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Any Structural Engineers or Building Inspectors around - advice greatly received!

(9 Posts)
ThreeShiningStars Wed 29-Mar-17 13:37:19

Please help, I am at the end of my tether and am now loosing sleep over this.

Two years ago we started building work, during the course of this a small change was made to the placement of a structural support to a beam in a pitched roof. At the time our builder spoke to and confirmed with the Structural Engineer that this was fine. Unfortunately our builder is old school - he did this over the phone and not email. When we came to have our building work finally signed off we were told we needed confirmation in writing from the SE that they were happy with the change. Despite multiple emails and looping in our architect who recommended the SE they refuse to even acknowledge my emails let alone reply to them!

We are now at a point where we are looking to move to accommodate our growing family, but we can't without the building work being signed off - and this is the only thing stopping that.

Do you know if I can employ another SE to do new calculations based on the new placement and if building control can accept these to sign off the work?

Thanks in advance!

Kiroro Wed 29-Mar-17 14:09:07

Do you know if I can employ another SE to do new calculations based on the new placement and if building control can accept these to sign off the work?

Yes you can, but they may need to take back some of the plaster to check the placement and stuff.

Are you sure the builder did actually discuss with the SE?

TBH I would start a complaints process with the SE if they are refusing to engage with you at all.

whatsthecomingoverthehill Wed 29-Mar-17 14:09:50

Yes you could employ a new structural engineer. But I would chase them again and if they carry on ignoring you I would think about complaining to their professional institution. That may at least push them to do something. If it is something that you or the builder has changed they would probably want additional fees to cover the change though.

whatsthecomingoverthehill Wed 29-Mar-17 14:11:46

(Cross posted with kiroro who said the same thing!)

ThreeShiningStars Wed 29-Mar-17 16:38:25

Thank you both for your advice.

This has been dragging on for so long and to be honest i could have chased more but a) i have been busy and b) I am scared that they will simply say 'no we didn't agree' just to wash their hands of us.

I have been wholly unimpressed with their service to be honest, they seemed to know nothing about our property. The building work was completed in August 2015! I'll be furious if we have to remove plaster to and incur extra expense because they won't reply!

I have sent another message this morning - if I don't hear back from them within 48 hours I will send another email saying that if they continue to refuse to respond to me I will have no choice but to start a complaints procedure with their professional body.

To be honest if they turn around now ans say 'no we never agreed that' as a sort of retaliation I will still raise a complain because if they didn't agree then why not say that after my first message?!

The same stands for additional fees - why not say yes you can change it but we will need to do X and Y at a cost of Z.

I am 100% confident that the builder contacted them, he spoke to them a number of times over the course of the build and I trust him implicitly. They on the other hand have shown themselves to be completely incompetent.

At least we know that if they do prove 'difficult' we can still get our house signed off and sell it. (wonders if we do this if we can pursue them for costs fuckers?)

HiDBandSIL Wed 29-Mar-17 17:10:30

I would complain within the organisation first. Have you phoned them? They may not be receiving your emails - spam filter? The person may have left and their emails aren't being properly dealt with.

Ultimately you just want a quick (and free) answer at this point and the best way of getting that is within the organisation. Email all the managing partners and say X won't respond etc. But first, phone them if you haven't already!

ThreeShiningStars Wed 29-Mar-17 19:19:54

It's a husband and wife team - i'm copying both of them in.

When I included the architect she emailed me back to say that she had spoken to the wife SE and she was looking into it and would get back to me, so I know they know.

I will definitely be raising a complaint. Thank you

SnowGlobes Wed 29-Mar-17 19:36:15

I would definitely phone them. I had a similar issue regarding electrics and building regs when we came to sell ours. I sent soooo many emails and although not totally ignored went around in circles. Yet a 5 min phone call (turning on the charm big time) had them emailing through the certificate I required. It turned out that the builder hadn't paid them for jobs.

whatsthecomingoverthehill Wed 29-Mar-17 20:50:23

I don't think you can complain until you've at least tried to ring them. It could be something as simple as they forgot initially and your emails aren't getting through.

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