The highly anticipated Building Control (Amendment) Regulations came into effect on the 1st March 2014. The amended regulations bring about big changes within the construction industry as well as placing more accountability on home owners when it comes to planning new dwellings and home extensions over 40 square metres.
Putting an end to poor working practices
The Building Control Regulations 2014 bring about the biggest change to the building regulations since 1990.
The changes focus on increased care and safety in the construction industry and will also see key changes to a system which previously had been left to self regulation. The new Building Control Regulations will see building control authorities, property owners, as well as design and building professionals working together as part of a on going process.
Building projects that have not been constructed in a workmanship like manner or with incorrect building materials will now be brought to light. Defective materials, poorly constructed works and contractors going out of business lead to many issues with obtaining certification from building control at the end of the job.
Planning permission and Building Control will now become a key factor in the project development which starts with the commencement notice. The commencement notice and 7 day notice must now be signed by the owner of the works. Significant documentation and information must now be provided to the Authority including outline plans and documentation and several certificates of compliance. In addition, the full identity of the person who will certify compliance of the works must be provided. This person will also be responsible for inspecting the works during the course of construction.
Key changes for home owners
Previously compliance could be given in retrospect – i.e. after the works had been completed. The new building regulations now make that practically impossible. So if you have planned building work it is imperative that your builder is working to the new regulations. Work that began or was approved prior to 1st March 2014 will not be affected by the new regulations.
A certificate of compliance must be given to building control by the builder or person in charge of the works. Previously this certificate would only have been required by a bank or purchaser on the sale of the house and of course will continue to be the case.
Most importantly, it is worth noting that the new dwelling or extension cannot be occupied until the certificate of compliance has been lodged with building control at your Local Authority.
Obtaining a certificate
Remember that a certificate of compliance cannot be obtained once building work has finished. Therefore it is imperative that the home-owner and person in charge of the works is clear how certification for the works will be obtained before work commences.
Certified works are included on a statutory register maintained by the local authority which has been widened to take into account the additional particulars required.
Failure to follow the new Building Regulations 2014 could result in a fine, imprisonment or both.