HomeBusinessWhat is a FENSA Certificate in the UK?

What is a FENSA Certificate in the UK?

Are you a homeowner in the UK looking to improve your property with new windows or doors? If so, then you’ve probably heard about the importance of obtaining a FENSA certificate. But exactly what is a FENSA certificate, and why does it matter? In this blog post, we’ll unravel the mystery behind FENSA and explain how it can benefit both homeowners and those working in the construction industry.

Whether you’re considering getting new windows installed or simply want to understand the regulations better, read on to discover everything you need to know about FENSA certification in the UK.

What is a FENSA Certificate?

What is a FENSA Certificate?

The Fenestration Self-Assessment Scheme, or FENSA Certificate, is a certification that attests to replacement windows and doors made in the UK complying with building codes. It acts as evidence that the installation has been carried out by a FENSA-registered company and meets specific standards for energy efficiency and safety.

Unlike traditional building regulations approval, which involves obtaining permission from your local authority, FENSA streamlines the process by allowing registered installers to self-certify their work. This means that obtaining planning permission or building control approval won’t require as much paperwork or long waits.

Why does FENSA matter in the UK?

In England and Wales, replacement windows and doors must meet FENSA standards for quality and safety. Maintaining the strict regulations that shield homes from poor craftsmanship, inferior products, and potential safety risks is made possible in large part by the Fenestration Self-Assessment Scheme.

The significance of FENSA in the UK can be delineated through various key aspects:

1. Compliance with Building Regulations: FENSA ensures that replacement windows and doors align with the Building Regulations, which constitute the legal framework for constructing and maintaining buildings in the UK.

These regulations prioritise safety, energy efficiency, and sustainability. Opting for a FENSA-approved installer assures homeowners that their new windows and doors meet these indispensable standards.

2. Professionalisation of Installers: FENSA manages a network of approved installers, each showcasing their expertise and dedication to quality.

These installers comply with FENSA’s strict criteria by going through routine evaluations. The industry is becoming more professional thanks to this certification process, which reduces the possibility that homeowners would choose fraudulent or unsuitable installers.

3. Consumer Protection: For homeowners with concerns about the quality or compliance of their replacement windows and doors, FENSA provides a valuable resource.

The organisation provides advice on addressing concerns with installation and enables a complaints procedure. This protection gives homeowners comfort and guarantees a course of action in the event problems arise.

4. Energy Efficiency: FENSA actively promotes the use of energy-efficient windows and doors, contributing to the reduction of energy consumption and carbon emissions in homes. This aligns with the broader sustainability goals of the UK and aids in lowering homeowners’ energy bills.

5. Smooth Property Transactions: FENSA certification streamlines property transactions by serving as proof that replacement windows and doors comply with building regulations. This certification can save time and forestall potential delays or complications during the property conveyancing process.

How FENSA Works: A Step-by-Step Guide

FENSA, or the Fenestration Self-Assessment Scheme, plays a crucial role in ensuring the quality and compliance of replacement windows and doors in England and Wales with building regulations.

This government-authorised scheme provides homeowners with a systematic process for achieving high standards in window and door replacement. Here’s a comprehensive step-by-step guide on how FENSA works:

Step 1: Homeowner Decision

The journey begins when a homeowner decides to replace their windows and doors, prompted by various reasons such as energy efficiency, noise reduction, or aesthetic enhancements.

Step 2: Obtaining Quotes from FENSA-Registered Installers

Homeowners then seek quotes from FENSA-registered installers, companies assessed and approved by FENSA for meeting rigorous standards. A list of these installers is readily available on the FENSA website.

Step 3: Choosing an Installer and Agreement

After obtaining quotes, homeowners select an installer and establish a contract. The contract should outline crucial details, including the scope of work, pricing, project timeline, and the installer’s warranty.

Step 4: Installer Conducts the Work

The chosen installer undertakes the replacement of windows and doors, ensuring that the work adheres to high standards and complies with all relevant building regulations.

Step 5: FENSA Issues a Certificate of Compliance

Upon completion of the project, the installer notifies FENSA, which then issues a Certificate of Compliance to the homeowner. This certificate serves as proof that the work meets stringent standards and complies with building regulations.

Step 6: Homeowner Safeguards the Certificate

Homeowners are advised to keep the Certificate of Compliance in a secure place. This document may be required in the future, especially during property transactions or if issues arise with the installed windows and doors.

In addition to these steps, FENSA actively engages in various activities to ensure the effectiveness of the scheme:

  • Regularly assesses FENSA-registered installers to uphold high standards.
  • Investigate and address complaints from homeowners regarding FENSA-registered installers.
  • Provides ongoing training and support to FENSA-registered installers.
  • Collaborates with local authorities to ensure the efficient implementation of the FENSA scheme.

By diligently following this structured process, FENSA ensures that replacement windows and doors in England and Wales not only meet but exceed the required standards. This benefits homeowners by providing assurance that their new windows and doors are safe, energy-efficient, and of superior quality.

FENSA vs. Building Regulations: Clarifying the Differences

FENSA vs. Building Regulations - Clarifying the Differences

It’s crucial to recognise that these two terms represent distinct elements in ensuring adherence to building standards. Though they share the common objective of promoting safe and responsible construction, their differences lie in scope, enforcement, and their roles throughout the replacement process.

Building Regulations

Building Regulations constitute a set of legal requirements mandated by the UK government. Their primary goal is to ensure the safety and sustainability of buildings by addressing a variety of concerns, such as structural integrity, fire safety, energy efficiency, and accessibility. Building Regulations set criteria for energy efficiency, ventilation, and safety features when replacing windows and doors.


On the other hand, FENSA, or Fenestration Self-Assessment Scheme, serves as a government-authorised scheme designed to monitor compliance with Building Regulations specifically for replacement windows and doors in England and Wales. Though voluntary, FENSA offers multiple advantages to homeowners, installers, and the industry.

Key Differences

  • Scope: Building Regulations cast a wider net, encompassing various construction aspects. In contrast, FENSA hones in on replacement windows and doors.
  • Enforcement: Local authorities enforce Building Regulations, wielding the authority to issue penalties for non-compliance. FENSA, being voluntary, relies on self-certification by installers, with ongoing monitoring by the scheme.
  • Role in Replacement Process: Building Regulations provide the legal foundation for compliance, while FENSA offers a mechanism for installers to demonstrate and uphold adherence to these regulations.

How They Work Together?

FENSA and Building Regulations operate synergistically. FENSA acts as a complement to Building Regulations, providing a structured framework for installers to self-certify their compliance. This collaborative approach streamlines processes alleviates the burden on local authorities, and ensures replacement windows and doors meet the required standards.

Who Needs a FENSA Certificate?

In England and Wales, individuals falling under distinct categories are mandated to secure a FENSA certificate or a building regulations certificate for properties where replacement windows or doors have been installed post-April 1, 2002. This certificate stands as tangible evidence that the replacement work aligns with all pertinent building regulations, emphasising safety, energy efficiency, and sustainability.

Homeowners: Those who have undergone the installation of replacement windows or doors in their properties since April 1, 2002, shoulder the responsibility of acquiring a FENSA certificate or a building regulations certificate. This requirement spans across residential and commercial properties alike.

Installers: FENSA-approved installers bear the obligation of issuing FENSA certificates for all replacement windows and doors they install. This procedural measure ensures that homeowners are furnished with the requisite documentation, validating adherence to building regulations.

Property Sellers: Sellers of properties featuring replacement windows or doors installed post-April 1, 2002, must furnish the FENSA certificate or building regulations certificate to the buyer during a sale. This documentation plays a pivotal role in the conveyancing process, substantiating that the property is in compliance with legal requirements.

Local Authorities: Empowered to enforce building regulations, local authorities retain the right to inspect properties for compliance. Absence of essential documentation, such as a FENSA certificate or building regulations certificate, may subject homeowners to penalties or necessitate rectification of non-compliance issues.

How Do I Get a FENSA Certificate in the UK?

How Do I Get a FENSA Certificate in the UK?

Obtaining a FENSA certificate in the UK can be achieved through two primary channels, ensuring compliance with building regulations for window and door installations.

  1. Through a FENSA-Registered Installer: To begin, one must select a FENSA-registered installer – a crucial step to ensure reliability and adherence to industry standards. The FENSA website offers a convenient search feature to locate registered installers, or recommendations can be sought from trusted sources such as friends, family, or local businesses.

After selecting an installer, the process involves the following steps:

  • The chosen installer completes the installation
  • The installer notifies FENSA of the completed installation
  • FENSA then issues the homeowner a certificate, typically delivered via email or post
  1. Direct Application to FENSA: Individuals can also directly apply to FENSA for a certificate, bypassing the installer-led process. Here’s how:
  • Gather all necessary information related to the installation, including property address, window or door specifications, and installation date. In some cases, a copy of the building regulations approval notice may be required.
  • Visit the FENSA website and complete the online application form.
  • Pay the application fee, which can be conveniently done online using a credit or debit card.

Following a successful application, FENSA will promptly dispatch the certificate to the applicant, either electronically or through traditional mail.

Regardless of the chosen method, it is imperative to store the FENSA certificate in a secure location. This document may be required in the future, particularly when selling the property or addressing any issues with the installed windows or doors. Ensuring the safekeeping of the FENSA certificate is vital for maintaining compliance and demonstrating the quality and legality of the installation work.

How Much Does a FENSA Certificate Cost?

When considering the cost of a FENSA certificate in the UK, it is crucial to understand that the expenses vary depending on how you choose to obtain it. One primary avenue is through a FENSA-registered installer, where the certificate cost is typically integrated into the overall installation price.

For those opting to apply directly to FENSA, the expenses differ based on the nature of the certificate. A replacement certificate is priced at £25, while a new certificate for an installation ranges between £180 and £260. The variability in the cost is contingent on the complexity of the installation.

It is imperative to be aware that, in addition to the FENSA certificate fee, there might be an additional cost for the building regulations approval notice, if applicable. This fee generally falls within the range of £50 to £100.

The FENSA Inspection Process: What to Expect?

The FENSA Inspection Process - What to Expect?

The FENSA inspection takes place in several distinct stages, providing homeowners and installers with a clear roadmap of what to expect.

  1. Pre-inspection: Before setting foot on the property, the inspector initiates the process by scrutinising the FENSA certificate and other pertinent documentation. This step is pivotal in comprehending the installation’s scope and identifying the specific building regulations that are applicable.
  2. Site inspection: The inspector then conducts an on-site visit to thoroughly examine the replacement windows and doors. This phase involves a meticulous check to ensure compliance with various aspects of the installation, including:
  • Glazing: The inspector verifies the use of suitable safety glass, such as toughened or laminated glass, in specific areas.
  • Frame: Attention is given to the proper installation of frames, ensuring they are watertight and thermally efficient.
  • Ventilation: The inspection includes confirming the provision of adequate ventilation, particularly in rooms housing moisture-generating appliances.
  • Security: A comprehensive assessment is made of the security features, such as locks and hinges, to prevent unauthorised access.
  • Accessibility: The inspector ensures that the windows and doors are accessible to all users, including those with disabilities.
  1. Compliance assessment: Building upon the inspection findings, the inspector concludes whether the installation aligns with the relevant building regulations. In cases where non-compliance issues are identified, the installer is mandated to rectify them promptly.
  2. Documentation and reporting: The inspector meticulously compiles a detailed inspection report, encapsulating all findings. This report, a critical document in the process, outlines any non-compliance issues and prescribes the corrective actions necessary. Both the homeowner and the FENSA-approved installer receive copies of this comprehensive report.


A FENSA certificate is a necessary document for UK residents. It offers assurance in knowing that the installation was successfully carried out by a reputable company, in addition to certifying that your windows and doors follow building codes.

You can use this certificate as proof of your home’s safety and security to interested parties or insurance companies. Therefore, to guarantee that you obtain this important certification when upgrading your windows or doors, make sure to select a FENSA-authorised business.

FAQ – What is a FENSA Certificate in the UK?

FAQ - What is a FENSA Certificate in the UK?

What is equivalent to a FENSA certificate?

Equivalent to a FENSA certificate, there are other certification schemes in the UK that homeowners can consider. One such scheme is CERTASS (Certification and Self-Assessment), which operates similarly to FENSA. CERTASS also provides certificates for installation work carried out by registered companies, ensuring compliance with building regulations.

Another alternative is BM TRADA (British Woodworking Federation) certification. This scheme focuses on timber windows and doors, providing assurance of their quality and compliance with building regulations.

Additionally, some local authorities offer their own approval processes or may accept self-certification from competent installers. However, it’s important to note that these alternatives may not carry the same level of recognition as FENSA or have the same benefits when selling your property.

Can I sell a property without a FENSA certificate?

Selling a house without a FENSA certificate may present serious difficulties for potential customers. Lack of this certification could make it more difficult for a buyer to get financing for the purchase of the property because lenders check for compliance with building codes.

Because of worries regarding the property’s adherence to safety and regulatory standards, potential buyers may have difficulty securing financing. Lenders typically prioritise properties that have undergone the necessary inspections and have documentation, such as a FENSA certificate, to confirm compliance with building regulations.

Without a FENSA certificate, buyers may face increased uncertainty about the property’s structural integrity and the quality of any previous window installations.

Can you fit windows without being FENSA registered?

When it comes to fitting windows in your property, many homeowners find themselves wondering whether FENSA registration is a legal requirement. The short answer is no, there is no legal obligation to hire FENSA-approved installers for window installations.

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