Renovating houses and Building Control

Spinney

Bimbleur extraordinaire
Location
Under the Edge
Anyone know the details of what is checked when an alternation/renovation is signed off by building control?
If you wouldn't mind PMing me, I've a couple of questions. One of the great things about CC is there's usually someone knowledgable on almost everything!
 

vickster

Legendary Member
 

Slick

Guru
I won't PM anything as my experience is restricted, but I do know building control should be involved from day 1 to allow them to ensure building regulations are being followed and will check out the build at certain stages. Depending on your exact authority, it can be a pain to get them to sign off a completed project without jumping through a few hoops.

This link may only help if you really don't understand the system as a whole.

https://www.designingbuildings.co.uk/wiki/Building_control_officer_BCO
 
OP
Spinney

Spinney

Bimbleur extraordinaire
Location
Under the Edge
Thanks @Slick
I bought a house that had been renovated, and had a final certificate from building control. Now I'm trying to sell it, and the buyer's surveyor flagged a couple of items. What I'm after is someone who knows what kinds of things would be checked.
I have contacted the firm who did the sign-off, but they haven't got back to me (understandably, there's no incentive for them to do so).
 

Beebo

Firm and Fruity
Location
Hexleybeef
I’m no expert but Remember that the regulations are constantly changing. What is required now may not have been required when the work was done.
You only have to comply with the regulations at the time of the work, it isn’t retrospective.
 

Goldenretriever

Über Member
Location
Hevingham
You say you contacted the firm who did the sign off? That doesn't sound like local authority building control more like a builder who has self certified with a private company. We ahve always used local building inspectors and most are helpfull. The sort of things normally checked would be roofing and drainage, I also used to have them check windows and doors as I'm not Fensa registered. They would also want to see electrical and plumbing certificates before issueing a final certificate. I would check who actually has signed this off, I have helped to put right a self certified renovation and it cost a lot of money!
 

Slick

Guru
Thanks @Slick
I bought a house that had been renovated, and had a final certificate from building control. Now I'm trying to sell it, and the buyer's surveyor flagged a couple of items. What I'm after is someone who knows what kinds of things would be checked.
I have contacted the firm who did the sign-off, but they haven't got back to me (understandably, there's no incentive for them to do so).
Anything structural would be checked, dimension and grade of any support, DPC is a big one and as described above, all the certs.

I assume the sign off is recent?
 

Slick

Guru
I’m no expert but Remember that the regulations are constantly changing. What is required now may not have been required when the work was done.
You only have to comply with the regulations at the time of the work, it isn’t retrospective.
That's definitely a possibility, although you can understand a surveyor flagging up anything in that regard.
 

bikingdad90

Veteran
When we were looking at houses last year, we walked away from a house because they didn’t have building control sign off on a half garage conversation to dining room. They offered indemnity insurance in lie of sign off but we said no as if we invited building control in to the house in the future and they looked at the conversion (even if they weren’t there for that) then the indemnity insurance would be invalid and the house not insurable.

Should add they refused retrospective sign off.
 

screenman

Legendary Member
Who signed it off? Council or private firm. The private firm that signed off next doors new build should be locked up.
 

Slick

Guru
When we were looking at houses last year, we walked away from a house because they didn’t have building control sign off on a half garage conversation to dining room. They offered indemnity insurance in lie of sign off but we said no as if we invited building control in to the house in the future and they looked at the conversion (even if they weren’t there for that) then the indemnity insurance would be invalid and the house not insurable.

Should add they refused retrospective sign off.
I did the same with a new build up here. There was indemnity insurance on offer from the architect but not worth the paper it's written on really.
 
OP
Spinney

Spinney

Bimbleur extraordinaire
Location
Under the Edge
Sign off was done by a private firm, but the letter also had the local council's details on it, so I assumed it was an approved contractor or some such thing.

I accept that standards might change - I bought in 2014, and the house had just been renovated. It's things like whether the loft should be ventilated (I assume yes, the buyer's surveyor said it wasn't but he only stuck his head through the hatch, and I wanted to know if that kind of thing was required in 2014 and if it was checked).
Also, there is a solid fuel stove, but I never got a HETAS certificate for it, which buyers seem to want. I don't know why my conveyancer did not ask for this when I bought the house, but I wondered if the installation was covered as part of building regs. I don't think either would be very expensive to sort out/get, but I did wonder if they were things that should have been checked when the place was signed off.
 
U

User6179

Guest
Sign off was done by a private firm, but the letter also had the local council's details on it, so I assumed it was an approved contractor or some such thing.

I accept that standards might change - I bought in 2014, and the house had just been renovated. It's things like whether the loft should be ventilated (I assume yes, the buyer's surveyor said it wasn't but he only stuck his head through the hatch, and I wanted to know if that kind of thing was required in 2014 and if it was checked).
Also, there is a solid fuel stove, but I never got a HETAS certificate for it, which buyers seem to want. I don't know why my conveyancer did not ask for this when I bought the house, but I wondered if the installation was covered as part of building regs. I don't think either would be very expensive to sort out/get, but I did wonder if they were things that should have been checked when the place was signed off.

If the roof has a breathable membrane then I dont think you need to vent it.
 

Brains

Legendary Member
Location
Greenwich
I'd second all the comments above.
You need to see if you can talk to the company that did the work
I suspect a few quid will need to change hands before they offer any certification, and it will come with caveats.

What the buyers surveyor is trying to cover is his arse.

For example the current 'big issue' is a load of building was done a few years back by a major house builder on big estates where they used a cheap mix for the mortar. 18 months after some of the houses were finished the insurance company is having to buy them back, knock them down and rebuild, others need major repair.
No surveyor want to be the one that said 'OK' in a situation like that, so they want a bit of paper from the builder that says all the materials used and the skill to put them up were all top notch and it's all guaranteed by their insurance for many years.
 
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