Frequently Asked Questions
What are Approved Inspectors?
Approved Inspectors are companies or individuals approved by Government to provide Building Control Services in England and Wales.
Assent Building Control Limited provides a cost-effective and client friendly alternative to local authority building control anywhere in England and Wales. We have a large team of qualified and experienced building control professions who work with the design team from inception to final certification.
What are Building Regulations?
Building Regulations are rules designed to ensure health, safety, accessibility and energy conservation in and about buildings. It is a legal requirement that all significant building projects are registered for Building Control Certification before work starts. The owner may be liable for a substantial fine if this is not done. The reason for this is to help safeguard you and future owners from defective work. You will be asked for your Building Control Certificate if you decide to sell your house. If you do not have a certificate this may affect your house value and saleability.
When do Building Regulations apply?
The rules are complex. Building Regulations may apply in any of the following circumstances:
- the erection, alteration or extension of a building
- the installation, alteration or extension of services or fittings
- the change of use of a building.
Particularly where the work may at any stage affect structure, fire safety, weather resistance, sound insulation, ventilation, drainage, heat producing appliances, stairways, energy use, accessibility, glazing safety, electrical safety.
If in doubt please contact us for advice.
What area does Assent cover?
Assent has 43 offices around the Country. This means that clients throughout England and Wales always have a local Assent building control surveyor to liaise with. Please refer to our office map.
What is Assent’s Role and What other services can Assent offer?
Assent’s role is to help you, your architect and your builder to:
- comply with the legal requirement to register your building work
- achieve minimum Building Regulation standards during design and construction
- provide a final certificate following satisfactory completion.
In addition to building control services assent offers a range of associated services including Energy Performance Certification, fire risk assessment, access audits and planning.
What is the difference between Assent Building Control and Local Authority Building Control?
Assent offers fast, cost effective, efficient and non-bureaucratic alternative to Local Building Control. Assent’s certification has the same legal standing as that from the Local Authority and our payment arrangements are normally more flexible. Assent is insured under a policy by Barbican Indemnity Consortium No 9077.
Do Assent cover Gas and Electrical work?
Any gas work subject to the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 and notifiable* electrical work is not controlled by Assent and must be done by installers registered with an appropriate competent person scheme. Ask your approved installer if you are unsure of what is required. You should contact your installer if you have not received a self certified compliance certificate from the installer within 30 days of completion.
* Notifiable electrical work includes new circuits, new consumer units and most alterations in bathrooms.
What are Assent’s fees for acting on your behalf?
Assent offers a cost effective service tailored to the individual project. Let us have details of your project by telephone, email or by our online quotation service Get a Quote. We will respond with a fixed price, all inclusive fee proposal outlining the services you will receive from us.
How do I apply for building control certification from Assent?
Please contact us by telephone or email to discuss your needs. As soon as we have the details of your project you will receive an acknowledgement by email. We will then provide on-going advice and guidance to ensure your project meets the Building Regulations.
How do I ensure a good outcome to my project?
Building work is complex and difficult and requires a highly skilled team working together to get it right. Always use a good designer, a good builder and a good Approved Inspector – Avoid short cuts!
A good designer will provide detailed plans and specifications that will help you to visualise the completed project, help your builder to plan, order and construct efficiently and accurately and allow Assent to assess and advise in advance to avoid defects.
A reputable builder whose work you have seen, and who’s satisfied customers you have spoken to, will work with you and Assent to deliver a quality building which can receive full Building Control Certification on completion.
What happens if there is a problem with an application?
Unlike a local authority building control department Assent never reject an application out right. Instead we would request further information as required.
When can I start on site?
When you instruct Assent you are appointing us to act on your behalf. As part of the Building Regulations process Assent will notify your local authority of your intended building work on what is called an 'Initial Notice'. You may start work just as soon as this notice has been accepted by your local authority usually after 5 working days.
What is the “process”?
In addition to submitting the initial notice Assent takes on the responsibility for plan checking and site inspections. Upon satisfactory completion of your project, we will issue a final certificate. It is imperative that you are issued a final certificate within 4/8 weeks of project completion, after this time scale the Initial notice issued to the Local Authority will lapse this prevents us from issuing a final certificate for your works and you will have to contact the Local Authority to arrange an inspection from them for them to be able to issue the correct certification. This will occur unnecessary charges. If you do not receive a final certificate this could cause many issues if you decide to sell your property in the future and could significantly decrease the value of your property.
What recourse do you have if you are unhappy with an Approved Inspector’s performance?
Assent Building Control Limited is bound by the codes of conduct of our own professional bodies including RICS, ABE and IFE and that of our regulatory body, the Construction Industry Council (CIC).
In the unusual event that a client is dissatisfied with the building control service they receive they should contact Assent in the first instance. We will do our utmost to resolve any problems with you following our agreed complaints procedure.