BUILDING REGULATIONS - TEMPORARY ARRANGEMENTS FOR SITE INSPECTION NOTIFICATIONS
As a result of the Government’s announcement of measures to minimise the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus, it has been necessary to review our current inspection arrangements for works under construction.
You will have received your project specific inspection regime which indicates the inspection stages that you should notify us of during construction. Please ensure that you notify us at commencement and when all other inspection stages have been reached. If you need a further copy of this or more information; please contact our business support team. Please remember that the onus is on you and your contractor to notify us if you are unsure about any issues of compliance with the requirements of the Building Regulations.
Guidance on site safety has been issued for all building sites. Please read the recent guidance on safe site operating guidelines. We suggest you discuss with your agent and contractor(s) their own contingency plans. Work should not continue where these essential health and safety measures are not in place. If work is continuing on site, you should ensure that you or your contractor(s) are able to keep in touch with us by phone or email and keep a record of works by digital photos as either peg or PDF files submitted by email.
Please continue to notify us of each inspection stage by sending an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please include a phone number in the email; so that we can make contact with you about the visit.
We will also be asking screening questions before our surveyors attend any site visits. If you answer yes to any of the following questions, we will be unable to carry out an on-site inspection and you should alert us immediately.
1. Is anybody who resides at the property or who has been working at the property in the last 14 days self-isolating under the current rules prescribed by the Government?
2. Has anybody who resides at the property or who has been working at the property in the last 14 days tested positive for the Coronavirus?
3. Is anyone within your property considered elderly or vulnerable?
We will only undertake site inspections where the above requirements have been fully met and external access is available to the site.
We are following Government and our employer's advice on safe practice to ensure the safety and well being of our own staff and customers. Our surveyors will adhere to the guidance around social distancing, including not shaking hands and maintaining a safe distance of two metres from you.
We will further request that the contractor fully respects these social distancing requirements to safeguard everyone's health and safety during the inspection. We will have to re-arrange an inspection if any of these requirements are not met. We will decide on a case by case basis whether a site inspection is essential and we will contact you if we are unable to attend. Please see our website for more details about the general service changes the Council has made regarding COVID-19.
Change to our site inspection service
We recognise the need to balance service delivery with reduced personal contact, so where possible we will now be conducting virtual inspections.
We will assess your request on a case by case basis; but we intend to provide a ‘virtual site inspection’ by accepting photographs and short video clips along with a written description of the works undertaken from the builder, contractor or homeowner. If possible, advance notice would be appreciated so we can assist and advise you.
Once these have been submitted to our team; we will then contact you to advise if we need any further details or if you are okay to continue with your project. Our aim is to minimise the number of site inspections but still protect the public. Site inspections will only be undertaken if they are external visits and not within the property.
It is crucial that sufficient evidence of the work undertaken is provided as we will be reliant on this to be in a position to ultimately issue your Completion Certificate. Any attached photographs should fully demonstrate critical elements of the work and show tape measurements as necessary.
Surveyors will assess your photos/ videos and seek to advise you the same day that this evidence is acceptable or if additional information is required.
Here are some examples, though the list is not exhaustive:
Commencement – virtual inspection (unless it is combined with a foundation inspection)
Foundations – on site visit
DPC – possible virtual inspection
Drainage – possible virtual inspection
Floor preparation (oversite) – possible virtual inspection
Structural works – possible virtual inspection, ideally combined with another inspection
Insulation works – possible virtual inspection
Completions – if time critical (for conveyancing/mortgaging purposes) we will discuss this with you, generally we will delay until the situation improves
General advice – all information can be submitted remotely and we will contact you to further discuss your enquiry.
These temporary arrangements will remain in place until such time that the Government advises us that normal business arrangements can resume.
When you undertake a building project, you're legally obliged as the property owner to make sure construction meets building regulations. It is therefore essential that the person carrying out the work ensures that suitable arrangements are made for safe access to the work so that our surveyors can undertake inspections.
What do I need to do?
We recommend you take a personal involvement by discussing your project with our surveyor. This helps clear up any problems before your contractor leaves the site, and avoid issues that can arise from a lack of communication. Inspection reports are restricted to requirements covered by Building Regulations current at that time. They do not constitute evidence that the Building Regulations have been satisfied. It remains the responsibility of the person carrying out the work to ensure that the work complies with the Building Regulations.
Planning permission may be required before work can start on site. Check the Planning Portal website, which has advice on whether your proposals require consent.
How to book an inspection
Contact us by email or on-line to book an inspection. Please ensure that all the necessary inspections are carried out. A completion certificate will not be issued unless all necessary inspections have been completed. Please check this with your contractor.
What happens next?
We will contact you on receipt of your commencement notice to introduce ourselves, briefly discuss the project and answer any questions you may have. If the work is being done on a Building Notice, we will ask about how the work is to be constructed, the type and size of materials, and other appropriate questions. This helps to give us some basic information in the absence of detailed plans. This doesn't mean that details cannot be altered later, but it does act as a basis to allow us to work out the design information and site inspections that will be needed.
It's in your own interest to agree a specification with your contractor and to enter into a formal contract prior to starting. Our Selecting a Builder guidance can help you find a reliable and trustworthy contractor. It also has other useful information to help protect your investment.
Progress inspections, made during the course of the work; helps to provide reassurance that your building works comply with the building regulations.
Why should I have a completion inspection?
It is essential that a satisfactory completion inspection is undertaken and a completion certificate is issued. You may wish to do this before you make your final payment and your business relationship ends with your contractor.
You should request a final inspection once the building work is complete (except for decoration). Our team should be given notice that the site is ready for inspection within five days after the work has finished. We will issue a completion certificate free of charge to you and your agent (where requested) once it has been satisfactorily completed.
If you don't do this, any remedial work will be your responsibility to complete and may involve additional costs. This may also delay the sale of your property if the completion inspection has not been carried out It will be declared as an outstanding matter on any legal search carried out by your purchaser's solicitors.
Future sale of the property
Our completion certificate is required by solicitors as part of the house sale process to indicate as far as can reasonably be ascertained that the work complies with the building regulations. It will be needed if you sell your property in the future and the sale of your property may not be possible without it. We would recommend this certificate is kept safe, possibly with the deeds of your property. Future copies will not be obtainable free of charge. A further charge will be made to carry out a completion inspection at a later date, such as when the property is sold.
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