Building Regulations in England are set by the Government. These are standards for the design and construction of buildings to ensure the safety and health of the people who use those buildings. Almost all building projects require Building Regulation Approval even if they don’t need Planning Permission.
You can either apply to your Local Authority for Building Regulation Approval or appoint an Approved Inspector.
Only companies licensed by the Construction Industry Council can offer this service. Approved Inspectors are not just another consultant or intermediary, you are dealing direct with the decision makers.
We hold licence 153 on the register, see OUR LISTING HERE
Why choose us?
- Advise you on how to comply with regulations, not just “computer says no!”
- Full check of your plans before you start so there are no nasty surprises when you get on site
- Copies of inspection reports with photos to show what we have seen
- Request visits on line 24 hours a day – no more waiting on the phone
- Regular correspondence to update on progress
- Final certificate on completion
Types of Project
What does an approved inspector do?
The service itself is essentially the same as the councils – the Approved Inspector will check and approve the plans, and then come out and inspect the works being carried out at various stages. An Approved Inspector is a complete alternative to the Council service, the Approved Inspector is the actual decision maker, not a subcontractor for the council.
How is that possible?
The Government in the 1980’s recognised that the Building Control System was broken and causing great problems to developers as there was no choice in service provision. If your Local Council was short staffed you had no choice but to wait for your application to be processed. Worse still if the Local Authority Union went on strike your building site shut down while you waited to have your work inspected and approved. As a result they decided to introduce competition into the market as a way to improve standards. Successive Governments have recognised the role that Approved Inspectors have played in fixing the problems of the 1980s.
How does the service differ?
The difference is generally in approach as after all both services essentially offer the same thing – a statutory check that building regulations are being followed.
Approved Inspectors are commercially aware (they are businesses themselves after all), so understand that the important thing to a client is that works are completed on time and on budget.
As a result they look to find ways to help you comply and offer advice early in the process to avoid the need to correct defective work. We don’t justify our fee by trying to find faults!
Approved Inspectors also have a duty to turn down work if they do not have the resources and experience to cope. The reverse is true of the Council service, who cannot refuse to accept a valid application. Councils have 5-8 weeks in order to process an application and during busy periods Local Authority staff can be overstretched to breaking point to meet these targets. In some cases they may end up rejecting applications in order to meet those deadlines.
As we wont take on more work than we can cope with, we can offer turnaround times that are typically 5-10 days, instead of the 5-8 weeks, taken by the Council.
We deal with over 600 projects every year and have experience of almost every type of domestic project that you can think of, and some that probably that you hadn’t thought of too! From basement wine cellars, single and two storey extensions, septic tanks, through lounges and loft conversions we have dealt with them all. Heck out our sector experiences below.
Why haven’t I heard about this before then?
For many years Approved Inspectors only operated in the commercial sector as the first licenses excluded housing. As a result most of the big commercial developments and many government departments used Approved inspectors whilst small residential developers didn’t.
The Government recognised this issue and changed the rules to enable Approved Inspectors to operate on a level playing field and as a result most will now take on smaller projects too.
But it must be more expensive then?
Not necessarily, Approved Inspectors are able to operate without the costs of Local Authority services, operating from small local offices rather than grand civic centres. As a result fees are generally competitive, often within 10% of the Council fee and sometimes even cheaper. More importantly though Building Control fees are typically no more than 1-2% of the cost of a project so £600– £1000 on a typical £30K – £50K extension, and the right choice of Approved Inspector can save significantly more than that in delay and correcting defective works.
What Areas do you cover?