Firstly, make sure the installer is a member of an approved competent persons scheme such as FENSA, Certass or Veka Assure. If an installer is not part of a competent persons scheme there is a chance that they could install a product that does not comply with current building regulations and could be condemned if found by your local area building control (LABC).
We have been a member of FENSA for 15 years, as a FENSA member, we get spot checked (on site and at the office & factory) at least twice a year to make sure what we install in your home passes building control. We are proud of the fact that we have never failed an inspection.
As of the 6th June 2015 installers and surveyors working in the Glass and Glazing industry within the domestic market for England and Wales are required to demonstrate a certain level of experience, knowledge and competence within their field in order to continue working under their competent persons Scheme and self-certifying their work. Both our installation team and surveyor have passed their Minimum Technical Competencies (MTC) and as an additional measure, our installers and Fabricators are trained to NVQ level 2.
Secondly, make sure ALL of your installers products are CE Marked.
All PVCu windows and doors installed after the 1st July 2013 have to carry the CE mark. This is actually a legal requirement and can cause all kinds of problems if you come to sell your home.
Don't just ask them if they are, ask for proof. All our windows and doors carry the CE Mark and our performance documentation can be downloaded from our website here.
And thirdly, make sure your installer offers you an Insurance Backed Guarantee (IBG). These are available via the competent person schemes, the Glass & Glazing Federation (GGF) or through independent companies. For our IBG we use The Consumer Protection Association (The CPA).
Although WER's aren't a necessity, it's a good one to look out for. WER stands for Window Energy Ratings and DSER stands for Door Set Energy Ratings, you'll recognise it by the rainbow arrow logo (you also see these on your fridge, Dish washer etc). They're easy to understand and the vast majority of reputable double glazing installers use it to display the energy efficiency of their windows and doors.
All replacement windows and doors installed in England have to achieve a minimum energy rating of C or a minimum U Value of 1.6 W/m2k (1.8 for doors). Our standard Casement windows have a minimum rating of B and a upper rating of A++ (which is A+20 and above) and we have around sixty WER certificates through the Assure Ratings register that cover just about all our products.
If your installer hasn't got Window Energy Ratings don't worry they can also use a U Value certificate. The U Value is the measure of heat loss through the window (or door) and the lower number the better. For example a U Value of 1.0 is better than 1.6.
In addition to the above there are many industry bodies out there, some will mean more than others but more often than not they show that the installer shows pride in their products and workmanship.
We are members of the Guild of Master Craftsmen and have been since 1993.
The Guild of Master Craftsmen has a stringent entry criteria ensuring that only those companies that excel in their respected field and meet the requirements set are awarded membership. Membership is NOT automatic, members are required to prove that their work is of a high enough standard through their commitment to customer care and the level of service they provide as well as the quality of their work, only then will they have earned the right to be called master craftsmen. Once accepted into membership they are required to maintain the Aims and Objectives of the Guild at all times. Should they fail to do this their membership will be revoked.
For our conservatories & glazed extensions we are also members of the Ultra Installer scheme run by Which? Trusted Traders.
As an approved member of this scheme we have to meet the highest standards of both Which? Trusted Traders and Ultraframe in terms of service and quality.
We are proud that our Ultra Installer service has been assessed and met the Which? Trusted Traders high standards for an approved service endorsement. Our service adheres to their strict code of conduct. This code is there to give our customers an extra layer of confidence and ensures we have robust procedures and processes that deliver the best possible customer service. As members of the Ultra Installer Scheme we have also been approved by Ultraframe for the quality of our installations, our expertise, staff training and experience. We always use Ultraframe products which are of the highest quality, structurally engineered specifically for your postcode and come with a 10 year manufacturers guarantee.
And finally, we train our staff to a minimum standard to achieve the best results. We are one of a few companies in Coventry & Warwickshire that are actively training our staff to a minimum of NVQ level 2. Our installation team have achieved their NVQ Level 2 in Fenestration Installation and our fabricators are trained to NVQ Level 2 in Fabrication of Glass Supporting Structures. We also have an apprenticeship program training up the next generation of installers and fabricators making sure our high quality standards continue to drive the business forward.