Architect or Builder issue? with planning enforcement issue? Any help welcome.

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So we applied for planning permission for a flat roofed, single storey extension, the neighbour to one side opposed it but planning was given. The builder has now built it 8 bricks higher than the approve planning permission and now it is in the hands of enforcement, who are saying they want it brought down 5 bricks.

The architect who was a friend, provided all drawings for free and it has been noticed that the planning drawings and building regs drawings dont tie up (the regs drawings show 5 bricks higher) She is saying that once the drawings were handed over to us & the builder 5 months prior to beginning the build, no one questioned anything, the builder changed the roof to a warm roof which added height and then the builder sourced the structural engineer and they changed the roof make up (bigger timbers) which also pushed up the height! The structural engineers drawings were never sent to the architect and she was not made aware of the larger timbers.

So my question is, if this ends up with the roof coming off, who is liable? We didnt pay the architect so I presume it could be said there was no contract. The builder never passed over the structural engineers details to the architect or questioned why it was so much higher than the planning permission, but also he didnt build to the regs drawings and went higher than them, so essentially ignored all drawings, both planning and regs.

Its essentially a huge mess and if the roof comes off is going to cost a fortune, but we dont want to waste time chasing the wrong person!
 
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Do you have any kind of legal assistance cover tied to your home insurance?
 
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It's a combination of both. However, you have no commercial liability from your architect though as you didn't pay them.

Which drawings did the builder build to?
 
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It's a combination of both. However, you have no commercial liability from your architect though as you didn't pay them.

Which drawings did the builder build to?
He built the overall floor plan to the building regs drawings, but then the roof, he used the structural engineers timber size (200mm instead of 145 as shown on Regs drawings!) and just built the parapet on top of that!
 
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Then is primarily the architects fault as they've drawn the plans the builder used incorrectly, but the builder bears some liability for the extra 3 brick courses.

You bear some responsibility for not having the structural drawings checked, although the difference between a 145 timber and a 200mm timber is unlikely to have been picked up by enforcement.

The reality is that someone had to act as chief designer. By not engaging one person to undertake that role, you assumed the role and unfortunately you're now reaping the rewards.

You could go after the builder for the extra 3 brick courses, but other than that i'm afraid it's on you.
 
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Normally you go after the one most likely to be able to pay up!

Or name all the parties jointly in the claim, and let the judge decide.

Money does not need to be exchanged for a contract to be formed and a duty of care owed.

Unless instructed otherwise, a builder should build to any approved plans and not alter the work without prior consultation and agreement with either the client or the designer.

You have no relationship with the structural engineer instructed by the builder, and so the structural enginner owes you no duty or responsibility. His contract is with the builder only.

You (the client) need to be sure about what documents you supplied to the builder - planning drawings or build regulation drawings.
 
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Normally you go after the one most likely to be able to pay up!

Or name all the parties jointly in the claim, and let the judge decide.

Money does not need to be exchanged for a contract to be formed and a duty of care owed.

Unless instructed otherwise, a builder should build to any approved plans and not alter the work without prior consultation and agreement with either the client or the designer.

You have no relationship with the structural engineer instructed by the builder, and so the structural enginner owes you no duty or responsibility. His contract is with the builder only.

You (the client) need to be sure about what documents you supplied to the builder - planning drawings or build regulation drawings.
The builder had both sets of drawings. He had them 5 months before the build began and asked no questions
 
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The builder had both sets of drawings. He had them 5 months before the build began and asked no questions
That's not a defence (for your).

There are many, many times in contraction work where contractors, or more commonly different contractors use different drawings - old or not the latest versions, and it's deemed not their fault.

There is an onus on the client to ensure information is passed promptly and is accurate and up to date. Whilst there may be times when a builder may question things, its not his role to keep on asking which drawing is correct, or which drawing to use.
 
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Architect did his job and didn’t know about changes
Builder did his job and no doubt discussed changes.
Project manager ? Client ? Is to blame.

Why did enforcement not ask for planning amendment?

Single story extensions hardly ever get turned down. There must be more to this? Enforcement should not apply to an extension that would have been approved if applied for. Neighbour must have some special rights affected? Light?
 
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Architect did his job and didn’t know about changes
Builder did his job and no doubt discussed changes.
Project manager ? Client ? Is to blame.

Why did enforcement not ask for planning amendment?

Single story extensions hardly ever get turned down. There must be more to this? Enforcement should not apply to an extension that would have been approved if applied for. Neighbour must have some special rights affected? Light?
The original extension was approved, but it was built too high! And yes neighbours light is severely affected due to additional height. Builder did not discuss changes, just said he was building to structural drawings!
 
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Not sure....

It might be an idea to find out. You're in a very complex situation which could cost you a LOT of £money, time & grief.

You can either roll over & do whatever the planning dept' asks for & pay for it out of your own pocket, or you can sit down & discuss with a solicitor if you have any recourse from the professionals you have employed to build the extension.

You are not going to get the definitive advice from a public forum populated by nutters.
 
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Then is primarily the architects fault as they've drawn the plans the builder used incorrectly, but the builder bears some liability for the extra 3 brick courses.

You bear some responsibility for not having the structural drawings checked, although the difference between a 145 timber and a 200mm timber is unlikely to have been picked up by enforcement.

The reality is that someone had to act as chief designer. By not engaging one person to undertake that role, you assumed the role and unfortunately you're now reaping the rewards.

You could go after the builder for the extra 3 brick courses, but other than that i'm afraid it's on you.
I agree with this assessment.
Architects are warned not to do free jobs as they can still be sued.
but they have PI insurance.

Builders work to building regs drawings not planning drawings, so just because both were given to him doesn’t mean anything - planning drawings often have limited dimensions, in fact same for building regs dwgs.

the builder incorrectly built an additional 3 courses


Will the ceiling be too low if dropped 375mm?
 
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Then is primarily the architects fault as they've drawn the plans the builder used incorrectly
o_O

So can I tell the judge that it's actually Ford's fault for building the car I drove incorrectly?
 
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Does the architect trade as a self employed architect and they undertook the job on that basis (and so would have PI) or does the architect work for an employer (in which case the architect won't (or is unlikely) to have their own PI and they just did it as a free job on untitled drawings? It's actually breaking ARB rules and is highly frowned upon for an architect to do private jobs without PI, free or not.

 

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