lizzie

Yet more bad press on mass market developers

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I have just listened to the item on this on radio 4 1pm news.....makes you shudder and shudder again.  Those poor people worried about their houses and the spokesperson from the developers trying to say it was only he odd house here and there......they need shooting.

 

I understand that building inspectors only check sample numbers of houses on these big new developments...they need to check them all its shocking the terrible standard of these new builds.....not as if they are cheap either!

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1 minute ago, lizzie said:

II understand that building inspectors only check sample numbers of houses on these big new developments...they need to check them all its shocking the terrible standard of these new builds.....not as if they are cheap either!

It sounds like it is time to say the sample inspection has failed and "trust" has been broken by the large builders. So now it is time for the building inspector to inspect every house with additional costs to the builder.

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Am I wrong or did building companies have a “clerk of works “. Taken from a dictionary.  :- a person who oversees building work in progress.:- 🤔

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One option might be to introduce an unannounced random inspection scheme, where a building inspector has the power to enter any site and randomly inspect anything, at any stage. 

 

My experience of just driving past a couple of new developments over a period of two or three years was that there were defects that were pretty obvious, without me needing to get out of the car.  On one of those developments, when I walked around one evening with a thermal camera, it was obvious where insulation hadn't been installed and where there were major air leaks around door and window frames.

 

It wouldn't take much to do something like this to try to get mass house builders to do their job properly.  In terms of cost I've been convinced for a long time that getting the build right in the first place has to be cheaper for builders than having to undertake remedial work.

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17 minutes ago, the_r_sole said:

it might be a good idea but if you stunt housing supply with additional bureaucracy and costs

 

I'm not sure how it would play out, but you would've thought end price to the consumer would not change; the market dictates that.

 

There are very few things in this world that are priced according to the cost of production. The latter provides a base cost against which a profit margin can be judged as to whether it is worth providing the product/service, but beyond that pricing is determined by a number of factors and costs are a small part of that. And in fact in some cases things are sold at a loss, in prediction of future profits (e.g. drugs given away by a dealer which will hook the user).

 

So the question is, I think, would this lower overall building if the volume house builders withdrew from less lucrative propositions?

 

If it did, I guess that would in turn increase costs as supply is lower. It's difficult this stuff, but I'm trying to point out the relationship is unlikely to be direct.

Edited by gravelld

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2 minutes ago, the_r_sole said:

 

You can absolutely guarantee that making something harder for volume house builders to throw up will result in higher costs to the end users, unless of course they reduce quality and build faster to account for the additions. If it falls outside of their margins then they land bank and slow the release of new units to the market to maintain the supply and demand. If you've ever seen a development appraisal for a site you will understand just how close some are to being profitable (i.e. will actually be developed) and it would simply result in less units being built if costs increase. Trying to make development stack up at all isn't as easy as made out which is why the entire builds are subcontracted to the lowest tenders all the time.

House prices are driven by many things but if you get large housing providers telling everyone government policy is making it more expensive to build, it goes hand in hand that the costs will be passed on. If you look at the outcry around the planning system and pre-commencement conditions already - imagine a politician trying to introduce something, expensive, time consuming and very difficult to resource on sites which are barely viable at the same time as saying they are going to deliver x no of thousand houses in their term!

@the_r_sole So how would you make sure new houses were built to a good standard?

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41 minutes ago, JSHarris said:

t wouldn't take much to do something like this to try to get mass house builders to do their job properly.  In terms of cost I've been convinced for a long time that getting the build right in the first place has to be cheaper for builders than having to undertake remedial work.

I think you are correct 

but that don,t take into account  of the "bean counters"

cos they will get away with most of it .and they do -

so unless there is a REAL severe penalty if they are caught ,then they ain,t going to change are they ,just waffle away like politicians .

now if they fined them double the cost of putting things right when they were found out and ALL houses had air test before plasterboard --then you might start to get somewhere

Edited by scottishjohn

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@the_r_sole we tend to agree then, notice you also quoted clerk of works like I did, make someone responsible (who knows what they are doing 😱).

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On 01/05/2019 at 15:22, joe90 said:

@the_r_sole we tend to agree then, notice you also quoted clerk of works like I did, make someone responsible (who knows what they are doing 😱).

 

 

Edited by the_r_sole

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Yes a good friend of mine used to be a clerk of works, just like my late missus knew a ward matron in the NHS. 

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The issue with the firestopping just affected timber framed houses.  The reason it is being omitted is that nobody knows who is responsible for specifying and installing it.  It should be part of the timber frame design and install package, same as truss clips, joist hangers, holding down straps etc and all can be inspected after timber frame erection is complete.

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1 hour ago, the_r_sole said:

imagine a politician trying to introduce something, expensive, time consuming and very difficult to resource on sites which are barely viable

 

What you (we) are describing is a negative externality tax (or regulation). There's plenty of them that have succeeded. Granted, plenty that haven't also. Coupled with legislation that prevented land banking, why do you think it wouldn't work?

 

I sometimes think we have got ourselves in this situation where the state is afraid to flex its muscles where it might be appropriate. At this point I don't really understand in what way the volume house builders are economically productive, do you not see some sort of market failure going on right now?

Edited by gravelld

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3 minutes ago, gravelld said:

 

What you (we) are describing is a negative externality tax (or regulation). There's plenty of them that have succeeded. Granted, plenty that haven't also. Coupled with legislation that prevented land banking, why do you think it wouldn't work?

 

I sometimes think we have got ourselves in this situation where the state is afraid to flex its muscles where it might be appropriate. At this point I don't really understand in what way the volume house builders are economically productive, do you not see some sort of market failure going on right now?

 

There is no need to flex muscles.  These fire barrier omissions are made out of ignorance, not for cost saving.

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Of course, but whether ignorance or malevolence both should be punished surely?

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The cost of random, unannounced, periodic inspections wouldn't be that high, though, and may well be enough of an incentive to mass builders to cause them to do their job properly.  I doubt it would take too many cases where an inspector caused a mass builder to stop work and immediately rectify defects or non-compliances before the message got across that proper works oversight would reduce cost.

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Here it's a council employee who inspects every house for building control. It works great. They are pretty fair but you just know you don't try to do lazy things like in that report. Each house is inspected at the relevant stages and if it's not right he soon let's you know. There have been many a mad Friday where he has came to do his final inspection and things haven't been right. He won't sign it of so the people can't move in so the boss doesn't get his money. What ever is wrong soon gets sorted.

I think it's just crazy that your allowed to inspect 1 house and that will do for another 5,6,7,8. If they done that with anything else from TVs to cars and they came across faults there would be uproar.  You wouldn't be happy if you bought a brand new car and then soon noticed that it had no heat shield on the exhaust and you could fry bacon on the floor. And  then dealer told you he couldn't understand what had happened as there was one in the same car he sold yesterday.

Your already paying for inspections so how about they actually check what they are getting paid to do. It would have been pretty obvious when that frame was getting put up that it had no fire check barriers. The brickies maybe asked why there was none and got told to build away. 

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The cost of a building company employing a clerk of works would be less than putting work right afterwards, he could also train/keep an eye on younger trades people to make sure things are done correctly.

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Interesting that members here have variously blamed the site manager, bricklayer, building control inspector, bean counters and the MD of the building firm.

 

If the responsibility to get this designed and fitted lay solely with the timber frame contractor the issue would probably not have arisen.

 

I can't imagine how it would be if things like structural design, gas connection and boiler commissioning was just left to anyone on site, regardless of any subsequent inspection regime.

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3 minutes ago, Mr Punter said:

Interesting that members here have variously blamed the site manager, bricklayer, building control inspector, bean counters and the MD of the building firm.

 

If the responsibility to get this designed and fitted lay solely with the timber frame contractor the issue would probably not have arisen.

 

I can't imagine how it would be if things like structural design, gas connection and boiler commissioning was just left to anyone on site, regardless of any subsequent inspection regime.

I don't think the "timber frame" supplier can take the blame either.  I suspect in the case of the mass builders, they do their own frames, not like a self builder.

 

The fact is the houses will all have drawings showing how to build them and those should have been used to build them.  the fact some operative misses off some important parts, and nobody notices, is not the fault of the TF company, it is the fault of whoever is supposed to be managing the builds for not ensuring adequat control and checking of the build process.

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1 minute ago, ProDave said:

I don't think the "timber frame" supplier can take the blame either.  I suspect in the case of the mass builders, they do their own frames, not like a self builder.

  

The fact is the houses will all have drawings showing how to build them and those should have been used to build them.  the fact some operative misses off some important parts, and nobody notices, is not the fault of the TF company, it is the fault of whoever is supposed to be managing the builds for not ensuring adequat control and checking of the build process.

 

So if, for example, an unvented cylinder explodes because it has not been installed correctly, who is to blame?

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