Getting Window Replacement Schemes Right

The process of implementing and successfully delivering a window replacement scheme within a residential block can often be challenging. However, with consideration of key issues early on, the benefits can be significant.

In this article we look at these key issues and how identifying them early can bring benefits to your project.

  1. Who is responsible for replacing the windows?

The first consideration when replacing windows within a residential block is who is responsible for replacing the windows. This will be determined by the lease.

In most cases the Leaseholder is responsible for the repair and replacement of their windows and the Landlord is responsible for the repair and replacement of windows to communal areas, as well as the decoration of all windows throughout the block. This is not always the case.

Wherever there is uncertainty, expert interpretation should be sought from legal council and the First-Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber).

  1. What are the Statutory Requirements for the Block when replacing windows?

Planning and/or listed building consent may be required depending on the building and where it is situated. It is important that this is investigated and planned for early, as the planning process could take a minimum of eight weeks and may result in changes to the design.

All new windows installed most be compliant with Building Regulations and should come with certification. This will usually be in the form of a FENSA certificate or equal approved. Failure to obtain such certificates may proof an issue when selling the property.

  1. What type of window should we replace our windows with?

There are four main types of windows. Each with their pros and cons:

Timber – Often considered the most aesthetically pleasing window and often in keeping with older residential blocks. However, timber usually requires cyclical decoration which can add an ongoing maintenance cost and timber is also susceptible to a number of defects such as wet and dry rot if not properly maintained.

PVCu (Plastic) – Usually the cheapest option and offers great thermal properties as well as low maintenance costs. PVCu however is often considered unattractive and it can often be hard to match the profile of the windows you’re replacing.

Steel – Often popular for its slim profile design and long lifespan when installed with a powder coated finish. However, steel is usually the costliest option and if the finish is compromised steel can be subject to corrosion. Steel windows can often suffer from condensation, as there is no thermal break within the window frame.

Aluminium – Usually somewhere in the middle when it comes to cost although, albeit can be quite costly when imitating the profile of steel windows. Aluminium has a good life span and can be relatively low maintenance.

  1. The Surveyor’s Role

A good Chartered Surveyor will coordinate the design, planning, tendering and contract administration of the project from inception to completion. They will provide technical input on the feasibility of different window types and strategy options whilst ensuring the client receives value for money.

At Hamilton Darcey we have worked on several window replacements schemes for blocks of all styles and ages. If you have any window replacement needs or queries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.