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Should a builder know about relevant buildings regulations for new windows?

I live in a conservation zone and applied for planning permission to install two new sash windows, and some French doors. I engaged a builder who had done work for me previously to quote for putting the windows in. I took him up on the quote and had the windows and French doors installed in April this year. All seemed fine (they look great and no problem structurally or anything like that).

The same builder had the building inspector out to sign off on an RSJ installation and drainage replacement at my property, which was done last year, but the inspector had to come back and check out all the fire resistance plasterboard around the RSJ etc.

On this visit, I casually asked the building inspector about the windows as it occurred to me then that I might need them signed-off. It now turns out that I do, and that actually the windows that have been installed do not meet the regs, because they are on a boundary wall and are in breach of Part B re fire safety. Building inspector says they either need to be smaller, or must be hardwood frame with 30 minute fire resistant glass. This is clearly going to cost me money.

The builder is trying to wash his hands of the situation, saying he didn't know the regulations would apply. I have said to him that as a professional builder, he has an obligation to understand whether any work he is undertaking is covered by building regulations. He has also built and installed an ensuite, which he didn't mention about building regs for.

Am I right to ask him to take some responsibility?

3 Answers from MyBuilder Window & Door Fitters

Best Answer

YES,this builders must be aware that conservation as well as listed properties require building control consent if they are changed,the only thing you are allowed to do is repair existing frames without consent,
sick of so called experts who actually know nothing and wreck older houses because of their utter stupidity.
its his fault so he should pay to correct it.

good luck Alex


Answered 21st Aug 2014

Of course he should . sounds like a chancer, he should know if the house is in a conservation area and if it is box sash that is in the property, then this is what should have been replaced with . they are a lot more priceier, up to four times the price of a upvc window but with old listed homes there comes a price you have to replace like for like . try Blair windows Clydebank . I think if I was you I would get my en,suite checked out as there are water buy laws regarding new pipeing and testing and what should be used every new connection should be installed with a isolation valve on hot and cold water feed get it checked and change your contractor as soon as your next job comes up .

Allan. HJA


Answered 29th Oct 2014

hi, builder should know or if in doubt he should have checked with building control, however ultimate responsibility always lies with the homeowner as far as building control is concerned

sorry to say


Answered 21st Aug 2014

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