Professional Builder takes a look at how joining a window installation organisation could help you win more work.
It stands to reason that a customer who will spend the majority of their life earnings on a house, will also want to ensure that the windows are of a good quality and well fitted. This is where the builder comes in. Fitting a few windows is part and parcel of the job for many builders. Rather than call in a dedicated installer, you can take on the extra work yourself, making sure it’s completed to your standard and reap the rewards at the same time.
As a general builder, and not a dedicated window installer, you might never have considered joining a window installation scheme. However, a scheme such as FENSA, which is priced on a tier basis, could suit the needs of the casual installer just as much as one who does nothing but install windows all day, every day.
Founded in 2002, and licensed by Government, FENSA provides reassurance to the homeowner and support for the installer. As a registered member of the scheme, you gain access to its pipeline of work, which accounts for 80 per cent of all registered work in England and Wales. Potential customers can find you through the online portal and will implicitly trust the work you do for them will be carried out to a high standard. Of course, this isn’t based on blind faith alone. One of the scheme’s unique features is that they come and monitor the quality of your work at least once a year, a figure which rises along with the amount of installations you carry out.
Professional Builder spoke with FENSA’s Director of Membership Chris Beedel recently, and he highlighted some of the issues that tradespeople have when it comes to window installation. “We cover about 580,000 installations a year and that accounts for roughly 80 per cent of all registered work. It is a legal obligation to get your work certified, which you can either do yourself as part of a Competent Persons Scheme or pay for the council to do – a route which ends up costing you far more than the fees for FENSA, which are very low for a builder who installs less than 25 windows a year.”
Chris explains that, as he sees it, the organisation isn’t there to punish installers for mistakes – to only make their presence felt when something goes wrong. “I organise a roadshow that goes around the country, speaking to installers and builders. These roadshows attract both members and non-members and we speak to them on their terms. We use these opportunities to find out what installers want from us and how we can improve our service. For instance, you might think that our inspections that we carry out would be something that our members resent, but in fact they are overwhelmingly in favour of them. It’s because we come and if something is wrong we offer constructive criticism, and our help. Of course, the vast majority of the time the work is of a very high standard and the installer is beaming with pride.”
With a new TV advertising campaign being launched aimed at raising awareness among homeowners, now might be the time to look into getting certified. As homeowners are becoming more savvy about the documentation they need when it comes to reselling a property, you might just find you hear the question ‘are you FENSA registered?’ all that more often.