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These are the most frequently asked questions, but to find out more don’t hesitate to phone us

Why should I use you and not the NHBC?


Because apart from being professional we’re also easy to get along with. We’re not rude or impersonal and we won’t send you running around ten different departments to get any answers. An Architects Certificate* (or PCC as they are known now) is all you need to be able to sell or mortgage your completed property within the next six years. If this is your major criteria and you want to save around 50% in fees then you should use us. Also, if you are depending on stage payments from your bank then you’ll need our interim certificates for that, so you should use us. Our interim certificates and our snagging lists alone are worth the fee we charge, but you also get the six year PCC on top. However, if you want a ten year guarantee that’s more than a simple structural certificate, with in-house problem resolution and if you don’t mind paying extra for that, then you should use our ABC+ option.

What do you mean by in-house problem resolution?

A full repairing warranty system attempts to resolve any future building problems in-house i.e. Not dependent upon others to organize a remedy (as with a PCC).

So how do you resolve problems using the PCC system?

Primarily, we do everything diligently and up front to make sure that you don’t have any major structural problems in the first place. Providing a PCC is more about prevention than cure. We don’t personally resolve any problems after the completion and issuing of consultant’s certificate. The Professional Consultants Certificate* will certainly fulfill all of your financial and funding requirements, but it is NOT an insurance backed, latent defects guarantee, however our ABC+10 year financial warranty system is.

Do you sell any form of guarantee, warranty or insurance product?

As the Appointed Representative of Ten Insurance Services Ltd we can sell any type of building insurance or warranty. Primarily we can provide the ABC+ service, which is a ten year structural warranty.

What is the ABC+ system?

CertificatePlus+ is our unique, trademarked system that enables the linking of the services of an insurance company to the professional surveying services of Architects Certificate. We are a team of Specialised Building Surveyors providing structural certification for new-build or converted older properties. Since 1989 our structural certification has been accepted by banks and building societies. We are frequently engaged/instructed by some of the larger warranty/insurance providers to monitor the construction of such buildings on their behalf. When we do this we act as the Approved Representative of the insurance company. We receive an ‘introducer’s fee’ for this and continue to act as the client’s surveyor ensuring that the residence is built correctly and in accordance with legislation.

How many claims have you had made against you so far ?

None… zero.We have been providing structural certification for over twenty years with zero claims against our Professional Indemnity Insurance.

That’s a good track record how have you managed that?

Simple, we ensure that our properties are built to a good standard. Importantly, and as part of our free advice service, we always recommend that you use a builder who has a good local reputation. Combine that with our input and that of the Local Authority Building Control (LABC) or Approved Inspector (AI) and the risks of major problems can be dramatically reduced. Remember that most problems are usually discovered within the first two years and during that time the NHBC will point you towards your builder before doing anything. Importantly, our ABC+ 10 year financial Warranty is not dependent upon the original builder for any defects remedy, since the insurance element is totally stand-alone. We also limit the amount of Professional Consultants Certificates issued in any one year, thereby ensuring we have a manageable workload in order to concentrate our efforts. The ‘Big Guys’ issue many tens of thousands of certificates and employ hundreds of surveyors in any one year, whereas our inspections are carried out by accredited CML professionals of the company who have a vested interest in doing the right thing … enough said.

But mistakes can still be made so how do I make a claim on a PCC?

With a Professional Consultants Certificate (PCC)*  THERE IS NO DEFECTS ELEMENT TO THE INSURANCE. So you certainly can’t claim for flaking paintwork or a faulty door handle. If the surveyor is found to be negligent in his duties, which leads to a structural problem then a claim is valid. The ABC+ warranty works differently because it has an insurance element to cover any structural fault. With ABC+ simply notify us of the problem and we will investigate the cause and remedy.

So is a Professional Consultants Certificate (PCC)* worth the paper its written on?

Yes of course, it certainly is worth every penny. Considering that with our PCC you also get interim certificates for your stage payments, snagging lists for the builder, all the advice and guidance you need and a six year assurance that will enable you to raise bank or building society lending. All of the monitoring is carried out by Chartered Professionals who fulfill the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) requirements.

If you want to pay extra for a 10 year structural defects guarantee then you should use our ABC+ system or similar warranty system.

Can I upgrade to a full Warranty from a PCC?

Yes of course and at any time during the build period or during the following 6 years from completion.

How much insurance do you have?

£5,000,000 additional cover can be provided, let us know how much you require. This is Professional Indemnity Insurance to cover the surveyor against each and every negligence claim..

Are NHBC warranties worth the paper they’re written on?

Yes of course; especially for the larger residential development companies.

However, please don’t pay for more than you need and, ask yourself, do I really want to deal with the NHBC? Our 10 year Warranty ABC+ provides a more comprehensive level of cover for much lower premiums than the NHBC.

What is the LABC?

It’s short for the Local Authority Building Control. You need to have your working drawings approved by the LABC or an independent assessor prior to starting any of the work. We will work alongside them, most likely following on from their inspection with our own. At the end of the project and upon satisfactory completion you will receive a completion certificate from the LABC; when we receive a copy of this certificate we will issue our own certificate. The interim certificates for the draw down of funds from your bank are independent of this and will be issued as and when you request throughout the project; most commonly at DPC, wallplate, roof enclosure and completion stages

What is an interim certificate?

When you’ve completed part of the work on your house, say for example the foundations up to the DPC, you’ll most likely require some funds from the bank. The bank will look to us, being fully insured Chartered Surveyors (RICS), to provide the evidence that you have indeed completed this part of the work. They might even require confirmation of the appropriate amount of funds to be released; we can do this for you all inclusive in our fees. It is done by means of a certificate, signed by one of our qualified staff and sent direct to your bank or solicitor. Do you need a Collateral Warranty? We can provide 12 year collateral warranty for your lender.

Just talk me through your system please?

OK. No problem, but don’t forget you’re welcome to e-mail us at info@architectscertificate.co.uk or phone on 0845 680 0467 (If you call outside of our office hours we do use an answering service, but we guarantee to respond to e-mails or messages within 12 hours).
This is our system:
Once we have fully understood your requirements and agreed the fee, we would request a single copy of all of the following:

  • Planning and building permissions with any conditions
  • Ground condition survey
  • Any structural calculations you may have
  • Any other relevant technical data
  • Your intended start date (e.g. when you surface strip the site)
  • Building regulation approval and your working drawings.
  • We will then check your technical details for compliance
  • If everything is in order we will invoice you for the fee or agree a payment plan, register the scheme and arrange the first site inspection
  • During the build period we will continue with each inspection usually at the stages of excavation of ground and site preparation, DPC, completed shell prior to plaster and finally completion. Following each stage inspection we will issue a written report to you alerting you to any problems, builders snagging and so on. At each stage, if asked to do so, we can contact your bank and authorise your draw-down of project funds
  • You then finish the project and obtain a Building Regulation Completion certificate, a copy of which you send to us
  • We make one final check of the project and tick all of the boxes we need ticking.
  • We then issue you with a Professional Consultant’s Certificate together with a final snagging list for the builder
  • If you have opted for our ABC+ system the surveys are identical and we are able to issue a full 10 year structural Warranty in addition to our PCC service.
  • This is a seamless process and we act on your behalf to liaise with your solicitor, bank or building society.

What’s a Snagging list?

A snagging list itemises all of the little bits (sometimes not so little) that require finishing or remedying before hand over of the property to the client e.g. a silicone seal missing from around the bath or maybe, more seriously, a structural matter. Some snagging items are aesthetic and shouldn’t cause a problem, but at the least you might use our report to negotiate a reduction in the contractors bill.

Click here to check out this snagging site.

Is there anything else I should know?

Yes.

  • For extra peace of mind, we can arrange either a 6, 10 or 12 year warranty for any specialist work, this would include things such as basement construction, flat roof areas and so on.
  • Once a firm order is placed with us our services are immediate, we don’t keep you waiting. If you use the NHBC or similar warranty providers they’ll most likely want time to check all of the technical details before you start and if you’ve already commenced on site they won’t be interested in going forward. They might even ask for a huge security bond up front and most likely ask for some membership fees. We understand the needs of developers and self-builders our services are immediate and effective. Our certification stands apart from the builder i.e. the builder does not have to be registered to any scheme.
  • We are the market leaders for this system and have been established longer than any other similar service provider. Since 1989 our MD and our time-served surveyors have witnessed first-hand the problems and pitfalls of self-build and have the years of experience you can call upon.

So, please remember, if you are building your dream home please speak to us first because we have over 40 years of house building experience behind us. We are the original and best.

 

 

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    Architect's Certificate
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