What’s the difference between Structural Warranty and Building Control inspections?
With an ever-growing demand for new build homes, developers and builders are often under pressure to complete projects quickly. However, cutting corners to save time and money is a bad idea. Construction work should always follow best practices and both local and national rules.
To ensure this happens, your local authority’s Building Control team should inspect the site for compliance with Building Regulations. Similarly, if you set up a building warranty for the new property, your warranty provider should send surveyors to carry out regular risk assessments.
Having multiple sets of expert eyes helps to prevent poor workmanship and compromises on safety, ensuring that everything meets the appropriate technical standards until the building is complete. Yet, you may wonder how these types of inspections are different – so here’s what you should know.
Every newly constructed building must legally comply with Building Regulations, as well as existing buildings with certain alterations. The UK government has published Approved Documents covering the standards for everything from fire safety and sanitation to structural design and materials used.
Before you can sell a new build, you’ll need a completion certificate issued by the local Building Control department. They’ll send a Building Control surveyor towards the end of construction to make sure everything meets the minimum requirements for health and safety and functionality.
The Building Control officer will be looking for structural, electrical, and fire safety issues, as well as assessing drainage, ventilation, and energy conservation measures. They often require much more information in more detail than a Structural Warranty surveyor, and can legally demand certain actions depending on their findings. Building Control can refuse to issue certificates until problems are fixed, or prosecute and fine the responsible parties if their work continues to be substandard.
While Structural Warranties aren’t a legal requirement the way that Building Regulations are, they have their own sets of technical standards that the construction work must meet. This is why your provider will send their own chartered surveyors to carry out inspections at key stages of the build.
Another difference is that while Building Control comes in later in the project, it’s best to set up a Structural Warranty as close to the start as possible. The more risk assessments we can perform throughout, the more likely it is that any potential problems are caught early enough to fix them.
These types of inspections begin with a site risk assessment, reviewing the ground conditions and design specifications. Next are several ‘key risk’ inspections and ‘frequency visits’ during critical stages, such as construction of the foundations and installation of the drains and waterproofing. These surveys are proactive instead of reactive, giving you opportunities to take corrective action.
If you want your development to pass Building Control inspections and receive a certificate of completion without a hitch, then getting a Structural Warranty earlier on can help. With our key stage surveys, you minimise the risk of overseeing an issue that could develop into a defect later.
This means that potential buyers and leaseholders, plus lenders who may be providing finance such as a mortgage, are more likely to trust in the quality of your building. Having both a Building Control certificate and a Structural Warranty certificate can go a long way in boosting customer confidence.
So, if you’re looking for a suitable building warranty for your construction project, whether it’s one or multiple properties, or for residential or commercial purposes, contact the Architects Certificate team today. Our ABC+ Warranty is one of the most competitive around, so request a quote today.