 2.5 million installed products, Certass specialises in installer and product certification for a wide range of home improvements including glazing and solid conservatory roofs.

5 Tips for Choosing the Right Window Installer in Your Area

Window Fitter image

So, you’ve decided on the style, colour and material you would like for your new windows, but who do you choose to install them? A simple internet search will return thousands of potential installers that all promise a great installation at the ‘best price on the market’. Do you choose one of the larger double-glazing companies or do you go for a smaller, local window installer in your area? The choice may seem like a minefield, but with some research and consideration, the task isn’t as daunting.

What makes a local window installer a great choice?

There are many benefits for choosing a large window company – they’re well known on a national scale and will often have loads of choice for window styles and designs.

However, if you like the idea of using an installer that’s completed work in and around your local area, there’s plenty of benefits for choosing a local installer too.

With a local window installer, you’ll find that they have pride in offering quality workmanship. One bad job could prove terrible for their business, as they quite often rely on word of mouth to increase business. You can also find that they can be less expensive, with high-quality windows in a wide range of styles and colour options.

No matter whether you choose a local window installer or a national company, there’s a few tips to help you find the right installer for your home improvements, such as asking for recommendations and making sure that they’re part of a certification scheme, such as Certass.

  1. Look out for recommendations

A great way to find window installers in your local area who have provided a good service is to get recommendations from your friends and family. They’ll probably tell you their honest opinion about how the project went, the quality of the products and how tidy the workmen were – and if they’ve not been satisfied, it’s a good indication that you should probably look elsewhere.

  1. See examples of their work

It’s worth seeing a window installer’s previous work. There’s no harm asking if you can visit any properties nearby that they’ve installed in. You’ll be able to see if you like the work they have done and if it’s been finished to a good standard.

  1. Check out their reviews

Along with checking recommendations and previous work, finding reviews online can often be a great way to find out if they provide a good service or not. However, it’s best not to solely rely on reviews you may find or review websites, as there’s no controlling who writes them, it may be their friends or even themselves rather than actual paying customers!

  1. Visit their social media pages

More and more window installers use social media such as Facebook and Twitter to help promote their company. It’s a great way to find out more about the installer, the work that they have done, and the customers that have used them before.

As lots of installers share photos of installations on social media, it’s also a great place to see the quality of their work, along with how their range of products look in lots of different house styles.

  1. Most importantly, are they certified?

A window installer should be part of a certification scheme. This makes sure that they have the right skills and standards of workmanship to carry out the installation, and you can be sure that they know exactly what they are doing. You could rely only on reviews or tradesperson website, but these are no substitute for their work being independently inspected by our expert surveyors.

By choosing a window installer that’s registered with our Certass certification schemes, their work is regularly assessed, to ensure that they carry out high quality installations and meet all the requirements to be a competent and reliable window installer.

It also ensures that their work complies with your local authorities’ Building Regulations, making sure that the installation meets all key requirements, such as good ventilation, thermal performance and most importantly, safety.

Searching for a local installer

We’ve made it simple to search for a local, Certass certified window installer in your area with our online directory. When you use our directory search of local installers, you’ll know that they are certified and are regularly assessed, which most review sites do not state.

All you need to do is search your address and it will list a range of window installers that are nearest to you.

What is a Competent Person Scheme?

What is a competent person scheme?

Finding a skilled, certified installer to carry out your home improvement projects used to be quite a challenge. As homeowners, we all know too well how important it is to make sure you get the best products available, that can be fitted to the highest standards, without any hassle, from friendly, helpful installers.

In 2002, the government made the task of finding a great installer easier. They introduced ‘Competent Person Schemes’, which recognise the high standards and competency of installers within the building industry.

A Competent Person Scheme allows an installer to self-certify that their work complies with all the local Building Regulations. This means that they can complete the work on your home without needing to submit a building notice or having local authorities carry out an inspection, saving you lots of time and money.

The use of Competent Person Schemes helps tradespeople to not only prove their ability to carry out work, but also helps to improve the overall standards of the building industry.

What is covered by our Competent Person Scheme?

The Certass Competent Person Scheme works under the direct license from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG). For the installer to be classed as a ‘Competent Person’, they must be registered with a scheme that’s approved by DCLG.

Our Competent Person Scheme covers two key areas in the building and renovation market – glazing and insulation. These areas cover a whole range of glazing products and services including replacement windows, doors, rooflights and roof windows for homes or commercial properties. As well as insulation services, including external, internal, hybrid and cavity wall insulation.

We also offer certification for other trades within building refurbishment, and these are covered under our Green Deal and TrustMark licenses.

If you choose an installer that’s registered with our Competent Person Scheme, it means that they have all the correct systems in place so that they meet the requirements to self-certify their work and provide the best service and installations for you. These include a skilled and trained workforce, management systems and processes and also consumer financial protection.

Why you should choose a competent installer

By choosing an installer that’s registered with a Competent Person Scheme, you can be sure that they carry out high standards of work and meet all the requirements needed to be classed as a competent installer.

When installers self-certify as a competent person, it helps to ensure the compliance of Building Regulations along with promoting training and skills within the building industry. It can also help property owners to avoid ‘cowboy builders’!

Your Certass certified competent installer will be regularly assessed and inspected. This will include a lengthy on-site audit and a check of all their paperwork to ensure that their business procedures meet government standards.

Once registered, the installer also has lots of access to our industry experts for any help they may need, including technical information and any changes to Building Regulations. Their membership with our Competent Person Scheme means that they can provide you with:

✓ Qualified and assessed tradespeople to carry out your home improvements

✓ An easy way of registering your installation with local authorities, at no extra cost to you

✓ Protection of any deposit taken

✓ A guarantee that covers your completed installation

✓ An insurance backed policy that covers the guarantee even if your installer stops trading


What happens when you choose a Certass competent person for your glazing or insulation home improvements?

So, you’ve decided to choose an installer who is part of a Competent Person Scheme to carry out your home improvements, what can you expect to happen when they carry out the work?

Before the work starts

A Certass certified installer will provide you with a consumer contract, this will explain the work to be undertaken.

After the work is completed

Your Certass certified installer will be required to provide you with a written guarantee that covers all the installation work that they have completed. They will also need to provide you with an Insurance Backed Guarantee for extra peace of mind – this covers their written guarantee in case they stop trading.

Registering the work

When your home improvement work has been completed, your certified Certass installer will register your installation with us within 21 days of it being complete. Certass will then notify your local authority on your behalf for the installation work that’s been completed at your home address. We will then issue you with your legally required Building Regulations Compliance Certificate which will be proof of compliance.

How can I find a Certass certified installer in my area?

If you would like to find a competent person near you to carry out your next home improvement project, you can search our online directory for your local certified installer.

Alternatively, if you are an installer and would like to become a registered competent person, you can visit our join us page or get in touch with us on 01292 292 095.

Why is there Condensation in my Conservatory?

Condensation in Conservatories

It’s that time of year. When the air outside is cold and the heating is on inside, condensation in conservatories or windows can become a real problem. Cold spots, moisture, poor ventilation and inefficient heating are all common causes of condensation, here’s our low-down on condensation in conservatories and on windows – what’s good, what’s bad and how to deal with it.

Condensation on the Inside of Conservatories and Windows

Here’s how condensation happens. The point where the cold and warm air meets and condenses is called the dew point. Warm air is more buoyant than cold air and carries more water vapour. If the air’s capacity to hold the water vapour is getting high and this warm air comes into contact with a cold surface, like a pane of glass, the vapour turns to water droplets and causes condensation.

You might find that this happens more often on north or north-east facing windows and conservatories, as they get less sunshine, so they are naturally cooler.

My House or Conservatory is Insulated so why do I get Condensation?

The energy efficiency of buildings has improved over the years as we’ve replaced old draughty windows with double glazing and insulated cavity walls and roof spaces. This extra insulation and draught proofing makes for a warmer home, but in older properties it can reduce natural ventilation which traps moisture in the room. When the room or conservatory cools down overnight or when it’s not being used, the moist air condenses and mists up the glass. Without proper ventilation, this condensation can start to build up causing damp and mould in homes and conservatories. So, if your house is well insulated, reducing the amount of moisture generated in your home can assist in reducing the risk of condensation. One way to reduce moisture is to fit extractor fans in bathrooms, utility rooms and kitchens, all areas where moisture is generated more.

If you use your conservatory during the colder months, it is possible that you will suffer from condensation. Moisture that builds up in the conservatory will form condensation when the space cools down again when not in use. Condensation in conservatories can be a serious issue where the roofs, windows and doors of older, inefficient conservatories are poorly insulated. Opening a window for ventilation will allow fresh air in to help reduce the moisture level. If the problem is particularly bad, it may be necessary to update the glazing and roof with modern, more energy efficient products to make it a better space to live in during the winter months.

Condensation on the Outside of Conservatories and Windows

With modern, highly insulated windows it is possible to see condensation on the outside of the windows. If you have condensation on the outside of your conservatory or the outside of your windows, it actually means that your windows are performing well. So although it may obscure your view a bit, while it evaporates, there is nothing to worry about.

So why does condensation form on the outside of windows? This can happen after modern energy efficient double glazed or triple glazed windows are installed. These windows are manufactured with highly insulated glass units (IGUs) including argon gas fill and a warm edge spacer bar, with a window frame that is highly insulated and draught free. The insulated windows keep much more of the heat inside so rooms are warmer and more comfortable. But it also keeps the cold air out and it’s this cold air which can then condensate on the outside pane of glass.

Although it can be a nuisance having condensation outside, it is a great indication that your windows are performing as they should!

Preventing Condensation in Conservatories and the Home

There are small changes you can make to help reduce the condensation problems in your home. Opening a window when taking a bath or doing the washing up can let out any steam that’s created. Or better still, fit a good quality extractor fan. Utilising cooker hood ventilation whilst you’re cooking and ensuring that tumble dryers are vented outside or have a built-in condenser will also greatly reduce moisture build up in your wet rooms. Also try to dry washing in a well-ventilated room if you can’t hang it outside.

It’s worth opening a window and pulling back window coverings like blinds and curtains once a day, to improve the flow of fresh air around your home.

If your condensation is persistent, a dehumidifier can prove to be a good investment if you are not in a position to replace your windows or conservatory glazing. A dehumidifier will draw the moisture out of the air to reduce the chance of condensation forming on the windows.

Choosing Replacement Windows or Conservatory Glazing to Prevent Condensation

Significant condensation on the inside of your windows is often a sign of poor insulation and if left untreated, may cause damp and mould. If your budget allows it, fitting highly insulated new windows is usually an effective way to prevent condensation from occurring in your home.

If you are considering this for your house or conservatory, opting for windows with a higher thermal performance is often the best choice to reduce condensation and save energy. There are many different styles and manufacturers of windows available and you can check how energy efficient by choosing new windows with a Window Energy Rating. This is a traffic light style label that rates windows from A** to G and is similar to the one you see on new fridges or freezers. We explain more Window Energy Ratings on our website. It’s also a good idea to discuss your condensation problem with the installer as it is possible to add ventilators into new windows which can improve the flow of fresh air in to the room.

Top 6 Considerations for your Solid Conservatory Roof

Solid Roof Installation from Certass Certified Installers

So, you’ve seen the solid conservatory roof adverts on the billboards around town, in your local paper and on local installers’ vans in and around your area, but how can you tell if a solid roof conservatory is the best choice for your home? And who do you choose to install it for you?

As specialists in installer certification for the building fabric refurbishment industry, we certify installers who fit both glazed and solid roof conservatories. This means that we know the important things that homeowners looking for replacement solid conservatory roofs or new conservatories need to be asking their installer about. That’s why we’ve compiled our top 6 considerations for when you’re choosing an installer to fit your solid conservatory roof in this handy list!

1. Solid Conservatory Roof for New‐build or Refurbishment?

The design and engineering behind solid conservatory roof systems means that roofs are lightweight.This means that as well as being used to build new tiled roof conservatories, they can be used to refurbish your old conservatory too.

This is sometimes called ‘retrofit’ by people in the industry and lots of homeowners are choosing to do this so that they can transform old conservatories that are too cold in the winter and too hot in the summer into spaces they can use all year round.

If you want a brand‐new conservatory with a solid roof, you’ll need to look for an installer who can do everything, from building the base and walls to fitting the frames and installing the solid roof.

2. Planning Permission and Building Regulations for Conservatories

Most new‐build conservatories with either a solid, tiled or glazed roof will not need planning permission, because they are covered under what is known as a ‘permitted development’. There are just some limits and conditions regarding placement and size, which you can find details of on the Government’s Planning Portal.

Building Regulations will apply if you want to build an extension on your home, but not for a conservatory, if certain conditions are met. In order for your conservatory to be classed as a conservatory and not an extension, it will have to be separated from the main house with external quality walls and/or windows and doors that meet Building Regulation requirements. It will also need to have an independent heating system that has separate on/off and temperature controls to the main house’s heating system.

If these measures are not in place, the conservatory is technically an extension and separate Building Regulations apply. Even when your conservatory is built in‐line with these conditions, the doors, windows and glazing and any electrical work will have to adhere to specific Building Regulations. You can find out more details for your solid conservatory roof project on the Planning Portal.

3. Is your Installer’s Workmanship Certified?

It might be surprising to you that not all building work carried out by builders, installers and contractors is certified. Unless an installation company chooses to register with a UKAS accredited, government approved certification scheme, like ours at Certass, their work isn’t assessed, checked or verified by any third party.

This is where your ‘cowboy builder’ type issues can arise and it’s why the most trusted, reliable tradesmen who have the best standards of workmanship, choose to be a part of a certification scheme like Certass. We’ve written about workmanship standards if you would like more information on how the schemes work.

At Certass, we run schemes that approve every part of building fabric refurbishment from solid conservatory roof workmanship standards certification schemes to cavity wall insulation competent persons schemes.

4. What About Insulation and Energy Efficiency?

Insulation and the resulting energy efficiency levels are one of the most important questions to ask your installer about. After all, most homeowners want a conservatory refurbishment because the one they already have is so inefficient.

Unlike windows and doors, there is no thermal rating system for conservatory roofs, but your installer and product brochure will probably talk about U‐Values instead.

What is a U‐Value?

A U‐Value is a measurement of how effective a material is at insulation. In other words, thermal performance is measured by levels of heat loss and this is commonly referred to as a U‐Value. The lower the U‐Value, the less heat loss there is, so low U‐Values equal good thermal performance.

Typically, solid conservatory roof U‐Values are below 1.0 W/m2K, which means they have very good insulation and will retain the heat in winter and keep cool in summer.

5. Can you Fit a New Roof to your Old Conservatory Frames?

Yes, you can install a new solid conservatory roof on your old frames. Your installer will be able to carry out a survey and let you know whether they are suitable to have a new solid conservatory roof fitted on them.

6. Do you Need New Windows and Doors too?

Installing a solid roof can really improve the energy efficiency of your conservatory, but if the frames, windows and doors are very old and inefficient, you might not get the full benefits of your new roof. Our certified installers will be able to advice you on the best choice for your home.

You can find a trusted conservatory installer on our contractor search.

Switching Made Easy for Trusted Tradespeople with Certass

Certass competent person schemes logo

Competent Person Schemes are a big part of everyday working life for many trusted tradespeople, and self-certifying installations comes with the job. That’s why, we know just how important it is to offer a competent person scheme which is not only super friendly and helpful to its members, but also makes switching from an existing CPS as simple and as straightforward as possible.

For many trusted tradespeople, it’s coming up to the time of year for competent person scheme renewals. You may be thinking, it’s easy enough to let your existing CPS auto-renew, but you could be missing out on lots of extra benefits by not shopping around.

Designed by Tradespeople, for Tradespeople

You’ll find that lots of competent person schemes are fit for purpose, the certification bodies offer the service that is required of them, but with no added value or benefits for tradespeople. Now, that’s where Certass is different. Our schemes are designed by tradespeople, for tradespeople, so we can be sure that you’ll get the best schemes available, with the added help of a friendly support team.

Our surveyors who carry out your inspections are experts in their field, and are there to offer you invaluable help and support so that you can get the most out of your business. We’re always on the end of the phone too!

To save you lots of time and effort, we’ve made it really easy to self-certify your jobs when you’re out and about, you can register each job on our website or mobile site with the Member’s IT System. It lets you see all your information at once, as well as bulk upload lots of jobs at once from your own database.

Helping You Switch to Certass

From saving lots of time, to our friendly team, the best benefit of Certass, has to be the ease of switching competent person schemes.

We can help you to transfer from your existing CPS super-fast. You’ll be ready to register your installation within 48 hours! The process begins with a simple online form and when we receive your paperwork, you’ll be able to register jobs within 2 days and your completed jobs will be certified as soon as your on-site audit has been signed off.

Simple right? We want to help you stand out as a reliable trustworthy installer, that’s why our CPS is designed to be as simple as possible, so you can focus on providing great quality service to customers.

How Does the Certass Competent Person Scheme Work?

Our CPS helps installers to self-certify their work to current Building Regulations as an alternate method to using Building Control. It’s a voluntary scheme, but helps verify to homeowners that your work always meets the highest standards. As a Certass member, our team will carry out audits to check your skills as a competent tradesperson. When you first join, and every year thereafter, we’ll complete a ‘desktop audit’, which will check through your membership, including the skills of your workforce, insurance, legal status and contact information.

We’ll carry out an onsite audit when you first join, and then onwards every 3-5 years. This gives us a chance to meet you and your team in person and check the quality of your work with an on-site audit of an installation. We’ll also check your qualifications, a sample of jobs files and also ensure that your complaints logs and records are kept up-to-date.

To make sure work done by our members meets the high standards of our Competent Person Scheme, we also check a sample of registered work each year.

By registering with Certass’ Competent Person Scheme, you’ll be able to take full advantage of our extra benefits. These include access to the Trust Mark Scheme and low-cost public liability and business insurance, so you can keep your installer requirements all under one certification body.

Simple CPS Switching: the Certass Way

Certass Renewals Installer With insurance and energy contract renewals consistently in the headlines, as a nation, we’re starting to move away from auto‐renewing policies, in favour of finding great new deals and better customer service. According to Certass, it’s no different for window installation companies, who are looking for a better service on competent person schemes (CPS).

MD at Certass, Jason Clemmit explains: “Competent person schemes are an essential part of any installer’s remit. Self‐certifying installations is just part and parcel of the job for them, so that’s why at Certass, we make it as simple and straightforward as possible to transfer to a scheme with friendly, helpful support and technical teams. So, if you are looking for a fresh approach in the New Year give us a call.”

With schemes covering more than 2.5 million installed products, Certass has one of the most comprehensive certification schemes in the industry that can provide schemes for all aspects of your work from windows to roofline. The switch to Certass begins with a simple online form and when the paperwork has been received, installers can register jobs within 48 hours. Completed jobs are certified as soon as the on‐site audit is signed off.

Installers registered with Certass can take advantage of extra benefits, including low‐cost public liability and business insurance, and the Trust Mark Scheme. As an extra bonus, Certass is waiving joining fees for installers switching to Certass who register before 15 January 2018.
Jason adds: “Historically, certification bodies have run CPS without offering added value for installers, but that’s where we’re different. Our schemes are designed by tradespeople, for tradespeople, so we can be sure that we offer the best schemes, backed by helpful and friendly service.

Are You a Certified Conservatory Installer?

uinox eurocell conservatory

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 an insurance backed workmanship warranty.

The company that’s registered with Certass will be able to give their customer a fully certified installation for every aspect of 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 an insurance backed workmanship warranty. 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.

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: 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

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 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 works 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.