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UK Building Regulations

Windows and doors have to conform to building regulations; the regulations that they need to meet will differ depending on the project being undertaken.

The main discrepancies will be between projects for new builds including extensions, and those of refurbishments, which are slightly different as the windows and doors are normally being replaced like for like. There are five main criteria that need to be met, these are:

TimberPlus is committed to offering full customer satisfaction throughout its product range, which also includes our aim to supply items fit for their purpose specified and that we will satisfy the different requirements set out in building regulations.

We say “aim to”, because without your input, we cannot be sure where windows are being placed, and what your individual needs may be. It is very important that you understand your legal requirements when either working on a new build, or simply replacing existing windows and doors.

The technical requirements can be very daunting to try to understand which could lead to a failure to comply. To help our clients we have written a brief overview below to simplify some of the main criteria that need to be met to conform to the Documents above.

Approved Document B

All windows deemed to be in habitable rooms i.e. bedrooms, lounge or studies may be required to meet with escape requirements to conform, and the following must be adhered too. Minimum un-obstructed opening of 450mm in either direction.

The bottom of the window must be no higher than 1100mm from finished floor level.

An escape window will be required if the only means of escape from the room is via another room.

Approved Document F

If the dwelling is not fitted with mechanical ventilation, trickle vents should be fitted to either windows or exterior doors. The minimum requirement is:

All habitable rooms 5000mm2 per 10m2 of floor area per room.

Other rooms such as kitchens, bathrooms and utility rooms 2500mm2 per 10m2.

Approved Document K

This document sets out guide lines for safety glass, the two types of safety glass commonly used are toughened or laminated, both these should be marked with BSEN 12150. To conform to building regulations all windows and doors in the following locations must be fitted with safety glass:

  • All doors
  • All windows attached to door frames i.e. sidelights or fanlights or any window  within 300mm of a door.
  • Any window which is partially below 800mm from floor level.
  • Any window located in a bathroom, landing or stairwell.

Approved Document L

All modern dwellings now incorporate windows and doors with double glazed units where the maximum U-value should not be greater than 1.6 W/m2K but this can be taken as an average of all windows and doors. On refurbishment you only have to replace like for like as long as you don’t exceed the U-value of the current window in place.

Approved Document M

All recently built dwellings have to conform to mobility access; this means you have to allow a minimum width to the opening, thus providing clearance for a wheelchair to access the building. This is more relevant to new buildings and extensions. The minimum un-obstructed clearance from either face of the inside of the frame to the door leaf face shall be no less than 775mm and also incorporating a low level threshold sill to the frame.

Please note these are only guidelines and TimberPlus cannot be held responsible if all relevant information has not been submitted at point of order. If you are unsure of anything or would like more information please don’t hesitate to contact either a member of the sales team or a member of the technical team who will be delighted to help.

For your convenience, Timberplus has also included a link to the building regulations portal.