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Building Regulations: How to make sure your doors comply

Posted on 17.11.2023

When you install new sliding or bifold doors, they must meet UK Building Regulations. But who’s responsible? That’s you. UK Government Building Regulations are in place to ensure building work is safe, healthy and high-performing. As of April 1 2002, Building Regulations apply to all replacement glazing, including windows and doors, which means homeowners planning renovation projects can’t afford to ignore them.

Do I need to comply with Building Regulations?

The simple answer is yes, you must comply with Building Regulations. The overarching goal of these regulations is to guarantee the health and safety of those in and around the building. Cutting corners or neglecting these standards could lead to severe consequences for those who don’t comply.

Homeowner responsibility

While the installer carries out the work, it is crucial to recognise the part that homeowners play in compliance. Installers must register with Competent Person Schemes, proving their ability to meet required standards. Choosing a reputable installer is key, as they understand and adhere to these standards, providing the necessary paperwork to validate compliance.

FENSA: Ensuring compliance

The first and most recognised Competent Person Scheme is FENSA (Fenestration Self-Assessment Scheme) – of which Bowalker Doors is a member. Established by the Glass and Glazing Federation, a FENSA certificate is your assurance that the installer who fitted your windows or doors has complied with Building Regulations. It also means your installation will have been registered with the local council. These are legal requirements, and proof of them is essential when selling your home. To become a FENSA-approved installer, a sample installation undergoes scrutiny by an inspector to ensure compliance.

Criteria for Building Regulations compliance

Thermal Performance
All windows and doors must adhere to Building Regulations requirements for thermal performance, as specified in Part L of Building Regulations. The U-value, measuring thermal efficiency, must not exceed 1.6 W/m²K for windows and roof windows, and 1.6 W/m²K for doors in new dwellings. Replacement windows must have a maximum U-value of 1.4 W/m²K. A Window Energy Rating (WER) score must also be at least C or higher.

Ventilation
Part F of Building Regulations covers ventilation requirements, and varies based on room size and usage. Replacement windows should offer at least the same level of ventilation as the old ones. The regulations have also highlighted the need for improved airflow in buildings, which may necessitate the use of trickle vents to help with background ventilation. Mechanical fans may be needed in steam-prone areas like bathrooms or kitchens.

Accessibility
Replacement doors must offer the same threshold level as per Building Regulations since 1999. New build properties require doors to comply with Part M, providing a minimum clear opening width.

Safety and Security
Windows in specific locations must feature toughened safety glass. Glazed doors up to 1500mm from floor level must have reinforced glazing. Security measures must adhere to Part Q of Building Regulations.

As a homeowner looking to enhance your living space with new doors, compliance with Building Regulations is not just a legal obligation, it’s a commitment to the safety and wellbeing of those in and around your home.

Your next step

Choosing FENSA-registered installers whose work and products meet the UK Government’s minimum technical competence standards ensures peace of mind, and a home that not only looks stylish but is also safe and efficient. Remember, the responsibility lies with you to ensure your home complies with current regulations, so ask your installers to provide necessary documentation, when needed.

Whether you’re starting a new build project or renovating your space, Bowalker Doors offers sliding patio doors that not only meet but exceed the demands of today’s industry. If you’re interested in sliding doors for your property, get in touch today.

Doors you can trust

You can trust us with your transformation plans as we’re members of Checkatrade, FENSA and the Plastics Window Federation.