Building Control Signing Off Wood Burner

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  • Building Control Signing Off Wood Burner
  • JohnB
    Member

    Has anybody had BC sign off their burner installation?

    I am currently fitting one and BC came round at the start and said that I need a HETAS guy to provide a certificate before they would sign it off.

    I was under the impression that HETAS can not sign off work that they had not done and that BC would inspect and sign it off (which is why I paid them £216 !!)

    What experiences have others had?

    Premier Icon jam bo
    Subscriber

    said that I need a HETAS guy to provide a certificate before they would sign it off.

    as I understood it, a HETAS certificate negates the need for building control sign-off.

    JohnB
    Member

    I agree that a Hetas certificate negates BC.

    However I am doing the work myself and asked BC to sign it off. They said they would not sign it off without a HETAS certificate.

    Has anyone else had a stove signed off by their local BC?

    If so what was the process? Did they need a HETAS certificate?

    konagirl
    Member

    That’s almost laughable. The role of Building Control is to ensure notifiable works meet the Regs. As jam bo said, Part J states in the “Notification of Work” section that the “self-certification scheme” is an exception to notifying work to Building Control. If you could find a HETAS installer to sign off a DIY job, then you don’t need to pay BC and as you say, I don’t think you’ll find a HETAS qualified installer who will sign off someone elses work.

    East Cambs DC did our inspection (once with the hearth and flue liner in place and again when fully installed), no problems.

    Are Building Control suggesting that they don’t have the expertise and hence need to call in a contractor? I have heard of some situations where the Council employ electricians to sign off Part P works, but they would state the fees for that up-front when you initially ask about the sign off. If they’ve taken your inspection fee and the installation meets Regs, then I would be pushing for it to be signed off by them, even if they have to sub-contract the work that’s not your problem.

    (I assume you are in England / Wales.)
    EDIT: To clarify we didn’t need to get a HETAS registered person involved. BC inspected and BC signed off.

    JohnB
    Member

    Thanks for the reply.

    Yes BC guy said he did not have the expertise to sign it off so I (note I and not them) would need to get a HETAS guy out to check it and provide a certificate.

    I though this odd and wrong.

    I will contact my BC.

    mrmonkfinger
    Member

    Pile of cobblers. As is already well covered above.

    Does it not strike you as worrying, that building control are unable to understand their own regulations?

    I’ve had a stove signed off by BC. Relatively straightforward experience for us though. Three visits, no problems on any = certificate in post.

    Premier Icon Richie_B
    Subscriber

    The regs are fairly straightforward (particularly with an exposed flue). I can’t see what their problem could be regarding signing off. They sign off far more complicated elements of construction (Part L relating to conservation of fuel and power springs to mind) every day. The only difference here is that if things screw up here they would have a liability which would be very difficult to duck, which probably explains their reluctance to get involved.

    JohnB
    Member

    He also asked about room vents with a 3kw stove in a 1960’s house and polished floor boards, so it did get me thinking he did not know the regs or he was testing my knowledge.

    Not heard back from them yet about the sign off. I will chase them tomorrow.

    Thanks for the replies.

    i went through this a few years back. for ease as i needed certification i went with a hetas registered company and the installation was so bodged and dengerous it was laughable. the threat of immediate legal action was required to sort it.

    Premier Icon martinhutch
    Subscriber

    The building control officer doesn’t have the expertise to assess works under building regulations? Sounds like he’s in the wrong job…

    If you’ve put it in as a building notice in England and Wales, BC should communicate with you, agree inspections, then assess the finished job and sign it off, or not, as appropriate. Provided you’ve followed Part J to the letter, you should be OK.

    HETAS is all very well, but a lot of HETAS guys are either too busy or unwilling to sign off DIY jobs, it’s just not worth their while. They (and clearly, this BC department), would rather see folk paying thousands for a full install.

    Premier Icon totalshell
    Subscriber

    competant persons ( some anyway) are willing to sign off the work of others. HOWEVER do not expect it to be a box ticking excercise. When i have done it in the past i have taken the manufacturers instructions and checked and confirmed every single one has been met. doing so can take the best part of a day.

    jobsworth? you bet.. i ,m asked to confirm that something is installed correctly so i chack every thing and take nothing as given or as told.

    Premier Icon totalshell
    Subscriber

    competant persons ( some anyway) are willing to sign off the work of others. HOWEVER do not expect it to be a box ticking excercise. When i have done it in the past i have taken the manufacturers instructions and checked and confirmed every single one has been met. doing so can take the best part of a day.

    jobsworth? you bet.. i ,m asked to confirm that something is installed correctly so i chack every thing and take nothing as given or as told.

    JohnB
    Member

    BC contacted me today and have said they will sign it off. Apparently I am the first they have had fitting their own stove in Warwickshire and they researched for two hours finding out the correct procedure.

    They need to witness me doing a type 1 smoke test and I fill in a form detailing the installation as per Appendix in regs.

    So thanks for all your feedback and hopefully soon I will be able to legally fire the stove.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Subscriber

    Does it not strike you as worrying, that building control are unable to understand their own regulations?

    No, that sounds like normal BC to me.
    Anything that is not signed off by someone else, that is not plastic windowed, cavity walled, 2.4 children sized developer box – they come up with every reason under the sun not to sign off in case they have to put their name to it, or make a decision.

    Matt,
    Not normal at all,I’ve had 30years in Building Control 😯 and we’ve always shown people the loopholes in the Regs and help them out.
    But I’ve heard that some BC Officers can be a little pedantic if you annoy them 😉

    Dobbo
    Member

    I did it a few years back and got it signed off. It was a flexible liner and new stove etc. I knew more about it than the BC man that came round as I’d looked in to it fully , I ended up telling him what to look for (i.e. registration plate in stairs cupboard) cost about £20 – £30 to get it signed off. Worth doing if you think you may sell house in next few years. Mine was under 5kw so didn’t need additional vent.

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    I replaced a window with a patio door recently.

    Had to get building control involved as it wasn’t being done by a registered person.

    He came round and inspected after I removed the window (opening width not being changed) and approved the existing lintel.

    Whilst he was here he said ‘you will be putting a damp course under the frame?’ and I showed him the damp proof I had and all was well.

    Phoned up to get him to come and inspect after I’d fitted it and first thing he said was ‘You fitted a cavity closer of course’. Errrm, no ‘cos you didn’t mention it on your first visit.

    Fortunately I hadn’t closed the reveal off inside so I managed to fit one. Bit disappointed, he knew I was an amateur and mentioned one thing he wanted done, why not the other?

    core
    Member

    As much as we’d like to, we can’t hold your hand and run through every element of the job unfortunately, so done of it you have to find out for yourself. A bit hard I know, but it’s your responsibility to comply, not ours.

    Local Authority Building Control departments are being squeezed but on the whole trying their best to provide the best service they can, mostly with declining staff numbers.

    I was on a seminar last week & it’s surprising how many authorities are stuck in the past & very slow to embrace change & new developments. Very surprising that this was the first stove app they’d dealt with, suspect there will be hundreds of non compliant installations on their patch which they should have controlled.

    Flue test/check new, possible air vent, hearth/surround check, C0 detector, job done.

    JohnB
    Member

    Stove now all signed off by BC. All they wanted to see was a type 1 smoke test, which with a new flue liner is easy to pass and carbon monoxide alarm.

    However I did a spillage test, but can tell the flue is pulling well.

    So the stove is now all in and working well.

    It is a Stockton 3 and producing lots of heat.

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