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What can you and can you not build yourself?

 
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From a regulation standpoint with regards to building a house with your own hands?

Say, you wanted to build a natural stone house in the UK & Ireland for example. Is it even ok to build the walls without being qualified? And what about getting house insurance after you've built said walls?

I'm thinking that the authorities wouldn't let you put a gas boiler in for example.

Cheers.
 
pollinator
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Location: Derbyshire, UK
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cat urban chicken
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You can personally build anything as long as you get sign-off afterwards by a 'qualified person'- which would probably be Building Control for the local council for a new build, but for renovations may be a gas-safe certified engineer for a gas appliance, or a HETAS engineer for solid-fuel stove, etc. The person doing the sign-off is taking on significant liability by signing it off, so many are reluctant to sign off things that they haven't done.

For renovations you can claim 'the house was like this when I bought it'- but without the certificates and 'proof' of signed-off change you don't get credit for the changes in things like EPCs (when you go on to sell the house, for example). You still get the actual benefits- just not on paper. You may need to get it all signed off to sell the house (depending on what was changed), or pay indemnity insurance for the buyer.

So long as the building is signed off by Building Control or an appropriate person- the house insurance-company won't care who built it. If you make changes that are not signed off then it can invalidate your insurance if anything were to happen to the house- the insurance company would use any excuse to wriggle out of paying!
 
James Bong
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Charli Wilson wrote:You can personally build anything as long as you get sign-off afterwards by a 'qualified person'- which would probably be Building Control for the local council for a new build, but for renovations may be a gas-safe certified engineer for a gas appliance, or a HETAS engineer for solid-fuel stove, etc. The person doing the sign-off is taking on significant liability by signing it off, so many are reluctant to sign off things that they haven't done.

For renovations you can claim 'the house was like this when I bought it'- but without the certificates and 'proof' of signed-off change you don't get credit for the changes in things like EPCs (when you go on to sell the house, for example). You still get the actual benefits- just not on paper. You may need to get it all signed off to sell the house (depending on what was changed), or pay indemnity insurance for the buyer.

So long as the building is signed off by Building Control or an appropriate person- the house insurance-company won't care who built it. If you make changes that are not signed off then it can invalidate your insurance if anything were to happen to the house- the insurance company would use any excuse to wriggle out of paying!



Cheers Charli,

In the UK is it quite easy to get the stone masonary and all the main structural work signed off then?

Also, with the structural work, do you have to call the qualified person on each stages of the build - such as foundations first etc? How would they know how deep your footings are for example?

Thnx again.
 
Charli Wilson
pollinator
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It is 'easy' in theory, in practice getting someone who is prepared to accept the liability of signing it off can be more challenging!

I've only ever worked on 'standard houses'- we design them according to the 'Approved Documents' (which are like pre-signed-off details) and get sign-off by structural engineers/architects. These designs go to the Planning Inspector- who hopefully approves them and gives us permission to build. Then when Building Control visit our site they're checking we're following the design diagrams. Building Control visit multiple times throughout the build- and we have to pay them for the pleasure each time. As everything basically needs planning permission I would assume most builds would follow a similar process- you'd need to have more details if you didn't use the Approved Documents, or possibly get more 'qualified persons' signoff.

In England: https://www.planningportal.co.uk/info/200128/building_control
 
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