Once planning permission and / or lawful development certificate has been granted for either your Loft Conversion, House Extension or Garage Conversion project, Bigger Homes will provide full construction drawings and structural calculations. This generally includes sectional views through the property, and full construction notes which our teams will work from on site. As part of the building control process, our approved inspectors will initially check and issue a plans approval prior to commencement of works, they will then attend site at various stages of the construction, to check and ensure that all is in accordance with the building regulations.
This will of course vary according to the nature of the project, however our teams will arrange the necessary inspections as the project progresses.
Once the work is completed, a final inspection will be made to sign off the project and you will receive a completion certificate. As part of the building control process, our structural engineer will provide calculations and additional drawings to detail any structural design requirements.
Approved Inspectors as opposed to local authority
With a number of projects on the go at any one time (in a number of different towns/councils) it is complicated to use local authority and manage each team and each job to schedule.
Approved Inspectors are professional and specialist advisers. They guide clients through the maze of Building Regulations.
Once appointed, it is an Approved Inspector’s responsibility to take reasonable steps to satisfy him/herself that the building work complies with Building Regulations throughout the process.
When you use an Approved Inspector, he or she will take on responsibility for plan checking and inspection of your building work.
The procedure requires Bigger Homes and the Approved Inspector jointly to notify your local authority of your intended building work on what is called an ‘Initial Notice’. Once this notice has been accepted by your local authority the responsibility for plan checking and site inspection will be formally placed on the Approved Inspector.
An approved inspector will:
- Advise you on Building Regulations that apply to your work
- Check your plans
- Issue a plans certificate (if requested)
- Inspect the work as it progresses
- Issue a final certificate.
The approval process for certifying Approved Inspectors is rigorous, ensuring the highest standards are maintained.
Approved Inspectors are bound by the code of conduct of their own professional body (such as RICS,ABE or CIOB) and that of their regulatory body, the Construction Industry Council (CIC). Professional standards
The benefits of using approved inspectors are:
- Solving your problems, and saving money
- Approved Inspectors work with clients, design teams and contractors at a very early stage to help avoid Building Regulations problems – saving time and money from the start.
- With Approved Inspectors you get a proactive service from experts who will help you to find solutions to all your Building Regulations problems.
- For a fee that is often less than 1% of the project value, your Approved Inspector could even save you money off your project value!
Working with you, not against
- Approved Inspectors are highly commercially aware (after all, they are running businesses themselves).
- They take a consultative approach to compliance.
- Involved at an early stage, Approved Inspectors are often able to contribute innovative technical solutions to problems.
- Approved Inspectors offer flexibility and creativity to meet your development objectives and help you to achieve full and total compliance.
- An integrated service, wherever you work in the country
- An Approved Inspector is a seamless member of the design team.
- Not bogged down in bureaucracy, an Approved Inspector is there to provide advice and ideas whenever and wherever you need help.
- Approved Inspectors work with everyone, from domestic clients’ right through to the largest construction and infrastructure projects.
- Approved Inspectors usually operate nationally. That means the same adviser will work with the same client and contractor teams wherever they are in the country – this is particularly useful for national, multi-site developers.
- That means real consistency of advice that doesn’t change over borough or county borders.
- Consistency of interpretation of the Building Regulations – and consistency of fees!
- You will get to know what your Approved Inspector is going to be looking for, and the inspector gets to know where to scrutinise most closely.
- In this way, you will also build a strong and effective working partnership with your Approved Inspector.
An Insured Service
- Approved Inspectors are backed by insurance. You won’t find this in the public sector.
A qualified team whose performance is monitored and regulated
- Approved Inspectors are regulated and monitored by the Construction Industry Council.
- One of the other major benefits of using Approved Inspectors comes from their investment in people.
- Approved Inspectors must have their qualifications checked and must prove competence before they can be licensed to operate.
- Their competence is independently checked every five years.
- Approved Inspectors have to do at least 30 hours’ CPD every year.
- This ensures you get a professional adviser with specialist expertise and proven ability.
A Track record of customer service and innovation
- Approved Inspectors pioneered the risk-based approach to building control inspection more than 20 years ago.
- You will receive a tailor-made inspection regime. Approved Inspectors check the things they know need to be checked based on a much closer understanding of the project than you’d traditionally get.
- Approved Inspectors are recognised by the Government and others as having an important positive impact on efficiency and higher standards of service.
- Approved Inspectors understand innovation. As the architect and creator of a new and ingenious off-site manufacturing system told Building magazine recently: “I had ridiculous conversations about whether the buildings would collapse. We don’t go to local authority building inspectors any more.
We use a specialist Approved Inspector who understands what we’re doing.
A wide range of services
Many Approved inspectors offer a whole range of complementary services from fire risk
assessments, fire engineering services, Disability Access Advice and services relating to other related legislation.
Many Approved Inspectors are able to offer a combined service for both building control and health and safety CDM Regulations advice.
The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations – or CDM Regulations as they’re usually known – were updated in 2007. The CDM Regulations apply to all construction projects and exist to make buildings safe for people who build them, use them, maintain them and demolish them.
To comply with the CDM Regulations, you must appoint a CDM Co-ordinator before any significant design is undertaken on your building.
Should you have any building control questions please do not hesitate to contact us.