Part Q: What it means for your home extension

by Mark Pearce, Managing Director, KJM Group

Next month [October 2015] a significant but little discussed change to Building Regulations comes into force. It’s one which is primarily aimed at the big house builders but it’s also going to have an important impact on homeowners planning extensions too.

Amendments to the Building Regulations slipped into law largely unnoticed in March this year with regulatory changes coming into force with effect from 1st October.

The target in the Government’s sight are house builders large or small. Alongside water efficiency, and accessibility, the legislative change introduces a new security standard in new build – the new Part Q of the Building Regulations.

In essence the Government is aiming to do what it has done for energy efficiency for security. That’s making sure that all new build properties are built to and feature products which contribute to a new minimum standard, including windows and doors.

Insecure or poorly maintained windows and doors are used as entry points in more than half of all break-ins. Anyone who has been the victim of a burglary that it’s not just the loss of property and the inconvenience but the sense of intrusion and worse still, the worry that it could happen again.

At KJM Group, we give our wholehearted support to anything that improves home security and are committed to supplying the top performing products to our customers.

But while Part Q should be seen as a positive, it does mean that home owners do need to run an additional check to make sure that the products installed in their home extension meet the new requirements under building regulations because not all installation businesses are up to speed on the changes.

Part Q Security of the Building Regulations states that ‘doorsets’ [fitted to new build properties] ‘should be manufactured to a design which has been shown to meet the requirements of PAS24:2012 . . . doorsets demonstrating compliance with the police ‘Secured by Design initiative will also meet the provisions of this Approved Document.’

The critical thing to note here is that the definition of ‘new build’ under the regulation extends beyond the construction of new homes to new build home extensions.

Without wishing to get too technical, Regulation 3 of the Building Regulations defines ‘building work’ as:  a. the erection or extension of a building b. the provision or extension of a controlled service or fitting c. the material alteration of a building.

In short, if you’re getting a home extension built you need to make sure that the windows and doors you fit are PAS24:2012 compliant or you could fall foul of the Building Regulations. Don’t simply rely on your builder or installer but get it in writing.

I wouldn’t suggest for a moment that anyone would deliberately go out of their way to pull the wool over your eyes, it’s simply that it’s a new regulation, these things take time to ‘bed-in’  and Building Control are employed to make sure that whatever work you’re having done is delivered to the right standard.

All doors and windows installed today feature a huge number of security innovations from pincer and multi-point locking to reinforced sashes and cylinder guards. Your door or windows whatever the specification will be incredibly secure. PAS24:2012 products just go that little bit further.

If you put yourself in the mind-set of the burglar and you have the option of either breaking into a property with the top performing multi-point windows or doors with cylinder guards or another one with windows and doors without those features, which would you go for? 

For more information about our range of high security and PAS24:2012 compliant windows and doors visit our showroom - email or call 01264 359355.