What is a Plan Check?
The Plan Check is one of the first aspects of the checking process with regards to your building project. Ideally it should be done before any works are carried out on site.
Simplistically the process checks the design of the build, calculations and through your project drawings specifications, compares them against the requirements of the Building Regulations, British and European standards and other relevant legislation. During this initial period, the Approved Inspector will liaise with you and ask you to address any design queries. These are often termed as contraventions. Once the plans have passed, they will formally write to you to confirm the “passing of plans”.
If during the works the design is altered or drawings amended this may mean calculations or event reports are then needed. If the works are minor, these could be agreed on site with the Surveyor. A Full Plan Check will be completed if the AI has been instructed to carry out the Building Control function. However, a limited Plan Check is also required if Technical Audits for the Structural Warranty are being carried out.
If we are managing the Building Regulation function for you through the use of one of our Approved Inspectors, a full Plan Check would be required together with other specific warranty requirements, which include guidance notes, British and European Standards.
If you have elected to use the LABC or a BZSS non-partnered Approved Inspector for Building Control a limited Plan Check is undertaken by a BZSS appointed Approved Inspector on behalf of the Warranty provider and will concentrate on sections A, C, H, J, & M of the Building Regulations (relevant sections of Building Standards if your build is in Scotland), together with, but not limited to, other documents including guidance notes, British and European Standards.
Why is a Plan Check Required?
A Plan Check is a fundamental part of the Warranty provision and is a requirement under the Building Regulations. The advantage of undertaking a Plan Check, provided you build in accordance with the approved plans and those plans are a true representation of the site and proposed works, there will be no contraventions of the Building Regulations - meaning ultimately a Completion Certificate can be issued quickly followed by the Warranty Certificate.
If a Plan Check is not carried out and during an inspection works are found to be wrong and do not meet the published plans, a remediation or contravention notice will be issued. It could mean that works may need to be opened up or redone at considerable additional costs.
Plan Check with a Building Notice
A single Plan Check is not carried out at the start of the project but instead information is supplied to the Approved Inspector as the works progress. In essence, a number of small Plan Checks are undertaken as the build progresses.
The disadvantage of the process, is that information needs to be provided well before each stage is reached before the proposals can be checked. If works progress and there are Contraventions or Remediation’s, which need to be addressed, there is the possibility that completed works may need to be taken down and rebuilt at considerable cost