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Windows: Building Regulations

November 8th, 2013


The installation of replacement windows has been controlled by Building Regulations since 2002 and you need to ensure your double glazing meets the standards. Regulations for your new windows will apply to factors such as thermal efficiency, safety and ventilation.

Like the external doors to your home, replacement windows fall under the ‘controlled fitting’ category. You shouldn’t need to worry about contacting the local authorities so long as you use a competent installer well versed in Building Regulations.

Be warned though that if you live in a Conservation Area or listed building you’ll need permission from the local council to change any aspect of the external part of your home. Often secondary glazing will be recommended, rather than replacing the window units.

If you have chosen to install the new windows DIY, you will also need to contact the Building Control Body after installation so a certificate of compliance can be issued.

Thermal regulations

Energy efficiency is crucial in this day and age and this is no different to the new windows you wish to have installed. Much heat can be lost through inefficient windows and replacements need to meet certain standards.

The Building Regulations surrounding thermal efficiency is in regards to the amount of heat which can pass through the units. This is calculated using something known as the U Value. Essentially, the lower the U Value the more efficient your windows will be and this should in no way be exceeded.

Safety glazing

For normal windows, safety glazing regulations won’t apply, although there’s no reason not to consider it anyway. However, it is a must in what is known as critical areas and the specifications for these are as follows:

  • Any glazed area within a window below 800mm from floor level
  • Any glazed area within a window that is 300mm or less from a door and up to 1500mm from floor level
  • Within any glazed door up to 1500mm from floor level.