Replacement windows, no lintels, building regs?

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Hi there, please can anyone help. I have just paid a lot of money to have 6 aluminium windows fitted with slimline frames of 40mm depth. The windows being removed were much deeper, being upvc from the 80s.
It now seems that the windows don’t have lintels and we have effectively removed any support that the windows were offering.
Is the window company responsible for a) not surveying properly and spotting that these windows could not be swapped like for like
b) neglecting to point out the lack of lintel at installation stage and carrying on with the job.
Is this a building regs matter? Any advice would be gratefully received
 
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Whilst lintels are not covered under any of the approved installer schemes (FENSA, CERTASS etc) an installation firm has a duty of care to advise on anything that is related to their work, so yes thy would be expected to point this out and be liable for not pointing out the absence of lintels.

It's a very common thing and one that no professional installer should miss.

Yes, the installation of new lintel supports is a building regulation matter, so whilst a registered installer can self-certify the frame installation, they can't do so for the lintel supports and an application to the council is required.
 
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Thank you. Any idea of what I can do about it? Do I speak to FENSA or my local council or both?
 
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Surely the original upvc windows should’ve had lintels - upvc windows aren’t structural?

Maybe the upvc windows were fitted without lintels - sometimes timber and crittall steel windows were fitted without - my house has some dropped brickwork because of crittalls being changed for upvc
 
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Thank you. Any idea of what I can do about it? Do I speak to FENSA or my local council or both?
You could complain to FENSA if the firm is a member and if their actions contravenes FENSA's policies.

However, whilst this situation should have been avoided, and the installers may not have acted as they should, what are your actual losses? How worse off are you? That would be the basis of any claim. If you get someone in to fit lintels now, how much different will that be to if you had the lintels fitted at the time of the frame install?

If you have losses, and can quantify them, then if there is no FENSA compensation scheme, you could take this to the Country Court under the small claims track.

Otherwise, if you have no actual losses, then it may be best to just move on and get others to fit the lintels.
 
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No lintels...are you sure? A lot of time the lintel is a course or two of bricks up if its a catnic type. I am not sure why you would need building control if you have to fit a standard pre designed lintel eg a catnic, they normal only come into play when you are putting in steels and want to see the calcs. Why are BG going to tell catnic, you have got that wrong ?
 
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Building regs didn’t come into 2002. The 1980s upvc windows had a very deep profile and thus acted as some sort of load-bearing frame. It’s my understanding that when swapping like for like replacement windows, lintels don’t necessarily have to be fitted, but the Installer has to consider and discuss this with you preferably before the job is even taken on. If it’s not spotted until the job is started, then they have to stop and call a builder in.
Windows in the 30s and 50s often didn’t have lintels because steel windows were strong enough to carry any weight from above, 40mm aluminium windows are not.
The Alitherm installers instructions say that the job has to be surveryed properly beforehand and a lintel fitted if there isn’t one, if a fitter doesn’t follow these guidelines then the manufacturers guarantee is null and void.
Who knows what problems lie ahead if this isn’t remedied. I’ll be calling FENSA and building regs today.
Thanks for your comments
 
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Surely in any event you would be covering the cost of the lintels, whether via an uplift in the window install cost or seperately via a builder etc? Surely the best way to resolve would be to get the lintels installed directly yourself and try and get the window firm back in to make good etc afterwards as a middle ground? I just think you need to be more realistic about the solution
 

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