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Old 12-13-2012, 02:44 AM   #1
Bonnie151
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Garage Conversion- Getting beyond Silly!

For anyone who has had problems with building works, this is a thread to show that you are not alone!

At the end of May we signed up with a company to have our windows and doors replaced and our garage converted into living space.

The doors and windows were quite straightforward and while there were snags, we expected some minor problems and overall were fine with the job.

The garage conversion has been far more problematic. I won't dwell on the 3 month delay when their architect didn't respond to Building Control's request for further information on the plans. Nor will I dwell on the battle we have had over missed requirements (in the contract but ooops, "missed"), the lack of the agreed skip for the rubbish meaning we had our garage door plus all their rubbish on our front lawn for over a week, the "one" week conversion which is now in its 8th week, the rubbish plastering job, the holes left in the walls around the sockets, the electrical wires not put behind the walls, the custom made door which we waited 6 weeks for but on delivery was not the one we ordered or any of the other many problems we have had.

We're past all of those, having spent 7 weeks fighting to get them sorted (well, the wrong door is still an issue but working on that). Yesterday was the big day where Building Control come out to, knock on wood, sign off on the conversion. Did that happen? Why no! Back at the start of November, Building Control came out to inspect the work, immediately noticed that there were significant deviations form the agreed plan and verbally told the installation manager what updates were needed to the plan. He then followed this up in writing to the architect.

Were the changes made by the architect and signed off by Building Control? Why no! Instead, our installation manager "signed" the architect's signature to the completion certificate request form declaring that the conversion did not deviate from the agreed plans. Enter one very unhappy Building Control officer because we are trying to submit a false declaration to him.

Our installation manager's response was initially that he has no way of controlling what happens between his architect and Building Control and he was unware the architect hadn't responded. He then claimed that he wouldn't expect the architect to update his plans until after Building Control came out to sign off in case there were additional changes to be made - he needs to really think hard about deciding this is response given that what he did in signing this form was an offence which potentially carries a not insignificant fine. Oh, and he has permission to "sign" the architect's "signature" for him so no problems there in his opinion- ignoring the fact that while the architect in general does not have a problem with this action, he was unaware that our installation manager was signing this particular document at this time for him (we immediately phoned the architect after Building Control left to find out what was going on).

So - we're now left with a new room that won't be signed off before Chirstmas as planned, a building company who take no responsibility for the delays and a false declaration to Building Control. They are supposed to be a reputable company but our installtion manager had just joined and is clearly in way over his head.

I swear, I am never having anything ever done to my house again- I'll move first!

Someone tell me a worse building story to make me feel better? Pretty please?
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Old 12-13-2012, 06:24 AM   #2
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You need to start charging them for the time they are taking up in your room and delaying the finish. I hope you are not letting any of this "wrong" stuff slide by and making them fix it to what was agreed upon.
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:22 AM   #3
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Building codes must be stricter in Scotland. A permit would be required in my city, but since it is an existing structure, not new construction, a written description would be all that is needed here, no plans. "Replace existing 20 x 8 foot garage door with wall matching existing exterior and interior materials, extend existing electrical, finish interior with sheetrock."
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:29 AM   #4
Bonnie151
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pyrxtc View Post
You need to start charging them for the time they are taking up in your room and delaying the finish. I hope you are not letting any of this "wrong" stuff slide by and making them fix it to what was agreed upon.

Oh no, they've fixed their mistakes after much arguing so we've not let them get away with any of it. Some of the finish isn't great, but it's superficial and we can live with it. The wrong door will be replaced - they orginally told us we would have to send back the wrong one and wait for the new one which would likely have meant an 8 week weight because of Christmas. We have to have a door in place for Building Control to sign off the room (i.e. it would be Feb before we could use the room!). We've told them that we'll be deducting £100 per day off the final bill for delay beyond this week - no response to that so we'll see how we get on over the next few days.


Quote:
Originally Posted by tvguy View Post
Building codes must be stricter in Scotland. A permit would be required in my city, but since it is an existing structure, not new construction, a written description would be all that is needed here, no plans. "Replace existing 20 x 8 foot garage door with wall matching existing exterior and interior materials, extend existing electrical, finish interior with sheetrock."
Yeah, it's much worse here. We don't need Planning Permission but we do need a Building Warrant. To get that you need to submit detailed drawings plus written descriptions for everything from the door lintel details to the type/thickness of insulation, details of the floor construction, how it's raised to meet the rest of the house, specific changes to electrics etc. Our application is 1 page of drawings and 4 pages of detailed, small type descriptions. It's straightforward enough, but you do need an architect and if Building Control see that you are deviating form the plans you'd better update the plans for approval!
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:39 PM   #5
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We had a 28x40' garage built on our property. All the paperwork was done and the foundation was started. Then the township posted a stop work order. Seems they made a mistake and the garage had to be 3 feet further away from the property line.

My contractor asked if they were going to pay for their mistake. They said no but you can sue us, that's what insurance is for.
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