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Experiences with Building Control/Regs on a job

(6 Posts)
Fayrazzled Sun 16-Aug-09 18:55:05

We've had a lot of work done on our house this year, primarily a basement and attic conversion. The builder had assured me he would deal with Building Control- his firm were well known to them, trusted by them blah blah. I know the Building Inspector came out at least 2x during the course of the work because I paid the invoices that said so- but it was laways the builder who met with them, not me.

Our work is almost finished- ie. we have decorated and just have a few snags left with the builder. I was aware that we needed to chase the builder re arranging to get our completion certificate but I hadn't done it. Anyhow, the building inspector turned up out of the blue last week to do a spot check. They made it clear they weren't happy that they hadn't been invited back to see the work in progress; they are asked me some technical questions about the insulation used I couldn't answer, and identified a few problems the builder will need to put right. (One of these could be very tricky and involve going back into the plastered and tanked wall- nightmare). I can hardly bear the thought of yet more disruption when I thought we were at the end, even down to having decorated.

I need to get in touch with the builder to discuss this obviously, but my question is, I guess: how often do issues arise with Building Control on a project? Is it reasonable to expect the builder to totally comply or are there always going to be issues? Fortunately our contract states all work will be done to meet Building Regs so the builder has to put it right at his cost, but Christ, I'm flipping furious about the potential disruption again. Does anyone have any experience of this stage of the process. i could cry, I really could.

TheOnlyDailyMaleForMeisDH Sun 16-Aug-09 23:17:33

Oh dear

Well I was worried about this so insisted on arranging all building control checks myself. At the start of work you should have a copy of the building control list - which states at which point you have to inform them or progress and you also have to tell them when you start so they can check basic site stuff etc.

If you do this, you very rarely get problems - sounds like your builder has been a bit of a git TBH.

Building inspectors rarely turn up on spec btw - would suggest someone has given them a call to query something - probably the attic conversion, it's normally neighbours querying the size of windows etc. (don't worry about it, people tend to moan whatever you do).

Well done you for getting the passing of building control written into the contract though.

Most BC staff are really helpful though - you can ask them things and it won't necessarily mean they request more work. It is reasonable to expect your builders to comply with BC, in fact they are obliged to.

Oh and building work always takes about a third longer than you were told. That's normal sadly.

Fayrazzled Mon 17-Aug-09 09:22:14

Thanks for responding. I didn't know about the building control list- I didn't see it. I know they were notified at the start though, and like I say, they visited twice in the early stages.

They weren't interested in the attic when they came out- just the basement.

I feel totally naive for trusting the builder to the extent I did. The work was horrendous when ongoing and I really could only cope with keeping me and the children safe, fed and dressed in clean clothes while the worst of it went on. Feel totally stupid now.

The building inspector who came out was lovely- I think she felt sorry for me- but I'm sure they're used to seeing it all the flipping time.

The work went on for much longer than a third again. We were quoted 10 weeks and it actually went on for about 6 months.

Thanks again.

jeanjeannie Mon 17-Aug-09 09:37:50

Oh dear sad Your builder has been very naughty.

Building inspectors come out at certain points in the build - not just the early stages. My DP (builder) insists that either the client/project manager or an appointed person connected to the client is there when the Building Control comes round. He uses it as a natural pause in the job so everyone can assess where they are at

To answer your question - how often does it arise - well I think that's dependent on the builder. A good builder should welcome the visit as a signing off process and a validation of his work. This point in the build is also often used as a payment point - so everyone can proceed to the next level.

Personally I'd sit the builders down and ask him what he's going to do about it. There's no point in not complying - as you'll not get it all signed off at the end. You need him to tell you exactly what it's going to take to get this done - and if he needs to strip down a wall so that the BC can check what's going on with the walls. For example - if you've had a RSJ put in then they need to actually see the strappings - check the structure bearing the weight and ensure the right plasterboard (fireproof) has been used. If it's all covered over then there is no way of telling.

Hope it goes well

elsiepiddock Mon 17-Aug-09 10:14:37

I'm a building control officer.

Not all of the inspections are statutory, so it's not the end of the world if every stage has not been inspected.

Ime, a good builder will arrange the necessary inspections - but they are quite forgetful about arranging the final one, which usually takes place when they have left the site - unless their final cheque depends on it!

Fayrazzled Mon 17-Aug-09 18:26:56

Elsie,

Thanks for your response too. I've spoken to my builder now, who has spoken to building control, and it's all in hand. We're having a meeting altogether in the next few weeks.

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