The Self Build Self Help Site The Build Process

A one-stop shop of information for people interested in self build - whether self building a complete home or undertaking an extension, renovation or modification.

The Build Process

Building Control Inspections

The Local Authority Building Control team will need to inspect your build at key stages of the development. Usually a telephone call will suffice to set up the site visit and they may, on your first call, ask for the Planning reference.

Commencement ... (48 hours notice)

Before work commences on site you should inform the Building Control office that work is about to begin. They may require a site meeting at this stage to discuss the project but, if not, you may wish to ask them for a site meeting in order to discuss your concerns and get to know the Building Control officer that covers your area. He will be very helpful to you where you have concerns - although your architect will have answers, it is the Building Control officer who will ultimately have to be satisfied. He will, unless unavailable, be the person who does all the subsequent inspections.

Foundation Excavations ... (24 hours notice)

To ensure foundations are excavated to a satisfactory depth, taking into account the load to be born and the conditions of the ground. Once you have dug out the trench, just go round with a metal rod seeing if you can easily push it into the ground - if you can, you will need to dig a bit deeper at that spot.

Foundation Concrete ... (24 hours notice)

To ensure that the concrete has been laid correctly.

Oversite ... (24 hours notice)

To check the preparation for the oversite concrete - usually called the slab. He will check the hardcore used, the sand blinding to protect the damp proof membrane (not really neccessary if insulation is laid under the slab), the thickness of the dpm and that any joints are taped together (if they are not taped well enough then wet concrete will force itself under the membrane and jeopardize the protection against rising damp) and that sufficient dpm is left turned up the walls to tie in with the dpc to be used. If a block and beam floor is to be built, the building inspector will similarly want to see the preparation prior to the beams being laid.

Damp Proof Course ... (24 hours notice)

To ensure that the dpc has been laid correctly, notably that it is not intruding into the cavity and that the concrete cavity fill is left at least 150mm below the dpc to ensure that any cement cleared from the joints does not build up above the dpc.

Drainage ... (24 hours notice)

The inspector will usually concentrate on the foul water drainage and will check for the correct fall, layout, material and depth used to bed the pipes, and connection to the main sewer. Quite often the inspector will be happy to see the drains in place and with some backfill around but leaving the top of the drains exposed, before completing the backfill - but check out his requirement at the previous inspection.

Occupation ... (5 days notice before occupation)

Completion of work ... (24 hours notice)

Final check (Within 5 days of completion)
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