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  • FIRST POST
    • Clairebare1
    • By Clairebare1 8th Sep 15, 12:26 AM
    • 80Posts
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    Clairebare1
    Windows and Lintels - Ventrolla
    • #1
    • 8th Sep 15, 12:26 AM
    Windows and Lintels - Ventrolla 8th Sep 15 at 12:26 AM
    We have employed a company (Ventrolla) that are currently fitting some new double glazed pvc sash windows (removing the mostly rotten wooden sash windows - please don't shoot me down for this) and they seem to be removing the lintels to be able to fit the new windows in and just filling with a foam - is this right? The old sashes had a frame with the top part going into the wall and this piece of wood was above that, also going into the wall - would this have been the lintel? I have asked them on a couple of occasions and feel like I am starting to sound like a broken record, but something doesn't seem right. I have an old Victorian house (about 150 years old) which has a very shallow arch to the outside of the windows and now just brick on the inside. Is it ok for the bricks to be resting on the foam and ultimately on the window? Would the piece of wood they removed be supporting anything? I have dug them all out of the skip, but they don't seem to be a hard wood, would lintels in these sort of houses be a soft or hard wood? I am in a real worry about this and any advice / help on this would be much appreciated.
    Many thanks
    Last edited by Clairebare1; 12-10-2016 at 11:42 AM. Reason: Now mentioning the company in questions name
Page 10
    • leveller2911
    • By leveller2911 7th Oct 16, 11:57 AM
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    leveller2911
    I think you have misunderstood how the FENSA Competent Person scheme works.
    It simply means the window companies can self certify that the windows comply with Part L and Part N of the Building Regulations, something that only the window manufacturer could certify anyway. It does not cover quality of installation as that is not a Building Regulations matter and it certainly does not cover structural alterations like removing lintels as in this case.
    Originally posted by teneighty
    How does a manufacturer know if the window needs to have toughened glass or not to comply with regs?. Manufacturers rarely visit the site unless they manufacture and fit. Unless a manufacturer actually visits the site they won't see that a bay window is load bearing and needs to be made accordingly. I can see your point on how it doesn't cover removing lintels etc but its no good companies making windows that would not comply with building regs and omitting toughened glass or incorporating structural supports in their windows doesn't really cut the mustard and certainly doesn't benefit the customer who is paying good money for a FENSA cert thinking it actually means the work has been done correctly.

    Taken from the FENSA website :

    "This means all replacement windows and doors must comply with Approved Documents N (Safety Glazing) and L (Thermal Insulation). Other elements of the Building Regulations A (Structure), F (Ventilation), B (Means of escape), C (Moisture Penetration, J (Combustion Appliances and Fuel Storage Systems), M (Access) and Regulation 7 (Workmanship and Materials), must not be made worse by the replacement installation".

    Clearly the wording states "the structure should not be made worse by the installer , which in Claire's case and many others is made worse so it is down to the FENSA scheme to check .

    "To ensure an installer has not created a lesser level of compliance against the Building Regulations, the installer must collect evidence of the features of the original installation. This is particularly appropriate for Approved Document B Fire where the original windows egress ability will determine the compliance of the replacement window".


    Who's job is it to make sure the new window complies? the manufacturer (who rarely ever visit the site ) or the installer?. This is the problem because when the work is carried out under the Council Building notice scheme the inspector always asks what time we will be on site and he turns up when the old windows are out and usually before the new ones are in so he can check what existing support is there (if needed) and then has a look at the new windows and checks they comply with part L etc. With FENSA its all down to the honesty of the man who fits it. The moment you start relying on the integrity of the people who have a vested interest in making money out of the job then any scheme will be a failure.

    What do you think the Building Inspector would do if you submitted a Building Regulations application?They just ask the window company for proof that the windows/doors have the necessary U value and toughened glass will be used if necessary. Now that's a con.
    That may be so for Building regs approval but when the windows are fitted they turn up to check them.

    The Building Notice scheme means the Building Inspector will turn up on the day of fitting and check the installation (as I said above) . He is impartial and if he sees something wrong he will make sure its addressed.

    The real con is the GGF and their FENSA scheme which gives the impression the homeowner is protected from cowboy installers which they aren't and they are charged good money for it.

    What we really need is more Local Authority Building Inspectors.
    If we in parliament cannot gain from ruling,then there is very little point in us being here: (Lord Manchester 1650) :rolleyes: how true!
    • leveller2911
    • By leveller2911 7th Oct 16, 12:01 PM
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    leveller2911
    Yes, that's what the Building Regulations Application is for. You pay the Council about £150 and produce the documentation from the window manufacturer to show the U-value of the windows/doors and any toughened glass etc. and off you go.
    Originally posted by teneighty

    I think your getting confused with Building regs Applications and Building Notice scheme. I make timber windows and have never had to supply any documentation for the U value etc. Building Notice scheme is very simple. Client pays council a fee ,I make and fit windows and Council Inspector comes out to every single job and checks the work complies with regs but if the old windows are out they check the opening for support, closed reveals etc.
    If we in parliament cannot gain from ruling,then there is very little point in us being here: (Lord Manchester 1650) :rolleyes: how true!
    • teneighty
    • By teneighty 7th Oct 16, 12:20 PM
    • 801 Posts
    • 520 Thanks
    teneighty
    I think your getting confused with Building regs Applications and Building Notice scheme. I make timber windows and have never had to supply any documentation for the U value etc. Building Notice scheme is very simple. Client pays council a fee ,I make and fit windows and Council Inspector comes out to every single job and checks the work complies with regs but if the old windows are out they check the opening for support, closed reveals etc.
    Originally posted by leveller2911
    Your Building Inspector has been having you on. Replacement doors and windows only have to comply with limited parts of the regulations, structural support and weather tightness are not controlled unless you are making new window openings etc.
    https://www.planningportal.co.uk/info/200130/common_projects/14/doors_and_windows/2

    But like I said it is a bit of a con because people mistakenly think it gives some protection on quality of installation.
    • teneighty
    • By teneighty 7th Oct 16, 12:41 PM
    • 801 Posts
    • 520 Thanks
    teneighty
    How does a manufacturer know if the window needs to have toughened glass or not to comply with regs?. Manufacturers rarely visit the site unless they manufacture and fit. Unless a manufacturer actually visits the site they won't see that a bay window is load bearing and needs to be made accordingly. I can see your point on how it doesn't cover removing lintels etc but its no good companies making windows that would not comply with building regs and omitting toughened glass or incorporating structural supports in their windows doesn't really cut the mustard and certainly doesn't benefit the customer who is paying good money for a FENSA cert thinking it actually means the work has been done correctly.

    Taken from the FENSA website :

    "This means all replacement windows and doors must comply with Approved Documents N (Safety Glazing) and L (Thermal Insulation). Other elements of the Building Regulations A (Structure), F (Ventilation), B (Means of escape), C (Moisture Penetration, J (Combustion Appliances and Fuel Storage Systems), M (Access) and Regulation 7 (Workmanship and Materials), must not be made worse by the replacement installation".

    Clearly the wording states "the structure should not be made worse by the installer , which in Claire's case and many others is made worse so it is down to the FENSA scheme to check .

    "To ensure an installer has not created a lesser level of compliance against the Building Regulations, the installer must collect evidence of the features of the original installation. This is particularly appropriate for Approved Document B Fire where the original windows egress ability will determine the compliance of the replacement window".


    Who's job is it to make sure the new window complies? the manufacturer (who rarely ever visit the site ) or the installer?. This is the problem because when the work is carried out under the Council Building notice scheme the inspector always asks what time we will be on site and he turns up when the old windows are out and usually before the new ones are in so he can check what existing support is there (if needed) and then has a look at the new windows and checks they comply with part L etc. With FENSA its all down to the honesty of the man who fits it. The moment you start relying on the integrity of the people who have a vested interest in making money out of the job then any scheme will be a failure.



    That may be so for Building regs approval but when the windows are fitted they turn up to check them.

    The Building Notice scheme means the Building Inspector will turn up on the day of fitting and check the installation (as I said above) . He is impartial and if he sees something wrong he will make sure its addressed.

    The real con is the GGF and their FENSA scheme which gives the impression the homeowner is protected from cowboy installers which they aren't and they are charged good money for it.

    What we really need is more Local Authority Building Inspectors.
    Originally posted by leveller2911
    Sorry I missed your earlier post. Like I said I have not followed this thread as it was rather tedious I only chipped in as it was turning into a rant about self certification.

    It would seem the crux of this sorry saga was that the window company removed the existing lintels. As soon as that happened the FENSA Competent Person Scheme ceased to cover the work and the window company should have applied for Building Regulations approval unless they could argue they were simply replacing the lintels as a like for like "repair".

    For the purposes of my post I have conflated the window manufacturer and installer to keep things simple. Obviously the manufacturer will have the official U-Value calculations and the installer will decide which windows need toughened glass, fire egress hinges, trickle vents etc.

    Personally I think we should go back to when you didn't need to involve state bureaucracy just to replace your windows. Like you I favour the independent installation route although my local joinery company are FENSA registered.
    • leveller2911
    • By leveller2911 7th Oct 16, 1:05 PM
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    • 13,356 Thanks
    leveller2911
    Your Building Inspector has been having you on. Replacement doors and windows only have to comply with limited parts of the regulations, structural support and weather tightness are not controlled unless you are making new window openings etc.
    https://www.planningportal.co.uk/info/200130/common_projects/14/doors_and_windows/2

    But like I said it is a bit of a con because people mistakenly think it gives some protection on quality of installation.
    Originally posted by teneighty

    You're missing my point. I fully understand what parts of the regs he is there to check and he can't be there all day watching me to make sure I do everything correct but if for instance he sees the reveals are not closed or the timber lintel above has some rot he will draw my attention to it.


    This threads been running for months and I'm still none the wiser who the is company is..
    Last edited by leveller2911; 07-10-2016 at 1:09 PM.
    If we in parliament cannot gain from ruling,then there is very little point in us being here: (Lord Manchester 1650) :rolleyes: how true!
    • teneighty
    • By teneighty 7th Oct 16, 2:39 PM
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    • 520 Thanks
    teneighty
    You're missing my point. I fully understand what parts of the regs he is there to check and he can't be there all day watching me to make sure I do everything correct but if for instance he sees the reveals are not closed or the timber lintel above has some rot he will draw my attention to it.


    This threads been running for months and I'm still none the wiser who the is company is..
    Originally posted by leveller2911
    I think I see your point and fair play to your inspector for being thorough but he is exceeding his authority and suggesting all building inspectors are prepared to go above and beyond their duty to protect the homeowner will only lead to more confusion.

    If the reveals were not closed originally the inspector has no power to insist you install cavity closers with the replacement windows. If the lintel is defective the inspector has no power to enforce its replacement as a repair is not covered by Building Regs. Obviously any good window fitter/ joiner like yourself would identify these defects themselves and address them, but having the building inspector involved is no guarantee that the quality of installation has been inspected and approved. Neither is using a FENSA registered company as this case illustrates.

    Suziesue has already hinted how to find the name of the company (post #168) and if it is the right one they have a very glossy website but look like a typical window fitting company with PVCu, aluminium and timber windows. They say they "supply" and fit the windows so from that I take it they do not manufacture them but probably import them from Eastern Europe as seems to be the norm with a lot of these plastic companies that have moved into the timber window market.
    • phil24_7
    • By phil24_7 7th Oct 16, 2:51 PM
    • 1,268 Posts
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    phil24_7
    Yes, that's what the Building Regulations Application is for. You pay the Council about £150 and produce the documentation from the window manufacturer to show the U-value of the windows/doors and any toughened glass etc. and off you go.
    Originally posted by teneighty
    So that surely means the self certer is doing the job of the building inspector?
    Last edited by phil24_7; 07-10-2016 at 2:58 PM.
    • teneighty
    • By teneighty 7th Oct 16, 3:38 PM
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    teneighty
    So that surely means the self certer is doing the job of the building inspector?
    Originally posted by phil24_7
    Yes in the same way an electrician or a Gas Safe fitter or a HETAS fitter can self certify their own work. But only the limited sections within the regulations for their particular scheme, so an electrician obviously can only certify for Part P and couldn't self certify windows or a gas fire.
    • Clairebare1
    • By Clairebare1 10th Oct 16, 1:50 PM
    • 80 Posts
    • 117 Thanks
    Clairebare1
    Suziesue has already hinted how to find the name of the company (post #168) and if it is the right one they have a very glossy website but look like a typical window fitting company with PVCu, aluminium and timber windows. They say they "supply" and fit the windows so from that I take it they do not manufacture them but probably import them from Eastern Europe as seems to be the norm with a lot of these plastic companies that have moved into the timber window market.
    Originally posted by teneighty
    As far as I know the company in question do not do aluminium windows, they have always been in the timber window market and now just venturing into PVCu - I think you may be looking at the wrong company.

    Changing the subject a little, has anyone seen the new series of 'Four Rooms', that presenter has got her fingers in a lot of pies! She had a lot of windows in her house refurbished, lets hope no one cut her lintels out!

    Last edited by Clairebare1; 10-10-2016 at 5:55 PM.
    • leveller2911
    • By leveller2911 10th Oct 16, 5:40 PM
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    leveller2911
    As far as I know the company in question do not do aluminium windows, they have always been in the timber window market and now just venturing into PVCu - I think you may be looking at the wrong company.

    Changing the subject a little, has anyone seen the new series of 'Four Rooms', that presenter has got her fingers in a lot of pies! She had a lot of windows in her house refurbished, lets hope no one cut her lintels out!

    Originally posted by Clairebare1

    There are cowboys and sharks in all industries but the Construction Industry seems to have more than most.. I've just got a job to make some Venetian Boxframe sash windows to replace some existing ones. The existing ones were "overhauled and draught stripped " by a fairly large company who claim to be experts. They certainly know how to charge premium prices and the quality of work they did was pretty poor.

    I also have an elderly lady who I've done work for for about 20yrs. I just go round about twice a year and have a list of little jobs to do for her. She has recently had some wooden framed casment windos replaced which have alluminium sashes in. They are ok, nothing special but will do the job for a good few years. There were 5 windows, with one large one (4 sashes) and 4 small (2sash) windows and the nationwide company who did the work charged her £18,000 and that was after a discount.

    Now the point is we often see cowboy builders on Rogue Traders charging people £500 for replacing a few ridge tiles on a roof but Society seems to think its ok for these Nationwide companies to charge £18,000 to a little old lady for 5 windows which should cost no more that £6k tops (and thats being generous) . These are the people we should be seeing on Rogue traders.

    Even these so called premium ,nationwide companies are nothing more than con men.

    My Grandad always said "Fit the best" but who are the best?....
    Last edited by leveller2911; 10-10-2016 at 5:43 PM.
    If we in parliament cannot gain from ruling,then there is very little point in us being here: (Lord Manchester 1650) :rolleyes: how true!
    • EssexExile
    • By EssexExile 10th Oct 16, 9:34 PM
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    EssexExile
    I'd like to thank Clairebare for this thread. Everytime I'm having more trouble with my new windows & doors that should've been finished in May I come on hear & read this & it reminds me of the old saying "There's always someone worse off than you". I'm sorry it has to be you though!
    Tall, dark & handsome. Well two out of three ain't bad.
    • Clairebare1
    • By Clairebare1 11th Oct 16, 11:27 AM
    • 80 Posts
    • 117 Thanks
    Clairebare1
    I'd like to thank Clairebare for this thread. Everytime I'm having more trouble with my new windows & doors that should've been finished in May I come on hear & read this & it reminds me of the old saying "There's always someone worse off than you". I'm sorry it has to be you though!
    Originally posted by EssexExile
    Lol - you are welcome EssexExile. That's fine, it had to be someone, and at least (like someone said previously) we have caught them with their trousers down and they didn't have time to walk away and then deny all knowledge.

    Wishing you the best of luck with your windows and doors and hoping they are sorted for you soon.

    Out of interest, who are doing your windows?

    xx
    • EssexExile
    • By EssexExile 11th Oct 16, 12:17 PM
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    EssexExile
    We chose a local company, RB Windows, been trading for 30 years, we were recommended them by several satisfied customers! They were all very pleasant (except the bloke from Pyramid who make the windows) but so many silly mistakes.
    Tall, dark & handsome. Well two out of three ain't bad.
    • Clairebare1
    • By Clairebare1 11th Oct 16, 1:33 PM
    • 80 Posts
    • 117 Thanks
    Clairebare1
    Ventrolla
    VENTROLLA – there I have said it!

    On the 26th August 2015 two fitters from Ventrolla started chopping out the wooden lintels in our house to make the new windows fit, in the end removing 16 of them and causing our house to be made ‘structurally unsound’ – it had to be supported by acros to stop it falling down! Ventrolla have been in business for 30 years and with a fitter that has been working for them and fitting windows for them for just as long! Who else could this have happened to in this 30 year period?

    My husband and I have decided to no longer hide Ventrolla’s ‘dirty little secret’, and are ready to shout from the rooftops who they are. We have not heard from them, since seeing them on the 30th September and us e-mailing them on the 2nd October with the snagging list, and believe that they have no intention of doing so. As such we will be instructing another company to do the box bay (we are assuming the 3rd attempt was rejected).

    I would not recommend Ventrolla to anybody, steer well clear of them if you value your house in one piece and if you know anyone who has had any dealings with Ventrolla (at any point in the past), please get them to look at this thread and seek advice as to whether they may unknowingly have been put in the same position as we were.
    • SuzieSue
    • By SuzieSue 11th Oct 16, 1:44 PM
    • 3,313 Posts
    • 3,663 Thanks
    SuzieSue
    VENTROLLA – there I have said it!

    On the 26th August 2015 two fitters from Ventrolla started chopping out the wooden lintels in our house to make the new windows fit, in the end removing 16 of them and causing our house to be made ‘structurally unsound’ – it had to be supported by acros to stop it falling down! Ventrolla have been in business for 30 years and with a fitter that has been working for them and fitting windows for them for just as long! Who else could this have happened to in this 30 year period?

    My husband and I have decided to no longer hide Ventrolla’s ‘dirty little secret’, and are ready to shout from the rooftops who they are. We have not heard from them, since seeing them on the 30th September and us e-mailing them on the 2nd October with the snagging list, and believe that they have no intention of doing so. As such we will be instructing another company to do the box bay (we are assuming the 3rd attempt was rejected).

    I would not recommend Ventrolla to anybody, steer well clear of them if you value your house in one piece and if you know anyone who has had any dealings with Ventrolla (at any point in the past), please get them to look at this thread and seek advice as to whether they may unknowingly have been put in the same position as we were.
    Originally posted by Clairebare1
    I don't blame you. You have given them more time that any one would give them to remedy a mistake that they shouldn't have made in the first place.

    The deserve all the bad publicity they get.

    I'm glad you said who it was, as they are the second company which comes up when I Google what you said and they are quite a bit further down the page than the first.
    • EssexExile
    • By EssexExile 11th Oct 16, 1:53 PM
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    EssexExile
    Oh they're local! Never heard of them though, which was lucky for us.
    Tall, dark & handsome. Well two out of three ain't bad.
    • phil24_7
    • By phil24_7 11th Oct 16, 2:05 PM
    • 1,268 Posts
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    phil24_7
    How much do you owe them for works?

    Write to them telling them they have 7 days to rectify the problems or you will instruct another company to carry out the works. Tell them you will use any outstanding money to pay for this and if it doesn't cover it you will seek payment from them.

    Tell them if this isn't forthcoming then you will take them to the small claims court for it as well as damages/compensation.

    Send it recorded delivery.
    • Clairebare1
    • By Clairebare1 11th Oct 16, 3:29 PM
    • 80 Posts
    • 117 Thanks
    Clairebare1
    Oh they're local! Never heard of them though, which was lucky for us.
    Originally posted by EssexExile
    Very lucky indeed
    • leveller2911
    • By leveller2911 11th Oct 16, 4:03 PM
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    leveller2911
    My post 190# where I mentioned a venetian boxframe being overhauled by a fairly large company where the work was very poor was Ventrolla too so its not a shock to me Claire.. All they seem capable of is re-cording a sash,fit draught excluders and paint a window with water based quick drying paint ,which we all know is !!!! and doesn't last.. Oh and they just love hacking out rotten wood and filling with 2 part filler and they claim to be experts.............. Cheers for letting us know Claire.

    PS: I've only ever known them to repair windows and not make new ones so maybe its a recent thing they have started doing..
    Last edited by leveller2911; 11-10-2016 at 4:08 PM.
    If we in parliament cannot gain from ruling,then there is very little point in us being here: (Lord Manchester 1650) :rolleyes: how true!
    • Clairebare1
    • By Clairebare1 11th Oct 16, 4:46 PM
    • 80 Posts
    • 117 Thanks
    Clairebare1
    There are cowboys and sharks in all industries but the Construction Industry seems to have more than most.. I've just got a job to make some Venetian Boxframe sash windows to replace some existing ones. The existing ones were "overhauled and draught stripped " by a fairly large company who claim to be experts. They certainly know how to charge premium prices and the quality of work they did was pretty poor.
    Originally posted by leveller2911
    I read your post wondering if you were talking about Ventrolla when you mentioned 'overhauled and draught stripped'.

    My post 190# where I mentioned a venetian boxframe being overhauled by a fairly large company where the work was very poor was Ventrolla too so its not a shock to me Claire.. All they seem capable of is re-cording a sash,fit draught excluders and paint a window with water based quick drying paint ,which we all know is !!!! and doesn't last.. Oh and they just love hacking out rotten wood and filling with 2 part filler and they claim to be experts.............. Cheers for letting us know Claire.
    Originally posted by leveller2911
    Also, don't forget they like filling voids with foam, apparently foam also makes a good lintel

    PS: I've only ever known them to repair windows and not make new ones so maybe its a recent thing they have started doing..
    Originally posted by leveller2911
    PS. Perhaps they should have stuck to what they know best , mmmm maybe not, not sure on that one.
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