FAQ: The abbreviation FENSA stands for FENESTRATION - SELF ASSESSMENT.
The uk dictionary definition of the word fenestral or fenestrate is " belonging to or like a window" The word fenestration is "the arrangement of windows in a building". FENSA is used by double glazing uk trade companies to certify that their replacement windows and doors installed comply with Building Regulations Document L (and more), actually checking av. 1% of all replacement windows installations.
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Not all my own work I must admit. I would not even think of doing the groundwork, bricking up and plastering etc., I leave that sort of thing to people who are tradesmen in their own right.
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About the proceedings:
I needed planning permission, although not building regs. (I will be going into the subject on my site when I can find the time to do more pages - if you have a specific question before then, please email me). I applied for permission in February this year, and finally got it through in June. I then ordered up the conservatory to be made which took only three weeks, but had to wait six weeks until my builder was available to start work, so I had the conservatory in my garage for three weeks. He only took a week to get all the groundwork done, and then I was away.
Once the brickwork was up, I fitted the conservatory almost single handed as a sort of 'busman's holiday' over the course of a few weeks in my spare time, mainly at weekends. It was quite a job on my own, as most of the time you need at least three hands! Credit must go to Bill, my neighbour opposite who although not a young man anymore, is always there wanting to help. Credit also to my wife, for supplying me with endless cups of tea on demand, and also for her unquestioning help, as and when called on to give a hand, and not least for her bravery in scaling the heights on to the ridge outdoors while I was up the ladder indoors, as this needs two people to fit it, and because she is quite a bit lighter than me, I naturally delegated her to the outside!
Once all the framework was up I got my man Dave to fit the double glazed sealed units (all 32 of them, a day's work on it's own). Next I fitted the electric sockets and took the opportunity to spur off with an armoured cable running from a double pole switch down the garden to provide shed and pond electric's. Once I had run the cables to the consumer unit I had my 'sparks', Frank, connected up. Next I had the dwarf and back wall plastered, again not by me, but by a good plasterer, my 'spread' Paul. Wife emulsioned the walls in good old magnolia. I did the floor tiling myself next, fairly reluctantly and mainly because I could not get the tiler I wanted for about 10 weeks, and 'er indoors persuaded me to 'DIY', and very pleased with the result I am. Next I made a step outside the doors, as Mum was planning to stay for a few days, and I could just see her going flying, which is not recommended when you have reached four score years. My plumber, Brian - also a neighbour, has fitted the radiator, and I think we will need it soon as well. (Written October 1999).
Added March 2000: The Conservatory has been fine all over the Winter months, and we have enjoyed it very much, whiling away many a few lazy hours here and there over the Winter months, and the radiator has proved quite sufficient for comfort. Have started to plan the patio paving as spring is 'in the air'. Clocks go on in a couple of weeks, and I for one am very much looking forward to it, as it is such a nice time of year.
Handy knowing a 'Friend in the Trade', isn't it?
The BBQ has been put away until the Spring, and the paving of a patio area will have to wait until then as well.
Footnote added 4th March 2001: On reading this it does not seem like a year has passed since I wrote this page but there you go, time passes so quickly - it must be a sign of me getting old!