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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

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    The third party approved certifier bit is something that is used by most folk, e.g. the truss manufacturer can certify the trusses, structural engineer can sign off on the building calculations. Sparks with wiring. These are normal, but don't do away with the need for BC to approve the building warrant first, they all have to put their paperwork into the BC. If you don't have a registered structural engineer sign off your application will take even longer, as BC will sub contract the checking of your calculations out to a local engineer......

    You cannot get a replacement for your local BC though. The only way to speed things up is to do a staged warrant, which has its own dangers.
    Hi Willie,

    This is causing me a bit of confusion. The house is a pretty standard timber frame, albeit with additional insulation, but it's not exactly ground breaking. The timber framers are doing the building drawings as it's their kit and we have a Scottish SE to check their drawings and provide our SER cert. The kit company have done loads of kits using this process and didn't tell me about any problems - they have been very straightforward so far.

    If we don't sign the contract, we can't get the drawings to do the building warrant! Suggestions? I haven't signed yet.

    In addition our architect hasnt flagged up any difficulties, and he's been on board from the start.

    Thank you for your guidance.
    Hi dj, the kit company would normally release the drawings for planning/BC after you put down a deposit, signing a contract with them isn't as bad as I thought you were signing a contract with a groundwork/building contractor for works - having a SER cert for the structure will speed things up a bit as BC won't double check the structural calculations.

    The building warrant though is for the whole build, stuff like the drains in the ground are not likely to be done under approved certifier, the timber kit cert will cover the basic structure only. Problems can arise if stuff needs redesigned for a whole host of reasons - disability regs, non-compliant stairs etc. Every unique house will have its own issues, less of a problem if you have chosen an off-the-shelf design that has been built before. With so many in the party then the knock on effects can take time to filter through. There will normally be an allowance made by the timber frame company for minor changes to specification in case any redesigning is required to achieve building regs but worth checking with them what happens if BC bounce the design back for any reason. Who is doing your SAP? Their input will also be required for your design/BC application.
    • CommentAuthordickster
    • CommentTimeJun 13th 2016
    When we were ready to build, (in England) I was worried that with our non trad build we might not get a warranty and would not be able to insure the building or get the mortgage. I'm pretty ignorant of the ins and out of same and did a little bit of research. I found that in the real world, the guarantee/warranty didn't count for much when it came to asking builders etc to actually put things right. There's plenty of horror stories on the net.

    Our architect said he would give us a "warranty" or whatever it was called, which satisfied all interested parties.

    We were heavily involved in overseeing the project (drove builder up the wall) and it's four years on and nothing much has gone wrong. I fixed various little problems myself, better than getting builder back who's naturally interested in doing as quick a job as possible (he's losing money doing it).

    In another 6 years there won't be a warranty or guarantee and we'll be just like any other houseowner with no cover. Just thought I'd add a bit of perspective, there's so many things that can worry you out of actually getting on with it. Good luck.
    It's not so much the fact that you as a customer will be able to claim for repairs, the warranty (or in your case, architects certificate) is for those who have a financial interest in your house such as those providing a mortgage. They are the folk who want to be able to sue someone with assets/backing for the value of remedial works if it all turns to pot.

    The problem arises if you start a project using your own money with no provisions for a warranty, run out of money and then turn to a financial institution to get more - getting that cover retrospectively can be a lot more expensive.
    Willie is correct - we are not concerned about the quality of the house/kit so much - it's taken us long enough to decide and I trust our architect and contractors implicitly, it's that we won't be able to mortgage the house once complete without one.

    I'm about to start looking at warranty providers this evening (oh joy!) - any suggestions as to passive-friendly ones would be much appreciated. Our architect would do one, but would then have to charge us RIBA rates, but he's working on a different fee scale for us as he's a family friend, so we're looking elsewhere.

    Thanks again all for your help :)
    When I researched a building warranty I found that the warranty and building control effectively came as a package (the warranty company insist on a certain building control firm) so you need to look at the price of both combined.

    We have a traditional build so it might not be the best for you but we went with Self Build Zone.

    Another thing to check is that your warranty is accepted by a broad number of mortgage lenders. I found a table on the Council of Mortgage Lenders website that helped with this.
    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeJun 16th 2016
    Posted By: richardelliotthe warranty company insist on a certain building control firm
    Building control firms are not an option in the country in which DivorcingJack is building (Scotland).
    The joy of Scottish regs :) All slightly different from the rest of the UK standard..
    • CommentTimeJun 17th 2016
    Posted By: divorcingjackThe joy of Scottish regs :) All slightly different from the rest of the UK standard..

    Not quite. England, Wales and Northern Ireland all have their own systems too. There's no UK standard.
    • CommentTimeJun 17th 2016
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