Time to get retrospective building regs sign off

Time to get retrospective building regs sign off

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8-P

Original Poster:

2,749 posts

258 months

Saturday 18th March 2023
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We moved into our house 7 or so years ago. While doing the conveyancing or solicitor picked up the knock through from kitchen to dining room had no buildings regs sign off and the wall was load bearing.

Why the owners didn’t do it I have no idea. We went down the insurance indemnity policy route like most others do and bought the house.

We are fully aware it could invalidate our house insurance and if the place burnt to the ground the cover could be worthless.

So, time to get it sorted.

My plan is cut back a section of plaster. Call in a structural engineer who I’ve already spoken to. Assuming all ok, then get the council in.

Does this sound logical?

Cat photo bombed the photo nicely



jmn

895 posts

278 months

Saturday 18th March 2023
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I had exactly the same problem.

Fortunately I had the original invoice for the building works which referred to the installation of an RSJ.

I instructed a structural engineer to produce some calculations for an appropriate RSJ, and to prepare an application for retrospective Building Regs approval.

All accepted by local Building Control without having to disturb decorations or indeed any inspection at all.

Pheo

3,315 posts

200 months

Saturday 18th March 2023
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Is this really true? Insurance wise?

Evoluzione

10,345 posts

241 months

Saturday 18th March 2023
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jmn said:
I had exactly the same problem.

Fortunately I had the original invoice for the building works which referred to the installation of an RSJ.

I instructed a structural engineer to produce some calculations for an appropriate RSJ, and to prepare an application for retrospective Building Regs approval.

All accepted by local Building Control without having to disturb decorations or indeed any inspection at all.
That makes a mockery of building regs doesn't it, what a total waste of time and money.

andy43

9,445 posts

252 months

Saturday 18th March 2023
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You’d need to see the pad stones under the beam and clear view of the depth and width I’d have thought.

spitfire-ian

3,803 posts

226 months

Saturday 18th March 2023
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You’ll need to expose part of the beam and measure the width, depth and thickness of one of the flanges. A SE will then be able to tell you what it is and do the necessary calcs for it. For a fee of course.

You’ll probably find that whoever installed it did get a SE to design it, they just didn’t bother doing the building regs side of things. We used to give builders the section size of the steel we’d designed so that they could go and get the steel ordered. They then used to go very quiet when given the bill so they never used to get the calcs issued to them and therefore nothing to give to Building Control.

princeperch

7,857 posts

245 months

Saturday 18th March 2023
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I genuinely don't know why you are bothering

It's clearly doing the job it needs to do because the house hasn't fallen down.

If you are unfortunate enough to have a fire that is so hot and so wild that it melts the beam and the bit above collapses then you'd be pretty unlucky.

Personally I'd just get a fire alarm and stick it next to the beam if you are that worried. I sold my last house with no end of things that had been done to it in the past that had no paperwork.

And Im not sure it's entirely correct a loss adjuster can reject a claim if something like this doesn't have any paperwork - but perhaps someone more knowledgeable than me can comment on that.

Grumps.

5,581 posts

34 months

Saturday 18th March 2023
quotequote all
princeperch said:
I genuinely don't know why you are bothering

It's clearly doing the job it needs to do because the house hasn't fallen down.

If you are unfortunate enough to have a fire that is so hot and so wild that it melts the beam and the bit above collapses then you'd be pretty unlucky.

Personally I'd just get a fire alarm and stick it next to the beam if you are that worried. I sold my last house with no end of things that had been done to it in the past that had no paperwork.

And Im not sure it's entirely correct a loss adjuster can reject a claim if something like this doesn't have any paperwork - but perhaps someone more knowledgeable than me can comment on that.
What a ridiculous comment.

Louis Balfour

26,116 posts

220 months

Saturday 18th March 2023
quotequote all
Grumps. said:
princeperch said:
I genuinely don't know why you are bothering

It's clearly doing the job it needs to do because the house hasn't fallen down.

If you are unfortunate enough to have a fire that is so hot and so wild that it melts the beam and the bit above collapses then you'd be pretty unlucky.

Personally I'd just get a fire alarm and stick it next to the beam if you are that worried. I sold my last house with no end of things that had been done to it in the past that had no paperwork.

And Im not sure it's entirely correct a loss adjuster can reject a claim if something like this doesn't have any paperwork - but perhaps someone more knowledgeable than me can comment on that.
What a ridiculous comment.
I suspect he is correct.





bobtail4x4

3,683 posts

107 months

Saturday 18th March 2023
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Pheo said:
Is this really true? Insurance wise?
yes I have seen a few recently where the insurance use this kind of thing as a get out,

any builder who does this sort of thing probably will not of bothered with calcs,
usually "we used this size beam elsewhere" even if yours has more loading,

a quick chop out of the plaster one end to see the beam and pad,
call the local BCO put the kettle on, most will take a reasonable view on things.

ozzuk

1,165 posts

125 months

Saturday 18th March 2023
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I don't think it's just the beam though, they may need to know how the foundations were done, depth, method and what insulation used. Then of course the insulation in the walls, roof etc, FENSA for windows. You have a policy, might be better to rely on that than spend out on proving it is up to standard.

Jaska

719 posts

140 months

Saturday 18th March 2023
quotequote all
princeperch said:
And Im not sure it's entirely correct a loss adjuster can reject a claim if something like this doesn't have any paperwork - but perhaps someone more knowledgeable than me can comment on that.
Presumably the answer to 'Where's the paperwork for this?' in this case is 'oh it was in a flammable box right next to that beam...' and very little chance of the local authority finding their files again from what I hear

Louis Balfour

26,116 posts

220 months

Saturday 18th March 2023
quotequote all
bobtail4x4 said:
yes I have seen a few recently where the insurance use this kind of thing as a get out,
What do you do bobtail?

andy43

9,445 posts

252 months

Saturday 18th March 2023
quotequote all
The other thing I’ve just thought of is regs do change. Is it an old timber beam? If steel what loadings were used to calculate size? Is it fireline board around it? Padstones? I think all those have changed over the years. How will BCO know what regs applied to it when it was done? If it’s retrospective I’d assume they can’t require it to meet current regs?
Can of worms I suspect.

bobtail4x4

3,683 posts

107 months

Saturday 18th March 2023
quotequote all
Louis Balfour said:
bobtail4x4 said:
yes I have seen a few recently where the insurance use this kind of thing as a get out,
What do you do bobtail?
Im a BCO

I probably get one or two a month, usually on a weds saying "we exchange contracts friday, can you call round with a certificate"



Louis Balfour

26,116 posts

220 months

Saturday 18th March 2023
quotequote all
bobtail4x4 said:
Louis Balfour said:
bobtail4x4 said:
yes I have seen a few recently where the insurance use this kind of thing as a get out,
What do you do bobtail?
Im a BCO
Gotcha. How are you becoming involved with insurance companies knocking back claims due to lack of regs then?

bobtail4x4

3,683 posts

107 months

Saturday 18th March 2023
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people complain they have been refused a claim, one recently offered me £500 to " backdate" his approval.

Mr Whippy

28,730 posts

239 months

Saturday 18th March 2023
quotequote all
bobtail4x4 said:
Pheo said:
Is this really true? Insurance wise?
yes I have seen a few recently where the insurance use this kind of thing as a get out,

any builder who does this sort of thing probably will not of bothered with calcs,
usually "we used this size beam elsewhere" even if yours has more loading,

a quick chop out of the plaster one end to see the beam and pad,
call the local BCO put the kettle on, most will take a reasonable view on things.
It is baffling because the structural stuff isn’t that expensive all considered, nor is the BC.

Given the headaches later, for the savings, it would make me seriously question the financial motivations elsewhere on the build!

Louis Balfour

26,116 posts

220 months

Saturday 18th March 2023
quotequote all
bobtail4x4 said:
people complain they have been refused a claim, one recently offered me £500 to " backdate" his approval.
That suggests a recently completed job?

I have never heard of an insurer insisting on seeing completion certs for all works ever carried out to a property, with a view to rejecting a claim. I would imagine that they are prevented from doing so by some Act or other; possibly the Insurance Act 2015?

As you are aware, a huge number of properties have had work completed that was never signed off. As you are also aware, there is a limited window of opportunity for enforcement. Which is why insurance companies cheerfully sell indemnity policies. If insurance companies were able to bounce claims for no regs they'd be doing it daily, and I don't think they are.





bobtail4x4

3,683 posts

107 months

Saturday 18th March 2023
quotequote all
andy43 said:
The other thing I’ve just thought of is regs do change. Is it an old timber beam? If steel what loadings were used to calculate size? Is it fireline board around it? Padstones? I think all those have changed over the years. How will BCO know what regs applied to it when it was done? If it’s retrospective I’d assume they can’t require it to meet current regs?
Can of worms I suspect.
regs may change but the size of beams hasn`t altered, ok recently as modern timber is crap, the span tables for joists etc has changed,

if the work was done post 1985 (when latest form of regs came in, and retrospective application was allowed) the regs of the period are used,
ie up to about 2005 loft conversions needed escape windows, later ones didn`t,
about the same time electric certificates were needed.

Edited by bobtail4x4 on Saturday 18th March 21:06