Ask a Tradesman
Builder disputing structural engineer calculations
We are having a ground floor extension done under permitted development. We have had strutural engineer do the calculations for the steels but our builder is disputing them. He says its overkill and we don't need so much steel work and its going to push up the cost by £6k. I'm now not sure what to do -the builder is doing all of the building control submissions to the council etc, and says its no good me asking them for advice. I dont want to pay out for an alternative engineer to do another set of calulations really -is there any way the currnet plans can verified by an offcicial body? Would the council do this without us paying their fees?
Thanks for your advice.
From my 13 years experience I know it is always in the client/homeowners interest to deal with contacting the building inspector them self. That way the building inspector is more likely to let you know if he thinks the builder is competent or not. Also so that you can know when the building inspector is coming around to do his inspections.
In regards to this question
Now that you have the calculations from the engineer,
If your builder thinks it is a overkill (which is not impossible it very much well be) but now the builder should ask the building inspector what he will be happy with. For example If he will be happy with putting in just 4 steels instead of 10 steels because at the end of the day it's whatever the building inspector says, is how the builder has to build it. For example if the building inspector wants 12 steels the builder will have to use 12 steels. Likewise if the building inspector comes to inspect the depth of foundations and the builder has dug 1 meter deep but the building inspector wants it 1.5 because he thinks a tree is too close by to the property, then the builder has to go deeper. Remember it's the building inspector who signs of all certificates and those certificates state your property is structurally sound. You as a client/homeowner needs those certificates as without them you Will basically have an illegal structure.
Murray Brickwork Ltd
Answered 29th Oct 2016
let me get this straight. your builder is saying that the structural engineer has specified steels that would cost £6,000 MORE than the steel he was thinking of using?
it sounds like your builder is taking the mickey. you can buy a lot of steel for that money. is your builder a qualified structural engineer? if I was a qualified engineer I wouldn't mess about in all weathers trying to put food on the table! you could ask the council what they think of the calculations, but I think we both know what they are going to say!!
Answered 5th Apr 2014