Site inspections are carried out, on request, at a number of statutory stages and certain other non-statutory stages for which notice is recommended. It is your responsibility to ensure that Building Control are informed of the statutory stages. It is important to note that when using the Building Notice procedure, there may be a need for additional inspections.
The following information is intended to assist you and your builder. NB Several of the inspections may be carried out at the same site visit.
- Commencement (statutory)
- Excavations for foundations (statutory)
Notification of commencement should be given at least 48 hours prior to the works starting.
This is an opportunity for the Building Control Surveyor to generally discuss the project and to remind the builder of any conditions there might be on the application. It also provides the opportunity to check that the site is as shown on the submitted plans.
The Building Control Surveyor will use this opportunity to ensure that the ground upon which the building will be built is satisfactory. To ensure this, the surveyor will consider all or some of the following:
- The bearing capacity of the ground
- Proximity and depth of any drains
- Depth of existing foundation
- Proximity of any trees or recently removed trees
- Whether or not the building is on made up ground.
This is to ascertain that the placement and the concrete are correct. Also whether the block/brickwork built up to ground level is in the correct position, before being backfilled.
This inspection is to determine the suitability of the hardcore, blinding sand, the damp proof membrane (DPM) and the floor insulation. In respect of the DPM the main checks are the thickness and the rolling or taping of the joints.
The damp proof course (DPC) will be checked to ensure suitability of the installation and type of material used. The DPC/cavity arrangements at the junction with any of the existing building will also be checked. Any concrete fill within the cavity must finish at least 150mm below the DPC level.
It is important that this inspection is carried out before the drains are backfilled. The items checked on this inspection include:
- Suitability of material used
- Fall and line of drain
- Material used for bed and surround
- Access points.
The size, grade and the centres of the joists will be checked together with bearings, lateral restraint straps and strutting.
The size, grade and the centres of the timbers will be checked, together with lateral restraint, wall plate straps and strutting.
Witness of an air or water test of all drainage, above or below ground, is required.
Where electrical installations subject to compliance are carried out by a person(s) not registered with one of the competent bodies approved by the Department for Communities and Local Government, notification should be given to the Local Authority when the works are being carried out. A test certificate should also be provided on completion.
When a building is occupied before completion the Local Authority should be notified at least five days beforehand.
The Local Authority should be notified within five days of the completion of the building work. This enables the surveyor to make a final inspection to check items such as:
- Ventilation to rooms and roofs
- Waste details
- Fire precautions and requirements
- Safety glazing
- Staircase details
- Insulation standards
- Electrical installations.