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Hey all We are living in temp accommodation whilst I do the build ; the boss is finding this difficult!! If later we moved into the build and it wasn’t complete but had a usable bathroom would the bco sign it off as complete because we are living in it ? My concern is once that happens we only have 3 months to submit all the vat returns and yet the truly completed project ( and therefore valid receipts ) could be another year away . So can I live in it but not have bco sign it off ???? ?
Two weeks ago today our stonemason started and poor guy it rained heavily from the very first day! In fact, so bad on the first day that I fully expected him to give it a miss, but there he was when I got home from work, grafting away on his own. Being a SIPs build, the roof is already in place, so of course all the rain falling on the surface area of the roof flows straight off - directly onto where he is building the stonework below. So this weekend, I managed to get the fascia board and soffit on, on the East side where he has been most busy. I plan to get the West side done this week, though it will be slower as I'm on my own and can only fit it in after work, plus the ever decreasing daylight hours limit outside work time of course. We are over the moon with how the stonework is looking! On a less progressive note, we are again having issues with our BCO. The same firm is providing our warranty, so two lots of inspections sort of rolled into one from them. when we got the trenches and foundations inspected, I was relieved to find the inspector was a practical guy, who where circumstances meant a slight change of plan took a pragmatic approach, and gave good advice. Come the next stage I rang him and left messages so them emailed him that we were ready but heard nothing back. After 2 weeks of this I contacted the firm - to be told he'd left! Shame no one had the gumption to think it might be wise to tell existing clients or at least check his company email account! Never mind, we got a new inspector. Nice guy, seemed a little nervous, but I increasingly suspect he is new to the job . When I'm asked by a BCO if Kingspan SIPs are an approved building material I do begin to wonder about his experience/knowledge. When I'm asked if the torn up, puddle ridden site mud, about 500mm at best below the DPC and with lumps and bumps plus a pile of topsoil 1.5 metres high in one part of the site is our final ground level, I really begin to wonder. Then I'm, told I must contact Kingspan and ask them what the shrinkage will be - I explain that OSB has (as the name suggests) oriented strands, meaning this is less of an issue, and forwarded him Kingspans technical documents.... but he still wanted ME to ask. In the end I emailed him and suggested that as a BCO, he was more likely to get a detailed answer from Kingspan (and even supplied him their phone number and email) which he did - it's miniscule, and even then he couldn't tell me the relevance to my build of his query! In one part the fabric they put on the SIPS has about a 6" tear. So as it's all stapled on anyway, the guys simply stapled along the tear, holding it closed. Fine? Oh no, on seeing that he insists I contact the erectors and ask if that's the approved method of repair. Now I'm not going to ring anyone up asking what I know to be stupid questions for someone else - you want to ask stupid stuff, you ring them mate. So I just said look, I'll glue it if you'd prefer. Next, where there were , <2mm variations along the soleplate, the SIPs folks used plastic packers - my BCO spots this and asks why is it not grouted, and are the packers sufficient and should it be grouted? Wants me to contact them and ask - two things here, 1. good luck trying to grout in places with sub 1mm gaps and 2. If they think it shouldn't be plastic packers then they wouldn't have put them there would they - and they're not about to say to me, oh yes, we deliberately put the wrong thing in! So I'm just not doing it. It's like I'm educating him - but that's not what I paid the firm for. He's also nit picked at the most silly things I've been polite, and have had a little sympathy for the guy, but the final straw was he'd told me the next bit he wanted to see was when our wall was at ground floor window height - no problem, so I texted him that he could do this early this week, and as a courtesy updated him on progress made inside (1st fix socket circuit complete and 50% of lighting, 1st fix plumbing water supply in, and all the stud walls now have 1 side plasterboard on). The reply I got is that I must not put any plasterboard up as he must do a "pre plaster inspection" and also inspect the electrics. Now unless he is that rare fish, a BCO who is also part P qualified, he is not qualified to inspect electrical installations. So I queried back asking about why my certifying qualified electricians issuing of a Part P certificate will not be enough - no reply. So I've emailed the senior BCO of the company explaining that I'm not happy - a week later and no reply!
A quick EPC question to which I cannot find an answer. What would be an EPC value for a typical "building regs minimum" newbuild property? I did however find numbers for how EPC values have changed over the last 20 years. Right direction, more still to do. Source: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/627688/Potential_stock_improvements_Report_2015-16.pdf