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Site inspections

Site Inspections are carried out, on request, at a number of stages of work, the use of the Building Notice procedure may require additional inspections. These are set out below with notes, which may assist you or your builder.  The programme for inspections as laid out, may not be appropriate for all types of work, for example internal alterations, loft conversions etc.  Therefore your allocated Building Control Surveyor will liaise with the builder/person carrying out the work.

Commencement

Your Building Control Surveyor will usually respond to this notification unless pressure of other inspections prevents it. They will use the opportunity to generally discuss the project, remind you or your builder/contractor of any conditions on the approval notice and check that the site is as shown, particularly in respect of drain and layout depths.

Foundation excavation

This inspection is to ensure that the ground upon which the building is to be founded is satisfactory. Your Building Control Surveyor will consider various aspects during this inspection, including:

  • the loadbearing capacity of the ground
  • the proximity and depth of any drain runs and manholes
  • any indication of filled ground, generally or limited areas.
  • the depth of existing foundations
  • proximity of trees, or trees already removed. In ground with any clay content a minimum foundation depth of 900-1000mm is normally required.

Oversite

The main points will be the suitability of any hardcore used, sand blinding to protect the damp proof membrane (DPM), the DPM itself is of the correct thickness and any joints are rolled or taped, sufficient DPM is left turned up the walls to tie in with new and existing damp proof course (DPC), the floor insulation is laid with tight joints and turned up the edge of the slab. Your surveyor will also check that the DPC is the correct high from finished ground level and that the construction has been placed correctly upon the centre of the foundation.

Laying of drains

A number of details including those listed below will be looked at on this inspection and the request should be submitted before the drains are back-filled this applies to both foul and surface water drainage.

  • Suitability of material used
  • Fall and line of drain
  • Material used for bed and surround
  • Access points

Floor joists

The size, grade and centre of joists will be checked together with bearings, lateral restraint straps and herringbone strutting also to remind you of the requirement for insulation between the joist for sound purposes.

Roof timbers

Your surveyor will check the size grade and centre of timbers together with bracing, lateral restraint and wall plate straps will be check. The pitch of the roof will be checked and the suitability of tiles will be discussed along with the requirement for thermal insulation and ventilation to the roof.

Test on drains

An air or water test of all above and below ground drainage is required. It is helpful if the test can be set up and ready for the your surveyor when they call. It is appreciated that this may cause difficulty when existing drains are affected. To assist you in this situation a timed appointment can generally be arranged.

Completion

This is the inspection for which notification is most often forgotten. However, it is in your interest as many items can be checked at this stage, such as:

  • fire precautions and requirements
  • ventilation to rooms and roof voids
  • waste details
  • roof coverings and insulation
  • staircase details
  • safety glazing

General

Your surveyor will be happy to help at any stage of works and any queries or concerns you may have which cannot be answered over the phone can generally be answered with a site visit.

Completion certificate

The certificate will be issued on satisfactory completion of the work only if:

  • all the relevant inspections have been carried out, any remedial works completed and where necessary re-inspected and accepted as satisfactory
  • any additional inspections requested by your surveyor during the period of construction are satisfactory
  • approval has been issued on a full plans application

It is in your own interest, therefore, to ensure that you or your builder gives all the necessary notification for inspection. Completion certificates are issued free of charge for all work approved since 1992. Completion certificates are important documents and should be kept safely as solicitors/surveyors undertaking future property transactions may require to see the completion certificate