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Private building control Vs council

Discussion in 'Building Regulations and Planning Permission' started by hoq, 13 Jun 2021.

  1. hoq

    hoq

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    Just wondered if anyone has a preference between making an application with the council or private company. A couple of architects I've spoken suggested private but I've never used one.
    Cheers
     
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  3. jeds

    jeds

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    Private BC will work with you. They'll make site visits to suit you, they'll work with you to agree solutions, you'll get the same bloke throughout the job. Local authority BC will visit at their convenience, probably giving you an 8 hr time slot. You'll get a different bloke each time. At the end of the job they'll send you a list of things as long as your arm they want to know/see - even though this was inspected. When you say it was inspected they'll say; oh, there's nothing on file. My advice is go private.
     
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  4. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    I'd use the proper building control service from the council. They will work with you and be helpful and do what matters for safety and for the homeowner.

    Go private if you are the builder and just want want a certificate, no matter if things were actually checked or not. Yes architects and builders recommend them because they are their friends, might get a kickback, but definitely will get an easy time for their plans and their work.

    Ask yourself why anyone would recommend a person or service that is there solely to check their work. And what difference does it make to the homeowner who does the checking?
     
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  5. tony1851

    tony1851

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    Private every time. Usually more expensive initially but often cheaper in the long run.
    LABC have that public sector mindset. Delays whereby they take days to get their fingers out and thereby hold up the job and increase costs mean nothing to them. They enjoy looking for problems, rather than sugesting solutions. Whatever happens to the private sector, they carry on serenely, walking about their cosseted offices with bits of useless paper, secure in the knowledge that they will soon retire with their final salary pensions. Builders going bust due to delays? - they couldn't care less.
     
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  6. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    That's complete nonsense. You book a next day or even same day inspection, and they come and inspect as arranged.
     
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  7. tony1851

    tony1851

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    Not where I am, pal.
     
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  8. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    So they don't publish a service standard? You can't book a next day inspection? You can't chase them up if they don't attend?
     
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  9. tony1851

    tony1851

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    I have a developer client desparate for a Certificate to release a £160K re-mortage. The **** from the council is holding it up over a poxy bit of roof ventilation which the builder got wrong. We've sent in a detail for a retrospective fix, and despite repeated emails and phone calls, its a case of "sorry, he's out on site" or "sorry, he's in a meeting" or "sorry, he's on leave and will be back one month next Tuesday".
     
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  11. hoq

    hoq

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    Thanks for the replies. In the past the council we're ok. Been a few years though.
    If anyone knows how I can get a list of private companies please let me know. Or if there's a body/association they have to belong to.
    I might ring one of them then ring the council with a question or two and see who's most helpful/professional.
     
  12. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    In which case you speak with his line manager. It's quite simple.
     
  13. tony1851

    tony1851

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    Been there, done that - they all close ranks. Criticise one, and you criticise them all.
    If you complain that the inspector has said 2+2 = 569, his line manager will respond that it is so.
    Anyway, except for the job I mentioned above, this is all in the past for me. Always private inspectors, and never looked back.
     
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  14. thomp1983

    thomp1983

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    We're using a private inspector for our extension build as due a couple of aspects relating to drains our labc would require full building plans to be drawn running to several thousands of pounds, our private inspector is happy to do it on a building notice and we'll work out the detail as we go.

    The labc are very rigid in their rules where as the private inspector can be alot more flexible as ultimately he decides what he's happy to put his name to, council inspectors don't have that luxury they have to assess rigidly to council policy.

    Price wise our private inspector was about £100 more than the labc.
     
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  15. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    You must have a bad relationship with the LA.

    Or are the BCO's getting their own back because youh don't like the planners?
     
  16. johnny2007

    johnny2007

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    I agree with woody.
    LA inspectors are good here in west london and you can book a same day or day after visit.
    They work with you to make things simple and compliant.
    I have seen extension with dpc below ground level passed by private inspectors.
    The way i look at it is that you pay them and they give you a piece of paper.
    Then when things go wrong a few years down the line, who do you call?
    I know several bodgers calling themselves builders who wouldn't use the LA at risk of not getting the contract.
    That's because they cut corners left right and centre.
    LA all the way for me.
     
  17. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    When you consider that private BCO's are just the ones who have left the council chasing the big money, then you will find if they were crap and indifferent at the council, they will be at least just as crap and indifferent in private practice, or even more so as there are fewer restraints.

    The building control teams near me keep appointments, give you their mobile numbers and emails addresses and reply promptly. They are not there for stupid "how to I build this" type questions" but I've never come across one who is not happy to advise on options - and equally are not upset when you contradict them with your own proposals that will meet the b/regs requirements
     
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