Time to get retrospective building regs sign off

Time to get retrospective building regs sign off

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Discussion

Teddy Lop

7,344 posts

54 months

Saturday 18th March
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Evoluzione said:
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.
Council BC officer I had here for the last check on a knock through lintel, and chimney stack removal. She looked at the room divider and asked "is this the gallows bracket too?". Figuring the loft would be hassle I said yes, and she ticked the box and said that's fine.

She was adeptly demonstrating my councils diversity policy though so that's good.

KAgantua

3,302 posts

118 months

Saturday 18th March
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Louis Balfour said:
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.
Agrred with Prince Perch

Mr Whippy

26,687 posts

228 months

Saturday 18th March
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bobtail4x4 said:
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 rags 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.
You’d still need to see it though shirley?

I know for example that some engineers might spec a smaller steel with that fancy paint to extend burn times.

Even then, would you trust it is indeed done to that spec?

As noted, if you’re already running away from costs on a project, would you trust the expensive paint was actually applied etc?

alfabeat

844 posts

99 months

Saturday 18th March
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I had a similar situation on a loft conversion which never got signed off by BC. IMO first step would be to see if BC ever was involved when it was being built. Ask them.


If not, then move on. If when selling, an indemnity insurance policy will cover it.

If you aren't selling, then.....just keep going as you are and enjoy your house.

I wouldn't stress about it. It clearly isn't falling down.


smokey mow

626 posts

187 months

Saturday 18th March
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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.
If you carry out work to a poor standard that doesn’t comply with building regulations and then it fails or something goes wrong with it, would you expect the insurance company to pay out and to put it right and make good all the earlier mistakes? Or would they turn round and say I’m sorry but our insurance doesn’t cover poor workmanship, that’s the responsibility of the person that did the work.

As bobtail I’ve spoken to plenty of home owners who have had claims refused in the past. Why should they be on the hook for costs because someone else has decided to cut corners to save a few £££

princeperch

7,534 posts

234 months

Sunday 19th March
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smokey mow said:
If you carry out work to a poor standard that doesn’t comply with building regulations and then it fails or something goes wrong with it, would you expect the insurance company to pay out and to put it right and make good all the earlier mistakes? Or would they turn round and say I’m sorry but our insurance doesn’t cover poor workmanship, that’s the responsibility of the person that did the work.

As bobtail I’ve spoken to plenty of home owners who have had claims refused in the past. Why should they be on the hook for costs because someone else has decided to cut corners to save a few £££
Where has it been decided that the beam has been installed to a poor standard? Everything at the moment points to the opposite given it's doing the job it should be doing

It simply doesn't have a bit of paper saying it's been done to the required standards.

I think we all know that in many instances the completion certificate isn't worth the paper it's written on. I cannot see how an insurance company can weasel out of paying out on a claim in such circumstances absent a situation where by it can be demonstrated that the work was of such a poor and negligent standard that It contributed to the insured event.

There are presumably thousands of houses which have knock throughs done with no paperwork. I genuinely do not believe that unless they are being supported with bales of straw that an insurance company would be able to successfully knock back a claim just because it doesn't have a bit of paperwork. If it was there for 20 years or whatever it's clearly doing the job adequately and it would be unarguable to say otherwise.

Perhaps anyone in the insurance industry can contribute on this ?

Teddy Lop

7,344 posts

54 months

Sunday 19th March
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princeperch said:
Where has it been decided that the beam has been installed to a poor standard? Everything at the moment points to the opposite given it's doing the job it should be doing

It simply doesn't have a bit of paper saying it's been done to the required standards.
Lack of evidence does not constitute evidence of nothing. The assumption that as nothing appears outwardly wrong that all's fine has led to many a downfall. The "bit of paper" is itself part of the correct procedure, it's omission suggests a lack of due diligence and concern for consequences, I'd be wondering where else he cut corners.

princeperch said:
I think we all know that in many instances the completion certificate isn't worth the paper it's written on. I cannot see how an insurance company can weasel out of paying out on a claim in such circumstances absent a situation where by it can be demonstrated that the work was of such a poor and negligent standard that It contributed to the insured event.

There are presumably thousands of houses which have knock throughs done with no paperwork. I genuinely do not believe that unless they are being supported with bales of straw that an insurance company would be able to successfully knock back a claim just because it doesn't have a bit of paperwork. If it was there for 20 years or whatever it's clearly doing the job adequately and it would be unarguable to say otherwise.

Perhaps anyone in the insurance industry can contribute on this ?
You can't guess what an insurance company will do tomorrow and only the terminally naive would be surprised, but your "worthless paper" is in fact a legal document by which a homeowner can demonstrate their diligence in ensuring the works have been carried out to the required standard.

If you lend your car to someone who crashes it you'll likely find a big difference in attitude from your insurers depending if the driver does or does not have a driving licence, even though it doesn't change the fact he crashed it.

smokey mow

626 posts

187 months

Sunday 19th March
quotequote all
princeperch said:
smokey mow said:
If you carry out work to a poor standard that doesn’t comply with building regulations and then it fails or something goes wrong with it, would you expect the insurance company to pay out and to put it right and make good all the earlier mistakes? Or would they turn round and say I’m sorry but our insurance doesn’t cover poor workmanship, that’s the responsibility of the person that did the work.

As bobtail I’ve spoken to plenty of home owners who have had claims refused in the past. Why should they be on the hook for costs because someone else has decided to cut corners to save a few £££
Where has it been decided that the beam has been installed to a poor standard? Everything at the moment points to the opposite given it's doing the job it should be doing

It simply doesn't have a bit of paper saying it's been done to the required standards.

I think we all know that in many instances the completion certificate isn't worth the paper it's written on. I cannot see how an insurance company can weasel out of paying out on a claim in such circumstances absent a situation where by it can be demonstrated that the work was of such a poor and negligent standard that It contributed to the insured event.

There are presumably thousands of houses which have knock throughs done with no paperwork. I genuinely do not believe that unless they are being supported with bales of straw that an insurance company would be able to successfully knock back a claim just because it doesn't have a bit of paperwork. If it was there for 20 years or whatever it's clearly doing the job adequately and it would be unarguable to say otherwise.

Perhaps anyone in the insurance industry can contribute on this ?
If something has gone wrong to the point where you need to make a claim, how can you evidence it was done right in the first instance if you don’t have a building regulations certificate? Calculations from an engineer wouldn’t be sufficient as they only show it was designed correctly not actually built correctly in the first instance.

Mr Whippy

26,687 posts

228 months

Sunday 19th March
quotequote all
It’s a vague recollection as I never practiced this boring subject, but I’m fairly sure my Structural and Stress Analysis lecturer noted about calculation faults, material faults, usage faults, and one extra for luck/headroom.

I can’t remember the details but he ended up at 7x design usage.

Chances are most steels are waaaaayyyyy over ideal spec, so even waaaay out on spec will still stand up ok under ideal circumstances.

But throw in some random variables and what’s stood for years might not be ideal, vs one specced with the overhead present.

C Lee Farquar

4,008 posts

203 months

Sunday 19th March
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[quote=8-P]
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.
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A few posters coming to the conclusion that a lack of certificate is a sign of cost cutting.

It may just be that the homeowner didn't think it important. I bought and sold quite a few houses 20-30 years ago and solicitors and lenders never brought the subject up, the same with Fensa certificates. IIRC building control didn't always issue certificates anyway.

If I didn't read threads on Pistonheads I still wouldn't know it was an issue.


tux850

1,394 posts

76 months

Sunday 19th March
quotequote all
When I built my extension I took so long doing it I almost forgot to request the final inspection for sign off. I wouldn't be surprised if this was fairly commonplace.

Edited by tux850 on Sunday 19th March 12:08

bobtail4x4

3,475 posts

96 months

Sunday 19th March
quotequote all
it is
most places charge a digging out old files fee, as an admin has to go hunting in the archives, then soneone has to read all the notes to refresh themselves as to the job,

as to "it stood for x years" this is one from last year, installed 6 years ago by a builder with"30 years experience" on his letterhead,

yes rather than drill a hole for the central heating pipe and get a plumber, they chopped 50mm out of the top flange and web,
the wall above had a 30mm gap over it,


8-P

Original Poster:

2,721 posts

247 months

Monday 20th March
quotequote all
Sorry bit slow coming back to my own post but I appreciate all the input. My wife works in insurance, has done all her life so she’s seen claims of all sorts declined by insurers, if the can avoid paying out they will.

The concern is also towards fire spread.

I should say the lintel is concrete or so we were told.