Booking a site visit
Once you have submitted your Building Notice or Full Plans application you can start work at any time, providing that you notify Building Control of your proposed commencement date.
Building regulations require that you or your builder notify Building Control at various stages so that the work can be inspected. The most important of these are commencement and completion of works.
An inspection regime will be agreed at the start of your project. You are required to give minimum periods of notice for these inspections. You can contact the surveyor for your project directly, by mobile phone or by contacting the Building Control office.
Local Authority Building Control (LABC) have also launched a free to use site inspection request mobile app, available for IOS and Android devices.
Inspections can cover:
- commencement of work - This can be done by phone, email or in person and is a good opportunity to discuss the project and check the site is as shown and any conditions associated with the works
- foundation excavations - This ensures that the ground on which the building is to be founded is satisfactory. The Building control Surveyor will consider the load bearing capacity of the ground, proximity of drain runs and manholes, the depth of any existing foundations and any trees in the vicinity
- oversite preparation/ damp proof course - The Building Control surveyor will check the suitability of any oversite material used and the installation and protection of the damp proof membrane
- drainage before covering over - The Building Control Surveyor will ensure the correct materials are used the falls and line of the drain are satisfactory and any access points are placed appropriately
- occupation of the building or part of the building
- completion of work - 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 and safety glazing
It should be noted that additional inspections might also be considered necessary following discussions with the Building Control Surveyor during the course of the work, such as:
- floors - size, grade and restraint of the joists
- steelwork and supporting structure – this must be installed in accord with any structural engineers’ details which must be provided to the Building Control Surveyor.
- roof structures - the size, grade and timbers will be checked with any specialist design and appropriate restraint.
- wall structures
- fire protection work and systems
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 the completion certificate.