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Frustration with Building Control Inspector

Discussion in 'Building Regulations and Planning Permission' started by frank999, 11 Aug 2019.

  1. frank999

    frank999

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    What level of 'service' should you expect from a Building Control inspector.

    I would expect them to advise on issues that come up (not just inspect), being available by phone or email - replying same day, if not next morning.

    Not looking for site visits (apart from inspections) - just to enter into dialogue.

    Am I expecting too much.

    I have gone private previously (PWC) - and been very happy with the service I received from the particular inspector and in-office technical advisor, however the admin side let the service down - so I looked elsewhere this time and instructed a company called 'Stroma'.

    With all the multitude of different elements to get the job up and out the ground to DPC - I have had a number of questions that needed answering.

    So far though urgent emails and messages left with the current Inspector (Stroma) have gone mostly unanswered ... I have tried to complain - but am left feeling like they are doing me a favour.

    Any thoughts ?
     
  2. Notch7

    Notch7

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    I used to use BBS which were taken over by Stroma.

    They are ok but TBH its clear it is a numbers game. Each inspector has about 300 live jobs, so that means minimal invlovement per job.

    I know BBS had a surveyor in the office, on call most days, so it was possible to get some technical advice.

    Of course it is not an inspectors role to offer design advice or advise specifications, but its reasonable to expect a tiny bit of guidence in respect of interpreting building control regs.
     
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  3. frank999

    frank999

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    I guess question to ask is how many jobs does the average inspector have, if as you say its 300 - then I can understand, seems though that they cannot offer the level of service I expect - I made it clear exactly what I expected.
    I don't want to complain too hard against the inspector - as I am sure he could return that favour if he wanted.

    PWC's inhouse tech guy was very helpful, I should maybe look to do the same with Stroma, rather than rely on the Inspector.
     
  4. noseall

    noseall

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    Go with LABC.

    Building Control Officers tend to warm to those who appear to know what they are doing and shy away from poor DIY'ers. They are certainly not there to design your job and then babysit you through it. I have a very good rapport going with all our LABC inspectors. They will suggest alternatives if you approach them in the right manner.
     
  5. tony1851

    tony1851

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    LABC? Nooooo thanks - too much aggravation.....:)
     
  6. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    Errr check out his title. Inspector, not Building Control Advisor.

    You build, he checks. That's it.

    Pay someone else to advise you.
     
  7. Notch7

    Notch7

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    Woody gives free advice (y)(y)
     
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  8. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    Don't forget my late summer offer of 25% extra sarcasm with every request. Just use code #DGAF. (y)
     
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  9. Leofric

    Leofric

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    As others have basically said , it is the job of Building Control to approve drawings and inspect work on site to see that it complies with building regulations , or if work is being done Under a Building Notice to inspect and approve the work on site as built. They are not there to 'design' your job or specify the proposed building construction. If you are not sure about the construction of the building a Full Plans Submission is best with drawings approved before you start work. You can expect to be able to talk to the BCO during construction but it depends what 'issues ' you want to discuss whether they are going to be helpful.
     
  10. Leofric

    Leofric

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    Is that possible :!::D
     
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  11. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    The number of clueless DIY builds, and increasing number of even more clueless builders (especially of EU origin) who were tying up officers time on site with their "how do I actually build this" type questions, forced building control departments to alter their inspection regime a few years ago.

    So now they assess the work and decide how many inspections it should need, and how long should be spent on site. Any more, and there will be an extra charge.

    Sometimes, it may be expedient for an inspector to offer opinion on what may be acceptable - ie how they can get the hell out of there as soon as possible, but it's not obligatory.
     
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  12. Leofric

    Leofric

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    I know NHBC were concerned at least 25 years ago about some housebuilders submitting incomplete drawings on a wing and a prayer and leaving the NHBC surveyor to send back a schedule of conditions running into pages. They had to make it clear they weren't a building design service.
     
  13. oldbutnotdead

    oldbutnotdead

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    I've had very good service from my local LABC while sorting out the House of Pain. What I've found works well with them is demonstrating awareness of the Approved Docs, working to them where the AD method is sensible and cost effective (in terms of renovating an 1800 built house) and talking to them about the bits where the AD doesn't quite work- they all (even Picky Paul) seem to enjoy being asked 'I can do this or I can do this, neither is exactly as per the approved docs but its the best I can do. Which do you prefer?'. Couple of times they've come up with something completely different, much easier and cheaper - smiles all round. Tea (or coffee) and biccies help :)
     
  14. Nakajo

    Nakajo

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    Yep, whether LABC or private, it really comes down to the individual concerned.
     
  15. Leofric

    Leofric

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    Frank999, with respect to others but forget the personality of the building inspector (BCO ) ,just get the design of the building and building construction right and it will pass bldg. regs.
     
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