• Poor Insulation - Did The House Insulation It Contravene The Building Regs When Built In 2002-4? If So, What Can I Do About It?

    By Guest on 13th Feb 2016

    I purchased a house in Dec 2014. The house was built as a single dwelling by a local builder between 2002 and 2004. The original plans were deposited under Section 1(3) of the Building Act 1984 on 12 Sept 2000. The completion date was 17 March 2004. The Completion Certificate says the relevant requirements of Schedule 1 of the Building Regulations 1991 certified by the certificate are Parts A1, A2, B1, B2, B3, B4, B5, C1, C4, F1, F2, G1, G2, G3, H1, H2, H3, J1, J2, J3, K1, L1, M1, M2, & N1.

    The house is a "chalet bungalow". In moving a mains socket I had cause to look into the eaves roof space boxed in from the main bedroom with a stud partition wall between the floor and the sloping ceiling within our "1st floor" bedroom. There seemed to be very little insulation. The whole upstairs of the house is very cold and the rooms do not retain heat overnight (20 degrees at 10pm but down to about 12 degrees by 6am before the CH comes on).

    I understand the Building Regs changed in 2002 with the previous control “L” becoming “L1 and L2”. The completion certificate refers to L1 but not specifically L”1 as amended 2002”.

    As the building was completed more than 10 years ago the inspecting chartered surveyor’s indemnity insurance has expired (it was designed to expire 10 years from build completion).

    What can I do? How do I ascertain if the structure/design/insulation methods complied with building controls that should have been enforced at the time? Are the building regs application at the time the plans are submitted/.approved or needing to comply with building regs as they are at the date of completion? If through a professional surveyor I do ascertain the build/design/as built do not comply with Control L1 as amended 202, what recourse do I have, considering my house seems to be thermally inefficient and would take significant internal plaster boarding/insulation and making good to retro-fit what I think should have been installed at the outset back in 2003/4? Are the local Building Control responsible (certificate signed off by Head of Building Control)? Could I cite negligence on their behalf (bu the certificate says “...so far as the authority have been able to ascertain...”? Is there a risk that if I raise it with the Local Council, and the problem is found to be in contravention to the regs (at the time), ie my issue is proven correct, I could be forced by them to rectify the problem/bring up to present day standards at my cost (not their cost)?

    Any advice gratefully received on how to pursue such as issue. I would like a better insulated home but don’t want to be legally forced to put right what i think a builder has not done properly in the first place.

  • 1 Answers

    By Guest on 18/02/2016

    I don't believe it would be possible for the local authority to obtain an injunction against you (they would be time barred from issuing a s36 notice) having issued a completion certificate. On the other hand I don't believe the authority would be liable to you for compensation. The completion certificate is not a guarantee but merely states that as far as the local authority can ascertain building regulations have been complied with.

    You may be able to make a claim against the developer (if there has been a breach) but you would need to get specialist legal advice on this

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