This is slightly long winded but please stay with me.
We have a UPVC double glazed window frame in our kitchen. It's fairly modern but has external beading. It's split into 3, a large window at the bottom approx175cm/80cm and 2 smaller opening windows above approx 80cm/20 each.
Recently the large window was accidently cracked. Our insurance company sent someone out from a glazing company to measure up and he told us it would be replaced within a couple of weeks.
Sheer coincidence but a a few days later we had a break in. They smashed one of the small opening windows above the large cracked one to gain entry. The same glazing company came out to measure up again. We were advised to withdraw our original claim and put the 2 windows through on the same claim as we would only have to pay one excess fee. The glazer told us that because one of the strips of beading from the small window had gone missing(we dont know where it went) that the whole window, frame and all would have to be replaced. He also told us that due to new health a safety legislation we would have to have a lintel fitted as there wasnt one there. The glazing company could not fit the lintel so the insurance company told us to contact a local builder for a quote.
The builder has been round today and told us he agrees that if we replace the whole frame we will need a new lintel, but he has said that the frame doesnt need replacing. Replacing the large window is a simple job. The smaller opening window will need totally replacing as the glazing company screwed 6 large bolts into the window to secure a piece of wood. The builder has told us that the beading that went missing is bog standard stuff that can be picked up from any decent merchant or even B&Q.
If the lintel has to be fitted its gonna cause a lot of mess and disruption. My wife is due to give birth any day, we dont need the hassle of glazers, builders, plasterers and painters with a few week old baby in the house, especially if all that really needs doing is simply replacing a couple of glazed units.
Ive told all this to the insurance company but they only use one glazer and have said they have to trust their word.
My questions are;
What exactly does the health and saftey law say about this situation? Do we need a lintel or is the glazer just trying it on with the insurance company? Why didnt the glazer say anything about a lintel when he first came to price up the original cracked window? Can the beading be picked up easily and simply replaced?
Get an independent quote from a fensa registered company, they should be able to make a new opening window so the whole thing does not have to be replaced. Try to force your insurance company to accept this quote.
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