1. Visiting from the US? Why not try DIYnot.US instead? Click here to continue to DIYnot.US.
    Dismiss Notice

Building Regs problems - Roof Lights

Discussion in 'Building Regulations and Planning Permission' started by Pantera2075, 3 Mar 2020.

  1. Pantera2075

    Pantera2075

    Joined:
    3 Mar 2020
    Messages:
    3
    Thanks Received:
    0
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Hello all, Noob here!

    I’ll try and keep this short.

    I’m looking to buy a converted barn from a friend.

    Originally built/converted as 2 homes and signed off by building regs in 2008.

    Later 2015 knocked through into a single house. Added two roof lights in two of the bedrooms as planning only allowed one small bullseye window in each room. Building regs started for this portion but not followed through to completion. They would all be fine now if this had been followed through.

    Fire egress regs have changed since and the roof lights should be within 1.1m of the floor – Not possible due to the roof line. Or the other window should open to 0.3m squared – not possible because of planning constraints on the size/style of the windows.

    Can anyone advise on a way forward? Do we have an argument that the rooms were signed off before and the later addition of the roof lights is not detrimental to the fire safety in any way?

    Anyone got experience of this sort of thing? We can’t do indemnity.

    Thanks.
     
  2. plastic_peanut

    plastic_peanut

    Joined:
    2 Apr 2006
    Messages:
    326
    Thanks Received:
    35
    Location:
    Manchester
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Assuming BC wouldn’t be interested as it is now over 5 years since they were installed.

    I would give some thought to exits in the event of a fire if you are to be living there.

    The indemnity is only in the event BC decide to take legal action. After 5 years I don’t believe they can anyway
     
  3. DOHarchitecture

    DOHarchitecture

    Joined:
    14 Jan 2010
    Messages:
    1,528
    Thanks Received:
    255
    Location:
    Surrey, UK
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Who has brought this up as an issue... you or solicitors?

    Works that have taken place more than 2 years ago are exempt from BR enforcement action but you could deal with it retrospectively and via a Regularisation Application if it’s something that now needs sorting.

    If you are unable to meet the normal fire escape window requirements, you could provide a protected corridor that leads to a final exit.
     
  4. Pantera2075

    Pantera2075

    Joined:
    3 Mar 2020
    Messages:
    3
    Thanks Received:
    0
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    It's building regs inspector that is bringing this up. I've learned more over night and it sounds like he's raising points that aren't now relevant.
    All doors throughout the place are fire doors, extensive smoke detection system, and stairs straight to front door so I think we're ok generally.
    2 yr exemption is good to know if we need to argue it.
    Cheers
     
  5. John D v2.0

    John D v2.0

    Joined:
    26 Aug 2016
    Messages:
    6,302
    Thanks Received:
    873
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    The only exemption i know is 12 months and that's just for enforcement action, the non compliant work still doesn't comply.
    Regarding the windows, it's not clear if it's a bungalow or a two story with loft. If the latter, you can't usually comply now with escape windows you would have to have a protected or multiple internal escape routes. It sounds like they didn't go down the escape window route originally due to no windows, so you may actually have something that complies with modern regs anyway.
    If you're trying to get the final sign off now then that's a sensible idea but make sure the building inspector is aware of which rules applied when the work was started. Also remember any non compliance is primarily your vendors concern, although you do have a strong interest of course.
     
  6. geraldthehamster

    geraldthehamster

    Joined:
    7 Feb 2010
    Messages:
    2,973
    Thanks Received:
    318
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    This is well outside the period when enforcement action is possible. If it can be shown when the work was done, then Building Control don't have an interest in it.
     
  7. garyo

    garyo

    Joined:
    11 Apr 2006
    Messages:
    2,005
    Thanks Received:
    185
    Location:
    Berkshire
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Isn't the OP saying that building regs for the house-merge were applied for in 2015, and the process was underway, but then abandoned prior to the final inspection? As such I'd think that the exemption period wouldn't apply? Otherwise I could do that with all of my applications. Mmmm that gives me an idea.
     
  8. geraldthehamster

    geraldthehamster

    Joined:
    7 Feb 2010
    Messages:
    2,973
    Thanks Received:
    318
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Enforcement is only possible for 12 months after the completion of the works. BC might refuse to sign it off, but what action could they take against it?
     
  9. Sponsored Links
  10. ^woody^

    ^woody^

    Joined:
    3 Sep 2006
    Messages:
    28,300
    Thanks Received:
    3,582
    Location:
    West Mids
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Despite the "it's exempt" lobby, its not exempts and its not OK and the work will be unauthorised, unlawful and unsafe for any insurance cover.

    Plus if building control think it's a life-safety issue, there is no time limit.

    And then you're back to square on when you want to sell it.

    If the building regs inspector is bringing this up, then that implies that bulding contol are involved and thus the works are not complete.
     
  11. ^woody^

    ^woody^

    Joined:
    3 Sep 2006
    Messages:
    28,300
    Thanks Received:
    3,582
    Location:
    West Mids
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Court action.

    After that little fire down south, fire safety and knowledge of unsafe property and not doing anything about it is a bit different now.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  12. geraldthehamster

    geraldthehamster

    Joined:
    7 Feb 2010
    Messages:
    2,973
    Thanks Received:
    318
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Sounds like the works are complete. If they are finished they are complete. Which is when any clock for building control or planning enforcement purposes starts ticking. And it sounds like everything conforms to the regs in force at the time.
     
  13. tony1851

    tony1851

    Joined:
    23 Feb 2012
    Messages:
    9,523
    Thanks Received:
    1,421
    Location:
    Manchester
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    If Building Regs were signed off in 2008 (ie the scheme at that time was was approved) and if your new work does not make the existing situation with regard to escape any worse than in 2008, there should not be any problem.
    The point being that Building Regs cannot be applied retrospectively.
    The fact that it was two dwellings now converted to one should not make any difference to the individual bedrooms.
    Maybe it should not have been signed off in 2008
     
  14. ^woody^

    ^woody^

    Joined:
    3 Sep 2006
    Messages:
    28,300
    Thanks Received:
    3,582
    Location:
    West Mids
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    The OP states that the work was signed off in 2008, but then states that the house was knoclked through in 2015 but does not say if that was finally certified or not - the fact the building control have brought this up now implies its still not complete
     
  15. Pantera2075

    Pantera2075

    Joined:
    3 Mar 2020
    Messages:
    3
    Thanks Received:
    0
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Yes, work is complete and has been for a while but we need closure and the certification so that I can buy the place. Seller is a good mate but he's currently out of the country, hence I'm doing what I can. By the sounds of what I'm now hearing the roof lights are a bit of a red herring. BC are coming round next week to discuss a way forward.
     
  16. ^woody^

    ^woody^

    Joined:
    3 Sep 2006
    Messages:
    28,300
    Thanks Received:
    3,582
    Location:
    West Mids
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    So it's not signed off then?
     
Sponsored Links
Loading...

Share This Page