Roofing: What Can Go Wrong?

Andy Butchers shares his insider knowledge to help you troubleshoot this key element of your building project.

roofing

It may be stating the obvious, but every house needs a robust roof to close up the structure and protect it from the elements. Given it will be acting as a first line of defence, it’s perhaps not surprising that roofing issues are by far the biggest area of insurance and warranty claims. And what’s the most common problem? You guessed it: water ingress.

What’s frustrating for self builders and renovators who encounter this kind of scenario is that, with a little more thought from their designers and contractors, most of these problems can be completely eliminated. Here’s what to watch out for on your project.

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How to Get Planning Permission First Time

Getting planning consent for the perfect scheme can be a major stumbling block on the road to a successful project. Mike Dade shares the secrets that will give you the best possible chance of winning approval.

Most self-builders and renovators, having secured a plot or building to convert or refurbish, want to get on with the build as quickly as possible. With planning applications taking at least two months from submission to decision, nobody wants to go through the process more than once if they can avoid it.

So, what are the causes of delays and refusals in the planning process – and what steps can you take to avoid them and give yourself the best possible chance of securing consent at the first attempt?

Common sticking points

The most frequent causes of delays and refusals can be grouped into three broad categories: content and presentation of the application; conflicts with policy and planning officers’ opinions; and political issues. Many applications are delayed on submission because the council won’t validate and register them.

Forms, plans, accompanying reports and information and the necessary fee must all be correctly presented. The eight-week period for determining the application won’t start until the council is satisfied that everything is present and correct.

Once underway, any conflicts with local or national planning policy (or the planning officer’s interpretation of those policies) can result in rejection – or at least a request for you to make amendments, which will have obvious ramifications for your schedule.

Finally, where the project is locally contentious, applications can sometimes be rejected at committee, even if you have the support of your council’s planning officer.Working with a specialist design and build company, such as Potton, can take some of the hassle out of the planning process. The company’s expert team came up with a sensitive plan to knock down the Kings’ existing 100m2 bungalow and replace it with a new, eco-friendly dwelling that was twice the size. Planning was quickly granted without a hitch.

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MPs call for end to dominance of large housebuilders

An investigation by a House of Commons select committee into the housebuilding sector has called for the dominance of the large housebuilders to end to fix the UK’s broken housing market.

large housebuilders

The Communities and Local Government committee said it had found that the eight largest firms were building over half of all new homes in the country making the industry over reliant on an “alarmingly small number of commercial actors”.

The report added that while no evidence of land banking by the housebuilders had been found there was little incentive for them to build any quicker. In addition, the committee said that land was in such high demand in some areas that developers were paying over the odds which in turn meant they were having to increase the density of homes on schemes and reduce levels of affordable housing to recover their investment.

Developers were also building more slowly so as not to saturate the market and lower house prices, the report said, and recommended the case be examined for public intervention.

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What is a building warranty, why do you need one and where do you get it?

The Build-Zone 10 Year Structural Warranty is a re-branded version of the Self-Build Zone Warranty and provides a much better alternative to Architect’s Certification and is like NHBC and other Structural Warranty products.  It is specifically designed for New Build, Conversions, Extensions and Completed Properties and is backed by insurers, including Lloyd’s of London.

building warranty

The Build-Zone Warranty has been specifically designed with you in mind as we know the problems you can face and the speed with which you want to get moving and resolve problems.

For a typical project, there are two options available: 1. ‘With Building Control’ or 2. ‘Without Building Control’.

With Building Control

Many people are unaware that you do not need to use your Local Authority Building Control Body to obtain Building Regulation approval or carry out Building Control inspections.  We can arrange this for you through an independent network of ‘partnered’ Approved Inspectors.

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Competition watchdog to examine warranties for new homes

CMA’s review of NHBC comes amid concerns over lack of protection for homebuyers.

warranties for new homes

The Competition and Markets Authority is examining payments between housebuilders and the providers of warranties for new homes as part of a review of NHBC, the largest warranty provider.

The CMA announced last month it was reviewing undertakings made by NHBC, the standard-setting body for new-build properties in the UK and the main warranty provider. These 22-year-old undertakings were designed to improve competition in the warranty market.

The review was announced amid concerns that NHBC is compromising its independence by paying millions of pounds to developers every year. However, the CMA said it was launching the review following a request from NHBC and that it would not consider the “wider issues” relating to the organisation.

Nonetheless, the CMA has sent a substantial list of questions about warranties to leading figures in the sector as part of its review. The questions, which have been seen by the Guardian, include asking warranty providers whether they have loyalty or low-claim schemes that compensate builders with a low claim rate and how these payments are calculated.

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