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Found 23 results

  1. Hello I had some good advice here when we were planning our now-complete house and I am back for more! The next step is a very small ancillary building connected to the house services, to provide additional accommodation (bed, kitchenette, bathroom). I was advised this morning that if the structure is smaller than a certain size then the only building control involvement is with regard to connecting to the septic tank. Can anyone elaborate on this please or point me to a good source? I had resigned myself to going for a mobile shepherd's hut type building as I believed I would otherwise have to meet criteria for minimum distances and suchlike which would mean engaging an architect. This provides a glimmer of hope. I was thinking along the lines of a Sweeny's bothy kind of thing http://www.eiggtime.com/sweeneys-bothy in terms of being basic/rustic. As I understand it I do not need planning permission for this if it is in the curtilage of the building and for our own use... Thanks in advance!
  2. I'm after the BC information for a house I own, specifically because there are various features not listed on the EPC report and I need to be able to evidence them in order to meet the coming requirement of rental properties to meet a "C". Does anyone have any experience of this? What lawful access rights, normal policy and processes are, for example? The initial comment from my Local Council is that the information is kept restricted for 'commercial reasons' (ie BC services are chargeable), but that it may be obtainable under either a FOI or a Subject Access (Data Protection Act) request. Just beginning to explore this, so any comments are most welcome. Ferdinand
  3. Hello all! I'm looking to re-felt an existing flat roof on a town house in Crawley. It hasn't been touched for a good 30 years, although it has been repaired so is leak-free. I had a telephone chat with a duty surveyor for Sussex Building Control who seemed to suggest that a building control application isn't needed This is because the deck and below isn't being replaced, only the top felt, with additional warm roof being added on top of the existing structure. Would be good to know of anyone else's experiences! Thanks. Below is a rough outline of what we are planning. * Remove all existing roof covering to bare timber deck * Apply SA bitumen primer to whole of roof * Apply first layer of torch safe vapour control layer * Fix 50 mm timber kerb around whole of outside edge * Lay 50mm flat roof insulation boards * Create new timber outlets to downpipes * Apply torch on sanded underlay * Fix 100mm GRP drip trims to outside edge * Apply Technotorch mineral capsheet to finish
  4. Hi All. We have recently bought a mid-terrace property and have plans to extend to the rear. We have a problem with the neighbours rainwater drainage, which uses our property and would be blocked by any extension we built. Our next door neighbours have already created a garden room, built less than 10 years ago with a parapet party wall and multi-pitch roof. We have a small, original, singe storey pitch roof. There is a gulley drainage on their side of the parapet. The rearmost half drains to the rear edge of their property but the closest edge has been intentionally built so that the drainage runs over our pitch roof. I have attached photos and a schematic. There is a party wall agreement the drainage from this pitch roof apparently runs around the party wall then into a soak away in their garden. The document we have relating to the party wall makes no mention of this drainage. It seems like a strange setup that no owner of our house would agree to, but the house was previously let by a disinterested/cheap landlord. If we build a matching extension, this water would have nowhere to go. We have a good relationship with the neighbours but before addressing this I want to know where we stand. With no written agreement for this setup, could we demand they fix this? We would reconfigure all our drainage whilst building an extension and would not need to make use of their soakaway any longer. Many thanks in advance.
  5. Hi When does the installation of an ASHP installed on an existing building ( no building work required) under the MCS scheme ( under permitted development ) require Building Regulations notification? Are they just talking about the electrical work ?
  6. My mono-roof needs new underlay, replacement of rotten sarking and one rotten truss. I am planning to strip off the whole roof carefully and replace the rotten wood and put a new underlay, batons and the original tiles. I will augment what the previous builders did with DPC and other protective measures on the roof so it is belt and braces. My question is, the roof is your typical 70s monoroof, what am I liable for here? Does it count as a new roof if I strip everything back to the structural parts, or am I still being judged by 1970s standards even if I add modern materials?
  7. As promised, here are my completed (I hope) drawings for building control, which I've just submitted to the local council. I'll post back on here with what they come back with, any changes required, and also any restrictions imposed. I know some were asking what was required for BC plans, so hopefully this will give a good guide for a masonry cavity wall build. Side Extension Drawing BC.pdf
  8. Looking for recommendation for Architectural Technician, preferably in the Mourne area, or anywhere in N Ireland I need Building Control and Build drawings for a 4 bed, 2 storey home on a superb brown field site. TIA
  9. Hi guys - I am looking for a CAD technician, with full knowldge of the Building Regulations, to convert my layout sketch to a set of Building COntrol and Build drawings - any recommendations? I am not looking for the full architectural service, but person must be able to take the lead in the area of compliance/regulation. TIA, James
  10. Hi We live in a Victorian semi detached house in W13 London and are planning to do a kitchen side and rear extension. What I wanted to check is that does this project (assuming it falls under major renovation due to the surface area clause) automatically kicks in external 9 inch solid wall insulation requirements for the rooms in the front of the house (ground and first floor)? Or can we argue that the cost of the internal insulation required on those rooms does not justify the 15 year payback, as the annual saving by doing wall insulation based on the EPC report is only £284 annually (£4260 in 15 years) whereas the cost of internally insulating those rooms is in the range of £7000-£8000. Thanks
  11. Hi, I wondered I'd anybody might have experience or advice on an issue I'm having. I recently bought a house off of relatives and they had removed one of the two first floor chimney breasts. The remaining stack was sitting on timber in the attic and was done something like 30 years ago. Before we started doing the house up, I wanted to get it secured and all above board with building control. I got a SE to do designs, and they recommended gallows brackets. The council confirmed they were allowed under some conditions and I was advised I could start the work whilst waiting for them to process my regularisation application. The work was done and looking at it I'm happy and it's clearly very secure. The council then came back and said they were worried about whether the mortar would hold the weight and asked for confirmation that the wall was in good condition (which the SE stipulated must be the case to the builder). The builder confirmed this was the case but the council wanted a statement from the SE. I had to pay an extra £150 for the SE to inspect the work done and they then confirmed in a statement that the wall was in good enough condition. The council then came back again and said that they want a pull out test conducted - something I'd never heard of before. I called a company today about this who have quoted £575. So I'm feeling a bit peeved that the council had me spend the £150 when they didnt accept what the SE said anyway. The £575 just feels like a disproportionate cost, when the work is clearly fine (and is more secure than it has been for the past 30 years!), and I really don't have the money for it right now. I've asked them why they haven't accepted the SEs designs and confirmation of the good condition, and I'm waiting for the response. Is there anything I can do to challenge this request? Or is this reasonable and just something I have to get on with? Has anybody else had any similar experiences? Any advice would be much appreciated! Thanks.
  12. I have submitted Full Plan application to Hillingdon Building Control for approval. When I submitted the application I have given the consent that they can take up to 8 week for decision if they required more information and can also approve with condition. After 5 weeks I got a call from building control serveryor and was asking for tree serveryor. There are no such a big tree in my house but there are small trees like (Apple and Plum) in next door property. These trees were already mentioned in the structure calculation pack and their impact on the foundation. He rejected the application instead of asking for further information after 5 weeks. When I got a rejection letter there were 2 reasons - Asked for 30 meter tree survey - According to their record there are trees in 30 meters. - My plan does not comply with Building regulation 2010 section. 14 I called few 10 time to building control and sent them 5 emails to clarify above points but never get any response. When I did not get any response for 2 weeks. I sent them new requirement based on my understanding (Tree survey withing 30 meters and Building regulation 2010 section 14 compliance). Only information I got from Hillingdon Building control that I don not need to submit the application again only send the amendments and process will take up to 3 weeks. Now more than 3 weeks have passed but still no response. I called them few time and sent them few email but BC officer and BC not bother to answer the email. I really fed up with the process now because project already being delayed 1 month. My question is - I want to make a formal complaint about the building control. The only thing is sttoping me that I have to deal with same BC officer during my inspection. BC officer might give me more hard time to approve the work and asked for unnecessary requirement like 30 meter survey. Can anyone share his/her experience in this matter or any advice how to resolve the issue Thanks in advance.
  13. Our BC submission specifies The price of that particular line (Rain Line, sometimes called R Line, ) is too high. I am happy to accept the diameter of the gutter and downpipe as in line with the regulations. But there's little point in the copper metallic finish guttering (not pure copper, therefore) when their galvanised products are more than adequate. Could Building Control insist on copper metallic finish? I ask because it occurs to me that were we to - with a rush of blood to the bank balance - fit the copper version, over time that would turn green. Colour shouldn't matter, it seems. So why not simply fit their galvanised steel? (And buy a new car with the money saved ?)
  14. A quick one. A new Planning Permission has been passed which includes a soakaway for onsite surface water disposal. Which body is responsible for enforcing the location of the soakaway being a sufficient distance from the boundary, and also the new building, in accordance with Council Policy? Is this Planning or Building Control? Cheers Ferdinand
  15. I met with the Architect last week and ran into a problem. I've always been keen on using SunAmp with Solar PV as my preferred heating/hot water platform. I'm building a small 108m2 house so it's a good fit in my opinion. However....Building Control legislation has changed in recent years and I've to "opt in" to keep the bank happy. This means hands off first fix basically including MVHR that I was looking forward to installing. Anyway, that aside there's no registered installers in ROI for SunAmp and therefore no one can sign off such a system. Andy in SunAmp has been very clear on this point and even with the Amazing Nick willing to design and provide support I doubt any builder here will accept this risk and one I've just spoken to voiced his concerns. I've to go out to tender soon and don't want this to blow up on me! There are two likely heating options in my house at the minute: ASHP with underfloor, towel rails etc and hot water tank etc, no solar PV Solar PV and SunAmp UniQ to do the same without the hot water tank My plan was to live with SunAmp for a year and get an ASHP later if required. The more likely scenario is I get an ASHP and add SunAmp later (!) and possibly end up not using the ASHP afterwards! Well, I'll use it to recharge the SunAmp (ideally with a high temp ASHP unit) but it's the additional combined cost that I'd rather not spend. And retrofitting a SunAmp after a commissioned system is built and signed off isn't the route I'd prefer to go. One option I was wondering about was what the minimum heating system I can get away with that leaves me open to easily incorporating a SunAmp shortly after building control is signed off? Maybe an instant electrical hot water heater and a few two bar fires? But then there's DEAP (SAP equivalent) to contend with. Anyway, thought I'd throw this to the experts here and see if I'm stoking a fire to burn myself in or not?!! Thanks!
  16. I've just received my completion certificate for the extension that was built here (praise be!!!) but it hasn't been without its challenges as we didn't 'follow the rules'. I will note the issues I had below just to provide some hopefully useful info to others about the mess you can get in if you don't follow process. We didn't set out to deliberately ignore process but it ended up being the case. The background was that we purchased the plot (in Scotland) complete with planning permission and building warrant for this house. The PP and building warrant covered 2 houses one of which was already built and sold, and the builder sold us the 2nd plot complete with foundations. Once we bought it my husband wanted to change the house style slightly which included adding an extra single storey room at the back of the house, but the planners told him that they wouldn't allow it even though it would be allowed under permitted development once the house was built. So we made some changes to the internal layout only and the building warrant covering both houses was swapped into my husband's name. The timber frame company was asked to design the house to make it easy to add the extension at a later date so for example French doors were put in that could be moved to the new external access later, and a double door sized insulated 'panel' was put in that allowed a new internal door to be added easily later as it just required blocks to be removed and the panel removed. When the groundworks were being done my husband got the foundations for the new room laid and these were used as a 'patio' initially. The plan was that the main house would be signed off and then we would apply for a warrant for the extension. When my husband got sick he decided that he would get the extension built no matter what despite the main build not being signed off, and no attempt at reasoning with him would change his mind. He told me to apply for the warrant retrospectively later on but I’m sure he didn’t envisage that this would cause me as many issues as it turned out. So builders came out and added the single storey room at the back of the house . The only part of the build that he had no input to. His intention was that the racing simulator would be housed in it but that's still sitting in the garage ....... After he died and I finally got my head around completing the outstanding elements of the main build to allow the completion certificate to be issued I admitted to the council that there was an extra room here. I was told to submit a new warrant application which I did but it was then refused (although they still took the 500 quid) as there was already a warrant in place that wasn't satisfied and there couldn't be 2 warrants running. The council decided to make it an amendment to the existing warrant and although both this house and next door had SER certificates and form Qs issued for the main builds I was asked to obtain a new SER certificate from scratch for my house to factor in the new room. I tried to engage the original structural engineer who had provided the SER certificate and Form Q but he had left the scheme / industry and couldn't be located. I was then advised by a local SE to engage the SE who had been engaged by the timber frame company as at least they wouldn't be starting from scratch. However the SE said that the SER scheme didn't allow them to do what the council was asking. I've included some of the emails below as they tell the story better than I could articulate it. Here is the email the council sent me stating that the SE certificate was only required for my own house: It is worth pointing out that you only require a new SER certificate for your house including the extension and not the neighbouring plot. The neighbouring plot will be dealt with separately. The SE said that this was not possible and asked the council to 'turn a blind eye to the extension' in order to allow the main house to be signed off. The council said that they were unable to do this so here is the email the SE sent to the SER scheme. We have been approached by a Client wishing us to take over the SER from another SER Engineer. The original SER Engineer is no longer on the system seems to have left the engineering trade. Normally we would seek confirmation from the original SER Engineer that they were happy for us to take over the responsibility for their SER before we accept the appointment. In this case this is not possible. The matter is further complicated by the following facts; . There are 2 houses on the site covered by the same warrant reference. House 1 is built and awaiting a completion certificate. This cannot be provided until the form Q for the full SER has been provided to building control. The Form Q needs to be signed by the original SER Engineer. House 2 carried out additional works and applied for a warrant during construction. Their warrant application needs an amended SER to cover the additional works. . The amended SER needs to be an amendment of the original SER if it is all covered under the original Warrant. . The changes to the house include the introduction of a sunroom to the rear of the property. . Our understanding is that if we took on the SER we would; Need to take responsibility for both houses as there should only be one SER per warrant application; We would need carry out site investigations to determine how to design the foundations as there is no available information. This will mean carrying out investigations in House 1 which is complete and house 2; And we would need to carry out a full review of the designs for both houses amending the SER to suit the changes. Both houses have different kit suppliers and different calculations to be reviewed. It has been suggested by the Council that a new SER could be carried out for House 2 only. We believe this would be contrary to the SER system but any advice on this would be appreciated. We are happy to take on the project but we need to be in line with your recommendations. And the SER scheme's reply: We have considered your query and you are correct in saying that to provide a certificate which covers the design of house 2 only would be contrary to the requirements of the scheme as they are currently written. The Scheme Guide says in 4.6.15: 4.6.15 In exceptional circumstances this may not be possible (e.g. if for any reason the Certifier of the initial stages of the work is no longer available). In this eventuality the Certifier of the later works must not sign the relevant design certificate(s) unless and until they have satisfied themselves of the adequacy of all of the preceding stages of the work and the mutual compatibility of the various stages of the works. We realise that this requirement is particularly onerous in situations such as you have described and we are in dialogue with Building Standards Division to see if they would accept a revised form of wording. Until we hear back from BSD we are unable to offer any further advice. I do apologise for the delay in response to this query. The council repeatedly told me that the only needed an SER for my house and not next door, but also that the SER scheme was 'not very flexible'. My neighbours were also less than impressed that the SE wanted to dig up their foundations as their garden has all been landscaped etc. and they've lived there since 2008. And the costs mentioned to prepare 2 SER certificates for 2 large houses from scratch weren’t insignificant either. Weeks passed with no news from the SER scheme (I doubt these things ever resolve quickly), and the council threatened to cancel the warrant if things didn't resolve soon. I was left caught in the middle of a paperwork nightmare with seemingly no way of influencing the outcome. If I had found BH while this was going on I might have at least felt supported but it was just me caught in the middle of a nightmare at the time. Then suddenly out of the blue the council phoned me and said that they would treat the extension as a separate warrant (which is what the SE asked them to do from the get go). Here is their email to me. Further to our telephone conversation we have reviewed the file and feel that we can justify that the original warrant openings into where the extension is built was covered by the original engineer and therefore can issue completion on xx/xx/xxxxxx once the snagging items including the 2nd drain are completed. This leaves the extension which has been applied for as an amendment xx/xxxxx/xxx can be changed to a new warrant application (ALTEXT) For which we require a SER certificate to cover the extension only. I spoke to XXX who says that this should be able to be done by the end of the year for which we extend the application deadline too. The other issue is that the warrant XX/XXXXX/XXXXX is due to expire at the end of the month, unless the drain test can be arranged before then, we will require a further extension of £100 fee. So suddenly I had a way forward and by some miracle was able to get a plumber out to carry out the second drain test (the only thing still outstanding) within the 7 day deadline and the main house was finally signed off. Then the SER certificate for the extension was finally issued (but the SE company forgot to sign it hence the comment in the email below) and the council came and carried out the completion inspection and only required some minor things to be done as per the email below. Further to the inspection this morning I note the following: 1. The roof construction differs from the submitted drawings as it has traditional sarking boards and a breather membrane in lieu of OSB and roof ventilators. 2. The windows are not fitted with trickle vents – I appreciate the rest of the house has a whole house ventilation system, however there is no evidence this is connected to the sun room, therefore trickle vents will need to be fitted retrospectively. 3. There is an additional step to the patio door landing. 4. The signed SER is required. If you confirm by email that you are happy for me to amend the drawings to take account of items 1 and 3 I will do this for you and if we receive the signed SER certificate that will enable us to approve and issue the building warrant. Upon receipt of this you will need to apply for the completion certificate and I will need to check the trickle vents have been installed. So they even offered to make the changes on the drawings for me which was great. I think they just wanted to see the back of me in truth! . So all a bit of a saga and a warning not to step outside of process too much, or at least understand the possible consequences of doing so! I can imagine my hubby looking down saying it was 'character building'!
  17. After 4-5 weeks of cajoling our BC provider has final got back to us, for the second time with many of the same issues from the first time, despite me pointing out that they had all the answers, bar one on day 1. One is wondering if they read the stuff you send them. Here is what our BC wrote. "I have check through this package of drawings, and we still seem to be missing the following details. 1. Please provide details of the fire resistance to external walls within 1.0m of the boundary. This should be in terms of its minutes of fire resistance from inside and outside. 2. Please provide design specification for the proposed MVHR ventilation system. We have a layout but need the design details. 3. Please confirm the provision of network access to the new dwellings. 4. Please provide design details for the proposed staircase, and guarding to low level glazing. 5. As an extra item I picked up, please can you confirm that Bedroom 3 will have an escape window as it is an inner room." Here are the portions of our documentation that applies, and I admit that I assumed that when you gave BC a fire rated class EG AA they could work out that it is 1 hour, and that is just the outer cladding. 1. The architects drawings, see above, refer to details under these headings as do the structural drawings and calculations in terms of charring. External walls within 1000mm of a boundary. The external walls are clad with fire cement tiles in line with the architects specification the tile specification will be as Marley Thrutone and these are rated CLASS 0 as is required within 1000mm of a boundary. Details can be found in the properties and performance page of THIS (hyper link) document from Marley. 2. To comply with BR Part F1 Section 5 A whole house MVHR system will be installed to provide ventilation in excess of the minimum required. Flow rates will be verified during commissioning of the MVHR system. Details of pipe runs and locations of Plenums are shown on the architect’s drawings but may alter slightly as the build progresses alongside the development of MVHR technology in the wider sphere. All the Extracts from WC, Bath rooms and Kitchen area will be sized to exceed the requirements of Part F Section 5 – Table 5.1a and whole dwelling ventilation Part F Section 5 – Table 5.1b against the 3 bedroom dwelling criteria. The Kitchen Cooker hood will be a carbon filtered recalculating unit. In addition to the MVHR system and to support summer cooling a passive stack circulation system has been designed into the build using the electrically controlled high level opening roof lights. - AND IN THE SAP CALCULATIONS SECTION - (Full MVHR System – unit TBA, but probably the Airflow Adroit DV145 but Efficiency of at least 90%) 3. The building is connected to the main telephone and ADSL network via the utilities building, adjacent to the telegraph / power pole in the front garden, and is then ducted into the main house from the utilities building. 4. A final design for the stair case is not yet complete but it will be so designed as to meet the requirements of BR Part K. (I admit I did not specify guarding of low level glazing but the architects specification refers to toughened glass everywhere.) 5. Means of Escape: All habitable stairs connect directly to the main entrance area and external doorway. Both first floor bedrooms will have clear openings that meet the acceptable dimensions in BR Part B section 2.8. The ground floor bedroom (Bedroom 3) will also have a clear opening that meets the acceptable dimensions in BR Part B section 2.8. What have I got wrong? I could tighten up 1 and work out the delay times both ways and that I will do. Do they want air flows, volumes etc for all the rooms and spaces in 2. Not sure I can be clearer in 3 (The drawings do show the duct). 4. Seems acceptable to me but maybe I have to complete the design before they will sign off the plans. 5. I don't think I could be clearer. Calm me down someone or tell me I am wrong, in which case I will open my second beer and do it all again.
  18. Well the foundations should be going in soon, the ground-workers are all lined up for clearing the plot .. but Stop! We found out a few days ago that 4 (of my 11 conditions) need to be signed off before we do ANY work, expressly making an entrance to the site from the road ...(sigh) anyway i have all the stuff they need so i fired it over, but then got told that i need to fill in this DISCHARGE form ...which looks like a mini planning app But what i didn't think was that each time i ask for a condition to be "ticked off" i pay some dosh! So i read the attached advice from the site, and was under the impression (see what you guys think) that if i submit ONE form, with the 4 conditions on it ...as there is provision to list several conditions on it: then it should be one fee although i was told on the phone it is one fee PER condition
  19. We appointed our BC for the main house a few weeks back and they have just come back with a list of things they want, most of which they have but I suspect they have not opened the 'file' as it looks like a standard letter. So I will bounce it back as they have it all BUT they have asked for two things I was not immediately expecting: ' details of the fire resistance to external walls within 1.0m of the boundary ' - How do I calculate that I am thinking, is it a summative method, just add up the various resistances of the components or is there a more sophisticated way I am wondering. 'Please confirm the provision of network access to the new dwellings.' - The is only one dwelling and one wonders what network they are referring too, is it roads, is it ADSL, is it the sewage / electricity / gas. Any thoughts greatly appreciated!
  20. Is there a requirement for timber internal doors to be fitted in order to obtain a BC completion certificate? These are not fire doors.
  21. So, it's back to the 1950s / 60s is it? Mac, bless him (reminded me of a puffin for some reason) got on with the job like the gritty leader he was There are some lessons in this for the modern day. Macmillan showed that the ruthless application of political will, along with businessmen employed as fixers, could achieve a surprising amount. He had no qualms about arranging for the building of vast numbers of council houses: Labour was to some extent beaten with its own weapons. (Conservative Home accessed 04/10/2017) Ah well, that's the end of Building Control then. Remember how long it took to rip those dreadfully built houses down? Not long. If you are a BCO, you might as well get another job.
  22. Just a quick heads up to those who need a warranty and are going via a broker - check the broker asks the right questions...! As background we purchased the Self Build Zone site insurance and warranty via a broker last year. All seemed fine - we are extending and converting a large double garage - until we tried to get the Building Control elements sorted. The BC company and the warranty company didn't seem to have the same scope as the conversion element was missing despite me being explicit about it and us having insured the existing building so it could be seen that there was something already there .... I've just spent nearly 2 weeks getting this resolved which included me having to write a report and take photos of the existing building, along with the significant risk that we may face a hike in both warranty premium and inspection costs. This was down to the broker not following the insurers process and not asking the right questions - even looking back on the statement of facts it's pretty clear it was "correct" but when you talk to the insurer direct you find there is a lot behind the quotes that needs to be considered. Some conversion and unusual build elements have to be technically checked by the insurers and this is only triggered if the brokers ask the right questions it seems. What has come out of it is that Self Build Zone (which is Sennocke Insurance behind it) do have some very good people and do understand warranties and insurance ..! They have resolved the issues - not without some challenges and a couple of additional terms - but the way it's been done has been professional throughout. I know they always say you find out how good people are when there is a problem - this is one of those cases ..! [As a note I have asked Sennocke for their direct contact details for anyone who is interested - and no, I'm getting nothing out of this other than not losing any more hair and one or two less sleepless nights ...]
  23. When we started the project, the architect suggested we use an independent assessor. Have to say, this is one of the best decisions we made. They were cheaper than LABC (who price on the completion spend but this excludes kitchens, bathroom fittings etc so could be manipulated to be what you need) and are super responsive but also light touch. There was a paper exercise up-front to supply all the detail drawings and calcs (these came direct from MBC and the structural engineer who designed the basement) and then details on other elements. Their first major inspection was when the rebar was in, ahead of any concrete pour. Seeing the quality of the work meant they didn't need to come back until the frame was erected. Next visit was after first fix and we'll see them again near the end. We've been able to negotiate away an external soil vent stack (their suggestion) and use of fireline plasterboard everywhere plus had sensible discussions on fire doors, escapes etc. I'd say that they have saved me money and been a good checkpoint for some issues. One golden rule though - whatever the outcome of a phone conversation - always get it in writing!
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