Building Regulations Certificate ?

Hi,
I have just had an extenstion completed by a local building firm - and it now transpires that the builder never notified the Building Inspector that the works had started - so no inspections were carried out during the build.
The Inspector has since come out (as the builder did notify him of completion of works) but obviously cannot inspect anything other than the decorating (his words). The extension knocked a gable wall down with the load supported on a steel beam (with some underpinning as dictated by structural engineer) and also added a dormer window upstairs.
The Inspector is waiting for his boss to return next Tuesday before getting back to us as he wasn't really sure of our options.
Has anyone seen this before - and if so what was the outcome ....builder forced to expose key areas of the build to satisfy Inspector ..or worse still...no certificate given unless a knock down and start again ?
Many thanks in advance Nick
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Worst case is knock down at builder's expense. The outcome really depends on how the BCO feels and how much has been done. Try and keep on good terms with the BCO who holds all the cards.
snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com
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On 17 Oct 2003 08:43:06 -0700, a particular chimpanzee named snipped-for-privacy@talk21.com (Nick) randomly hit the keyboard and produced:

It's very unlikely that it will have to be pulled down & rebuilt (unless the workmanship is poor). The BCO will need to be satisfied that the foundations are adequate, the beams are the right size, that there is a DPC & DPM installed, that there is sufficient insulation to the walls, floor and roof, and that any drainage has been installed correctly. This will almost certainly involve opening up parts of the work, including digging a trail hole or two, removing some plaster from around the beam, making a hole into the roof void if the loft is not accessible, and removing some brickwork in the inner & outer leafs to expose the cavity and the slab. With the structural works you describe, it's likely that he'll want to pay close attention to what has been done there.
All this of course should be done at the builder's expense, including any rectification works. This is likely to push the contract beyond your agreed period, so also think about invoking any penalty clauses you have (but don't let the builder know that just yet; he may just scoot and write the retention off as a loss).

I suspect he was, but wanted someone higher up to take the heat.
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(Nick) randomly hit the keyboard and produced:

Thanks very much for the response (and to all others who have posted)....it was what I was hoping for as a worse case...will keep my fingers crossed and report back when I hear more from the BCO.
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If you had a proper structural engineer involved and there are plan drawings from the builders design team, and the building engineer, then these will have to be submitted to the local planning authority for their approval. If the builder has failed in this, then you will be asked to take the whole thing down and start again if plan drawings have not been provided. The work will classed as a suck it and see sort of job, which is not the best way to keep building control peeps happy.
The drawings are the most important part of the situation just now, as they will show how the work should have been done and to what standard. The builder will be asked to expose the most important key areas, if only to satisfy the building control people that the drawings were adhered to and the rest of the build is all to the same standard.
Good Luck with it.
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This is completely wrong.
1) planning and building control are two entirely separate things you seem to have confused them.
2) Whilst retrospective application for planning permission can be refused on principle, resulting in an order for the building to be demolished, a retrospective application for a building control certificate, without the prior submission of plans is a legally allowed way of doing things. The worst that will happen is that the BI will ask you to 'open up' parts that he cannot see to check that they are, in fact, done correctly. The BI will never take the principled view that the building is bound to be constructed incorrectly and ask for it to be demolished just in case. I agree that they don't like this method of approving buildings but the legislation clearly allows builders to work this way if they wish.
tim

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drawings
will
If
best
But Nick has said that there are under pinnings, as well as retaining wall removals, that have been undertaken during these works. The building inspector will need proof of approval from his/her local authority planning department on submitted drawings of proposal before he/she allows any structural changes of this magnatude to take place. Lives are at stake in these situations, and no local authority I know, would allow this type of work to be carried out without the proper planning proposals and structural drawings being submitted by the bulders or their agent.
It is the builders fault, so he'll have to sort it. If he gives his written testimony that he's carried out the work to the approved methods, and then something goes badly wrong, then he'll be sued to the highest courts in the land by the local authority. But that could be to late for the poor family who are now left without a property or have been badly injured because of a colapse. Unless he can prove through proper inspections, that his work has/is been/being carried out to locally approved methods. Which in this case, he can't.

they
and
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"BigWallop" wrote | But Nick has said that there are under pinnings, as well as retaining wall | removals, that have been undertaken during these works. The building | inspector will need proof of approval from his/her local authority planning | department on submitted drawings of proposal before he/she allows any | structural changes of this magnatude to take place.
That is building control, not planning.
| It is the builders fault, so he'll have to sort it.
Ah, but is it :-) It isn't the builder's fault the owner failed to make the necessary applications, unless it's in the contract that the builder should have done so.
Owain
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This may be relevent in this case but your earlier answer made no reference to it, you implied that the building would have to be demolished simply because no plans were lodged. This is completely incorrect.

The planning department has no relevence here. There may or there may not be a planning requirement but whatever was or should have been submitted to the planning dept does not need to contain the construction details.

I think that the amount of work done here is probably less than it appears to be on paper. But in any case, I fail to see how knocking down the new build can rectify the critical item which is the replacement lintel and its support. If this has been done inadequately, it won't become adequate because the extension is removed.

Once again, the planning department have no juristriction here

I don't believe that they have a choice. If I wish to start work on a (planning permitted) change to my property *I* can choose whether I submit the plans to the BCO before I start work or request a BN after I have started. All the BCO can do is refuse to issue me a certificate if the work is sub-standard they cannot dictate when I do it.

The work has been done to the standards set by the surveyor. If it is wrong then it is his problem.

But this still doesn't mean that the only solution is the removal of the new build.
tim

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allowed
wall
Apologise for my previous wording. Bad composition n my part. Point taken.

planning
Ground works, as in the under pinning, needs approval before commencement, there are no if's, but's or maybe's on that point. A good build is only done on good foundations.

My previous wording again. :-)) It is more likely that most of the works will have to be exposed before any certification is given on this type of structural work.

of
But they do on the ground works.

Retrospective permission is normally only granted on submission of plan drawings. It doesn't prevent or dictate when the works are started, but it does dictate when the inspection should begin. There were grounds on this job, and as I said previously, a good build is only done on good foundations, and most buildings inspectors see it that way to.

written
then
the
family
of a

Fair enough.

this
Again, my choice of wording in the previous reply. :-))
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On Sat, 18 Oct 2003 22:26:21 +0200, a particular chimpanzee named
and produced:

Not true. To commence Building Work without a valid Building Regulations application (either Full Plans, or a Building Notice where allowed) is an offence under Section 16 of the Building Act 1984, and action can be taken under Section 35 (to levy a fine) or Section 36 (to pull down or otherwise alter the offending work).
The Building Regulations were changed in (IIRC) 1994 to allow the issuing of Regularisation Certificates for work which had been constructed illegally (the wording of this regulation makes it clear that it is "unauthorised") [1]. In theory, there's nothing to stop an Authority accepting a Regularisation application, but still taking prosecution under the Building Act.
[1] There was (I'm sure) unkind and unfounded speculation within our office at the time as to whether John Selwyn Gummer (the minister who was in charge at the time) had an illegal extension on his house.
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Also, AIUI it is generally the householder that the responsibility rests upon.
So, even if the builder takes on the job as a whole (ie coordinating paperwork etc) then you could still be accountable. You;'d need to ensure that the contract with the builder stated that they would file any necessary paperwork and they they would indemnify (or compensate) you for any losses as a result of them failing to do so.
Is this correct?
-- Richard Sampson
email me at richard at olifant d-ot co do-t uk
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The builders across the road from me were horrified on Friday when the BI insisted on a 6 foot depth of concrete for a single storey extension. It also has to be done in two sections with his worship inspecting the first before digging out starts on the second stage. Apparently the house had been underpinned to that depth in the 80s so the rest has to match. Two very unhappy chaps. Still, the weather has been kind to them so far....
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