Building regs, Competent persons & Law?


Postby johnheritage » Thu Jun 11, 2009 11:43 pm

Okay, I'm renovating my house. I plan to pull all the wiring, fit some new mains circuits, pull the plumbing, fit a new boiler and a few other things.

I already know that anything like altering the consumer unit requires notification to the local building control.

The question is, when do I commit a crime by not doing so?

I have no real wish to break the law.

I do have a thousand pound Fluke scope that a lot of electricians would be jelous of and not only bought a kit but also taught myself how to weld with oxy/acetylene when I was about 14, ten or so years ago. Natural gas and air is obviously not even close in terms of pressures or energy capacity.

We may be selling the house at some point in the near future.

If I pull all the wiring and plumbing myself, can I then sell the house as having being rewired / new boiler without having building control check over it all? The house was originally built in the 20's.

I'm aware of the competent persons schemes, but that's a joke for an average home owner. I'm being hammered left right and centre for money from everyone, and the certification schemes want a few more hundred each for their opinion and little more.

Another option is having building control round.

Well..... I'm already going to have to pay them 430 something to check out the loft conversion that was put in. This is where I'm wondering about the precise wording.

According to the estate agents we've had round, I NEED to stud wall the loft stairs and put in a 30 minute firedoor to sell it as an official room.

But what would happen if I didn't? Would I actually be breaking the law, or would it just be more likely a buyer who knows about certificates would refuse it? Would the estate agent be breaking the law by saying it was another room without asking for the certificate from me?

I don't want to start pulling up that quantity of cabling to get to the end and find there are issues.

Let me guess... each infraction of Part P, e.g. each new circuit I add, brings with it an additional inspection fee, not one to cover all of the Part P alterations made in one go?

I'm really quite confused and annoyed by this. I want to adhere to the regulations, actually have them printed and understand their reasoning. But the costs and information on legalities and such is far from ideal. I've called the building control office and had literally two or three people talking to each other on the end of the phone while I was waiting for a reply about the loft. Then I spoke to the inspector himself.

But I can't find anything about these legal questions online.

Here's an idea of what I mean.

I rewire the place, move the consumer unit, add some new circuits (including one to an attached garage). Work that Part P says I should notify BC of. I don't bother, then try to sell the house and list one of it's features as 'harmonised rewire'. Would I be breaking the law? Would the estate agent want to see a certificate? What if I don't list it as a feature, but tell the prospective buyers, in person, I've done it myself?
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Postby kbrownie » Fri Jun 12, 2009 9:34 am

johnheritage,
Oh dear lots of issues here so forgive me if I don't cover them all, may be someone else will.
Your attic room if not compliant can not be addvertise for sale as another room.
Your electrics most have either Electrical Installation Certs (EIC) this will include schedules of inspection and tests results that comply to BS7671:2008 or have been signed off by building controls under approved document part p of building regs.
These are your only options otherwise you are breaking the law!
If you know a freindly electricain that is registered with domestic installers scheme he may be willing to over see your work and give you correct certs and reports on completion.
If you feel you are capable of electrical installation, submit this with the rest of the work that needs BC notification in your house on the same application it will be cheaper than making seperate application.
KB
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Postby johnheritage » Fri Jun 12, 2009 6:57 pm

Thanks kbrownie,

Do you have much experience having work signed off by building control under section P? I'd be interested to know what the experience is like in terms of visit frequeny and costs involved (in calling them out) when it's an entire house rewire.
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Postby kbrownie » Sun Jun 14, 2009 12:28 pm

johnheritage,
The format is that you send in application for work to be done, there is a fee on a sliding scale pro-rator to costing of the work.
The cost would be worked out on how much it would cost for a builder/electrician to come in and complete work (not how much it would cost you to do work yourself)
It starts at about £130 fee for work valued up to £2000, if you go on gov website and follow links there should be some information regarding fee levels.
They ask for 28 days notice but generally they let you crack on, after a couple of days of application.
They will visit after first fix, to make sure everything is routed correctly and cables are secure and tidy etc..before you cover them up.
Then they will visit on completion/2nd fix, you can offer test results but they will re-test if not happy with results and then you will be given a cert that says installation complies to part p(providing it does)
If you do test it yourself, your meter must have current calibration cert.
They do offer the service of a third party to do testing or the officer may do the test providing they have the qualification to test and sign it off
Hope this helps
KB
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Postby bd3cc » Sun Jun 14, 2009 9:18 pm

In my area, if there is a building regs notice already in, BC get their registered spark to view 1st fix, (3 days notice) I test, send them test results, and if happy they sign off.
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