About the site visit

When does the Council inspect works on site?

By law, the Building Control Officer must be told when the work reaches each of the following stages. The officer will then need to inspect your works at:

  • Commencement (48 hours before commencing)
  • Excavation for foundations (24 hours before concreting)
  • Foundation concrete (24 hours before covering)
  • Oversite prior to concrete (24 hours before covering)
  • Damp proof courses (24 hours before covering)
  • Drains (24 hours before covering)
  • Drains and Soil & Vent Pipes testing (not more than 5 days after completion)
  • Occupation before completion (not more than 5 days before occupation)
  • Completion (not more than 5 days after completion)

It is normal for other intermediate inspections to be carried out, for example to inspect structural steelwork and floor/roof timbers. The Building Control Officer will be able to advise you if this is necessary. The Building Control Officer may also call at other times to check the work in progress.

The period of time in brackets is the amount of notification that a person undertaking the works is legally obliged to give the council. In practice it is generally possible for an inspection to be carried out on the same day that notification is given, provided that it is received before 10am that day.

Please note that you should also be aware of the purpose and limitations of Building Control inspections. The reason that the Building Control Officer makes inspections is to ensure that the requirements of the Building Regulations are being met. You will not be required to do anything unless it is needed in order to secure reasonable standards of health and safety.

Building Regulations inspections are not a suitable substitute for day to day site supervision. You should employ an independent professional person to supervise quality control and other private contractual matters between you and your builder, if you feel it necessary to do so.

Who can I expect to make site visits?

The Building Control Surveyors each have their own area of the borough in which to make site visits. Sometimes (holidays, sickness, etc) surveyors will make site visits in other areas. If the site visit is to inspect electrical work they may be accompanied by an electrician. The areas covered by each surveyor can be viewed on this page which features a map of the borough.

All of the surveyors carry a photo identity card. If you have any concerns please contact us.

If I make a Building Notice application, will the Building Control Officer tell me how to carry out the work during his first visit?

No - while we are always willing offer help and advice you should not expect to use the Building Control Officer as a substitute for an architect or designer.

If you are not confident that you (or your builder) are fully conversant with the requirements of the regulations, then we would strongly advise that you do not use a Building Notice application.

When the Building Control Officer visits the site he talks to the builder but not me - why?

I assure you that we are not being disrespectful, but the majority of our clients do prefer us to deal directly with the builder.We always welcome the involvement of the owner in these discussions so if you wish to be involved, please make your wishes known to the Building Control Officer during the first visit. Unless confidential matters are involved we must request that you join the builder for the discussion so that everyone is party to the same conversation.

If you do wish to have a confidential discussion with the Building Control Officer at any stage, please ask (or make a separate arrangement by phone) and we will be happy to oblige.

Updated: 26 October 2010