Building Control Problem

13 Jun 2011
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United Kingdom
Need some urgent advice please

I did some drawings for a dormer conversion. Now the owner appointed a incompetent contractor who carried out the work without informing the LA building control for the inspections (He was being paid on a daily rate).

When the work was complete the owner contacted the LA building control to come and carry out the final inspection. When the Building inspector arrived he informed the owner that we don not have any record of any previous visits. So to get around this he advised to expose the roof and the floor so he could examine the insulation and joist works and rsjs.
You can imagine how annoyed the owner was but any way he agreed to expose and will ring when ready. Once exposed 4 days later the inspector arrived and was satisfied.
Home owner carried on and repaired the exposed areas painted and decorated the full property laminated the whole house. Now this has been 6 months since the inspector was satisfied with the works.
Gas and electric inspection was carried out at the property and the owner went to drop the paperwork off at the Building Control Office to so they can issue a completion certificate. The building inspector who carried out the inspection has now retired. Another inspector brought the file out and stated there is a record of a visit at the property and a return visit will be carried out to inspected the exposed areas. So no evidence of the visit to check the exposed areas.
The current inspector agreed to meet up at the house and will take it from there. On his visit you can see clearly the exposed plasterboard cut out on the roof which has been repaired which indicates that this was cut out for inspection. The inspector is adamant to see the the insulation and the floorboards even though its all laminated and decorated. The owner at this stage was very furious and irate that there is no chance he is going to expose after your inspector was satisfied with it. He also stated and argued that is your negligence that you inspector has not documented it. The owner also advised to contact the retired inspector if he can remember the visit bu to no avail.
The inspector is not budging from his decision to inspect again. Owner has emailed and threatend to go to the ombudsman and to see the superior council officer.

Sorry for the long winded thread but i thought it will benefit if you knew the whole situation.

From your professional advice wher the owner stand. worse case scenario can he withdraw his application and go to a approved inspector i do understand the approved inspector still wants to see the job in detail.
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The work will need to be exposed.

Whether there was negligence in the failure to record the first inspection is a separate issue.

You can't withdraw a building control application that has begun.

How can the contractor be described as incompetent if the work was all approved? If you did the design, then you were the professional and should have advised the client that it is his responsibility to ensure that the building regulations are applied for and inspected when required, not the contractors.
The building regs wher apllied forand briefed the contracter at what stage the inspections are required.

But the work was satisfied when previously exposed but the council have no evidence of this and the inspector has now retired
But if the council have no record of the inspections, then they will need to inspect again to create records.

Let's say that the inspector was a friend or paid friend of the client and decided to not record the inspection on the basis that he was retiring, and it would be advantageous to lose the notes.

This will need to be argued with whoever is managing the building control service at the council.
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Sounds like right cock up. Ultimately it's the homeowners' responsibility and there should have been a sturdy dialogue betwixt him and the jobbing builder. Can't call him a contractor. Sounds like your man got his mate from the pub and is now paying the price.
You as the architect is the next port of call in the blame game. Man up.
I've just been issued my completion certificate on my own extension. The application was dated 2004!
Typical builder.

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