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Extension wont pass BCO

Discussion in 'Building Regulations and Planning Permission' started by LeeST, 17 Sep 2019.

  1. LeeST

    LeeST

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    Hi Guys,

    Looking for a bit of guidance with my extension, please bear with me.

    I got an architect back in January to draw me up a plan for what is basically a 4m x 3.7m extension. I was quite specific on what I wanted in terms of how I wanted it to look. So he rang building control up and checked it was within permitted development and away we went.

    He draws the plan (well a 3d model), it all looked good and he submitted it to the local council then goes on holiday. On his return I drop him an email asking if we are ok to proceed as we have a builder lined up to start in May. He says yes all ok just follow the inspections list.

    Builder starts and (eventually) finishes the job, looks good and exactly how I wanted it to look. Now I know at the beginning the BCO came out for the early inspections as we had footing issues which had to be resolved.

    So I speak to builder and he says inspector has been out and its all signed off or will be once he provides some steel calcs for an A frame over the Apex window I wanted. everyone is happy.

    So this week its been a couple of weeks since BCO came to look at the completed thing, so I rang them myself to ask when my certificate was coming. Turns out the BCO isn't too happy at all, He wasn't invited out for the pre-plaster inspection and on completion the builder wasn't there. Just his labourer, so he wasn't over pleased.

    So he has issues with some of the stuff he can no longer see. We had a decent chat and he's probably satisfied to see pictures along with the calcs from the structural engineer for some roof stuff he hasn't seen.

    Then he mentions the 25% rule on glazing...….. Now I wasn't aware of this and wasn't aware the BCO had noted it on his reply to my architect on the original plan submission. The builder has built the thing to the plans I gave him.

    Now I think my floor area is around 12.5m2 and the glazing is probably around the same...….. (can do pictures if required) it does cover up what was French doors leading to the garden which was probably 5m2. So by my rubbish maths I am about 5m2 over at least on what's allowed.

    The letter to my architect did talk about area-weighted U value calculation or a SAP calculation.

    now from what I can work out I have 2 issues.

    1. Whos fault is it, that it has got to this stage? Is
    is it mine? should I have known more or been more aware? I know you generally cant plead ignorance.
    2. Is it the architects? he clearly didn't tell me or put in on the plans it needed looking at. He at no point told me about a glazing rule, he happily let me put glass all over the place?
    3. Is it the builder? Surely he knows the regs so should have said something. He clearly hasn't helped as he has annoyed the BCO and the BCO claimed he would have brought this up had he been invited to inspect.

    So in a nutsehell, who should I be going to, to foot the extra bills im sure to get?

    Lastly im now vaguely aware that a SAP calculation can offset some of this but its a 3 bedroomed detached built in 1997 so I would assume has a relatively modern standard of insulation anyway?

    Can I really offset that much glazing or am I going to have to start bricking stuff up?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. noseall

    noseall

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    Sounds to me like the work was carried out too hastily in that the drawings needed checking and then any conditions bounced back from LABC could have been rectified.
    It also sounds like either poor design or unfinished business from the architect.
     
  3. LeeST

    LeeST

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    Well that’s the thing. Either he didn’t read it or something because I never knew about the conditions. He just said good to go.

    I would have thought to someone in the know it was obvious about the amount of glazing. So he should have pointed out when he was drawing up the plan
     
  4. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    You have a contract (with implied and explicit performance) with both the designer and builder, even if this is not in writing.

    So whilst it is your duty to ensure that the works comply with building regulations, you do have a claim under contract against the designer and builder as your experts on helping you ensure that the work complies. It will be a case of each being liable for certain aspects.

    If you still owe them money, then withhold it. Then define exactly what needs rectifying, and the cost. Then give them jointly to opportunity to rectify the works, before you go elsewhere or make your claim. Get the names of their insurers and put the insurers on notice.
     
  5. wessex101

    wessex101

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    It would appear the OP has mixed up Planning and Building Regulations.

    If all the designer has produced is a 3d model I suspect that was only for planning purposes and to confirm it was permitted development.

    The phrase "follows the inspections list" and the fact that the area of glazing has only just been raised suggests to me the work was done under a building notice for building regulations. So I would say the designer is probably in the clear and it is either the builder or the OP who is in the firing line.
     
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  6. Leofric

    Leofric

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    I would basically agree with wessex101's last comments. Unfortunately in view of what has happened , another case showing a Full Plans Submission for building regulations approval is best.
    Afraid not, walls ,floor and roof would most likely not be insulated to current standards. At that time you could 'get away with' 25mm floor insulation,200mm quilt roof insulation and an external wall U value of 0.6. As I know from my own house which was built in 1997 by a national housebuilder ( not to my specification !)
    :confused:I think some clarification is required on who submitted what to whom as regards planning ,building control and construction information issued to the builder.
     
  7. tony1851

    tony1851

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    If the OP is 5m2 over-glazed on an extension that size, area-weighted calcs won't work because any insulation in the roof or walls which exceeds elemental standards is highly unlikely to compensate for 5m2 extra glazing; it would need to be a whole-house SAP.

    These are usually done by 'specialists' :rolleyes:
     
  8. LeeST

    LeeST

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    Ok thanks for reading.

    I’m not confused between planning and building notice.

    At the start we got a builder round to give us an idea on costs. Costs seemed doable so he put us in touch with an architect.

    Our brief to him was fairly simple, we want a 4m extension. Is this allowed under permitted development? We was a but unsure for one reason and another so he checked with the LA before he started. They came back as yes, size is ok

    He came and did a survey, then mocked up a 3D model. He submitted to the council on a building notice. It had different projections of the house on before and after and a long list of construction notes. (Spec of footings and lots more I dont know anything about)

    He invoices me for the design which he was sending to planning and charged me extra on top for all the building notes and regs adding to the plan/drawing.

    Few weeks later after seeing different builders, we chose the original guy. He asked when he could start and we agreed on may. I emailed the architect and he said we were all good to go. Just make sure the builder knew it had to be inspected at various points.

    Then I end up where I am today.

    My point being, I know nothing about building, if I did I wouldn’t have employed a builder and an architect. I made that clear. The idea I gave him for what we wanted I did so but pointed out I’m not aware of what’s allowed. So I expected to be pulled up at that point and told, no that’s either not allowed or more work is needed to overcome it.

    Nobody, at any point, from stood in my garden looking at some grass to the windows being fitted said that there was a rule on glazing.

    From what I’ve read last night it will have to go down the sap route, the area weighted thing will never recover enough based on an internet spreadsheet I did some calcs on.

    Hopefully I can work round it with other work, it’s finished and furnished. Don’t want to start bricking windows up if I can help it

    Point is, who pays?

    If I’ve been slack in this process then what’s the point paying people if they don’t give you the information?
     
  9. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    The designer as submitted a noncompliant design. It's not the builders job to check the design.
     
  10. tony1851

    tony1851

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    Yes, initially I think you said it was both the architect's and builder's fault, but surely if the architect has designed a scheme, the builder just does what he's told - he can't be expected to know the regs. Therefore architect is ultimately responsible. He made it worse by not acting on the notes/amendments required by Building Control, which would have flagged up the excessive glazing.
    But the builder was remiss in not being honest about the inspections.
     
  11. Notch7

    Notch7

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    In my experience building inspectors wont agree to start inspections until a SAPS proves complaince.

    Certainly the private inspectors Ive used send letters to that effect.

    A whole house SAPS costs about £300

    I use energytest UK, they will work with you to achieve compliance.

    https://energy-test.co.uk
    You wont have to start bricking up windows.

    Have you upgraded anything in the house in the last year or so -fitted LED lights, new boiler, CWI, windows......
    You can add them to the extension as 1 ongoing project.

    Before the extension, you had incandescent lighting in the house and 50 watt halogens in the kitchen. Now you have changed them for LED.
    Thats what you did, isnt it ;)

    The window / door that came out where the extension is -that was an old aly frame with basic clear double glazing, with a u value of 3 maybe.......

    A 1997 house pre dates part L, so it wont be very well insulated.
    No low e glass in windows unless youve had them done.....
     
  12. tony1851

    tony1851

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    Just to add to that, there is an easier way to show compliance: many SAP assessors will be 'creative' with their figures if you instruct them - clearly - that you need a Pass - you don't want to pay them £2-300 for a piece of paper saying 'Fail'.
    (HoC Speaker John Bercow can be 'creative' by his own admission so why can't everyone else??)
    At the end of the day, most of this SAP stuff is just nonsense - an employment scheme to keep a few hundred 'experts' busy - Building Control depts don't usually check the figures supplied by an SAP assessor - they take them at face value - they just want the bit of paper to file away.
     
  13. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    The OP subsequently clarified the roles of each.

    Whilst there is precedent on what a contractor would and would not be expected to know (the contractor is, in this context deemed an expert in building with knowledge of any applicable regulations) it comes down to how detailed this knowlege should be. Knowing that areas of openings were in excess of 25% of the floor area, is something that a builder would not be expected to check, as it's too detailed and falls into the realms of design.
     
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  14. Leofric

    Leofric

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    Ask the architect why he didn't act on this reply from building control.
     
  15. LeeST

    LeeST

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    I wish life was that easy. It seems he isn’t very responsive at the present time. Maybe I should give him the benefit of the doubt and suggest he is on holiday ....
     
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