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OPINIONS SOUGHT ON LOCAL AUTHORITY BUILDING CONTROL INSPECTION


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I replaced the roof on my two-story house with concrete interlocking tiles and the dry ridge roofing system.  I paid the local authority building control department to inspect the work and provide an approval certificate.  The roofer left the scaffolding up, so the inspector could go up and check the work.  The roofer was not on site when the inspector arrived.  The inspector said he could not go up the scaffolding to inspect the work as the roofer had not left him a ladder.  My next-door neighbor is a builder and I offered to collect one from him.  The inspector declined to state it was not needed and he would inspect the work from ground level.  Part of his view is blocked by the scaffolding boards.  He went across the road and checked the front and side roof without using binoculars and said it was all ok.  He told me he did not need to check the rear of the property as he had viewed it from the adjacent road where he had parked his car.  He opened the loft hatch, briefly looked in the loft without turning on the light, and said it was ok.  He walked under the scaffolding and said he could see from the gaps in the scaffolding that the new gutters, fascias, and soffits were all ok.  He spent a maximum of l0 minutes, said he has completed the inspection, and passed the work.  I repeatedly told him that I was concerned that he had not gone up on the scaffolding to inspect the roof closer, nor had he used binoculars for close-up checks.  He told me not to worry and everything is ok.  My friend involved the local authority inspectors who passed her roof last week. She tells me her inspector visited twice and each time, he went up the scaffolding and did a close-up inspection of the work. 

 

I am concerned that there may be snagging work or problems with the work that the inspector did not pick up. Is this the right way to inspect roof work?  My son suggested I pay an Independent inspector to get a thorough report.  Is that ok and will the roofer comply with that if additional work is necessary?   The roofer left the scaffolding up from Thursday 14.4.2022 for the inspection and will take it down on Tuesday 19.4.2022 (due to the Easter Bank Holiday Weekend).  As it is Easter Weekend I cannot contact the Local Authority till Tuesday.  I paid the Local Authority £250 to inspect the roof which was costly  to replace and I am very concerned.

 

 

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There's a difference between inspection for Building Regulations compliance and inspection for the quality of workmanship.  Yes, it's a head-slapper, but that's the way in this dysfunctional sector. In building compliance terms, your roof is now signed off ( probably). 

 

The BCO was concerned only with compliance. 

 

To verify the quality of workmanship , it is normal to appoint a building surveyor.

 

If you do that,  please be sure to check that the surveyor is qualified,  competent and has a good reputation locally. Get 3 quotes for inspection. 

 

It is common to do a visual inspection of a roof with a drone.  

 

This forum has many stories of BCOs not doing their jobs thoroughly.  It's the norm. To balance that comment,  I suspect BCOs are being asked to do more work with less resource. There will be some slapdashery of course. 

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+1 to the above, not a BI,s job to judge workmanship, only compliance. If you want the workmanship checked you will have to find an independent roofer/builder/inspector .

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There are things to check, loft insulation should most likely have been upgraded and ventilation needs to be more than just present, it needs to working, ie not blocked or restricted. 
 

were the ridge tiles mechanically fixed where necessary? 
 

other things that are compliance related could have been missed too. 

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What do YOU think of the roofers quality of work?  Is everything neat, nice straight lines of tiles, no wonky bits?  It sounds like you have some doubts that you had hoped the BI would find?

 

Post some pictures from up on the scaffold for us to have a look?

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Thanks for the information and advice,  Much appreciated. 

My contract states I will pay the balance to the roofer, after the Building Control inspection.  If I get an independent roofer/builder/inspector report does my roofer have to comply with the recommendations?  Where can I find a list of independent roofer/builder/inspectors?

Would it be better to wait and see if I have any problems with the workmanship before commissioning an independent report?

Can I buy an insurance backed guarantee?  I have a 25 year guarantee but if the roofer goes out of business its worthless.

 

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You have an agreement, and it must be honoured. You can only challenge the agreement on the basis of evidence. 

 

Pay him some money with a retention until the roof is properly inspected for the quality of the workmanship.

Tell the builder what your concerns are and say that you are going to get the work inspected by either

  • another roofer - whose work you know and trust or
  • an independent inspector or
  • a drone (video) inspection

I suggest a drone inspection because on our roof, one tile cracked in such a way that - from the top of the scaffolding - you could not see it had cracked. It was in the layer of tiles just below the ridge. I didn't have any scaffolding or crawl boards at the time. A drone video would have picked up the problem. 

 

Have a look at this post

 

The key thing now is speed: the scaffolders could well arrive and take the scaff down .....

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I have put up photos of the front and back roof taken from the ground floor.   I will try and find someone with a ladder to go up and take photos from the scaffolding Any comments please.   My neighbour who retired as a builder about 13 years ago tells me the roof is well done.  It drizzled and I thought some sections of the felt in the loft space got stained with droplets of water.  My neighbour says it is nothing to worry about but I am not sure.   

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My only comment is by choosing a completely different tile to next door, you have forced the roofer to fit that row of ridge tiles to join your new tiles to next doors old tiles.  If you are going to get any problems or leaks, that will be where.  And later, should next door choose to renew their roof, they will have to remove those joining ridge tiles and replace with something else.

 

Personally for peace of mind, i would be wanting to keep a good few spare tiles so that in the event of any issues going forward or for when next door does work, you know you have some spare tiles and you won't suddenly find what you have is no longer available.

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Moist warm air permeates up through most homes and will condense when it hits a cold surface like the felt under roof tiles.

if you had water running down a chimney or wall in a loft then you should be concerned and looking at flashing problems.

from the pics the tiles appear straight and well seated so I can’t see any problems.

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11 hours ago, ProDave said:

My only comment is by choosing a completely different tile to next door, you have forced the roofer to fit that row of ridge tiles to join your new tiles to next doors old tiles.  If you are going to get any problems or leaks, that will be where.  And later, should next door choose to renew their roof, they will have to remove those joining ridge tiles and replace with something else.

 

Personally for peace of mind, i would be wanting to keep a good few spare tiles so that in the event of any issues going forward or for when next door does work, you know you have some spare tiles and you won't suddenly find what you have is no longer available.

 

Those Rosemarys are on a 6 month waiting list right now, not practical if you really need the roof done.

The join is also no more likely to leak than any other section of the roof, if done correctly.

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