Introduction to Building Regs
- What happens if I fail to comply with the Building Regulations?
- If your building work doesn't comply with Building Regulations you may be liable to enforcement notices and fines. If your local authority considers that the building work doesn't comply with Building Regulations, they won't issue you with a completion certificate. Unless work is rectified, any contraventions will appear in local land searches if you sell your property.
- What are the Building Regulations and Building Control?
- The Building Regulations are grouped in to categories A (structure) to P (electrical) and exist to ensure the health, safety, welfare and convenience of people in and around buildings, and the water and energy efficiency of buildings. The main function of Building Control is ensure compliance with Building Regulations.
- How do I get Building Regulations approval
If you use a Local Authority Building Control office there are three types of pre-site application:
- Full plans where drawings and other related information are submitted and a formal decision is given.
- Building notice where minimal information is submitted and no formal decision is given. Work is inspected while in progress and approved on completion.
- Regularisation where retrospective approval is sought for work carried out without Building Regulations approval.
Once work is underway, the Building Control Service will need to make routine site inspections at various stages. Notice should be given to allow Building Control adequate time to inspect the work. If suitable notice isn't given, Building Control may ask for work to be opened up for inspection. Talk to your local Building Control Service for more information about the inspection process.
If you use an Approved Inspector work you should jointly notify your Local Authority that an Approved Inspector is carrying out the building control function.
If you use a tradesman who belongs to a Competent Person Scheme they will self-certify their work and notify Building Control.
- Where can I get Building Regulations approval?
Use one of the following Building Control Bodies (BCB) to get Building Regulations approval:
- Your Local Authority Building Control office. Building Control applications can be submitted to your local authority online via Local Authority Building Control (LABC).
For certain minor works, tradesmen and builders belonging to a Competent Person Scheme can self-certify that their work complies with Building Regulations.
- Approved Inspectors are private sector companies who are approved to carry out the Building Control service instead of your local authority.
- Who is responsible for meeting the requirements of the Building Regulations?
- Whoever carries out the building work should be responsible for ensuring that the work is compliant with the Building Regulations. Responsibility ultimately lies with the building owner though, who may be served a notice if work doesn't comply with the Building Regulations.
- When do I need Building Regulations approval?
Building work as defined in the Building Regulations will normally need approval from a Building Control Body.
Examples of the type of building work requiring approval from a Building Control Body:
- Loft conversions
- Garage conversions
- Cavity wall insulation
For work involving the installation of certain types of services and fittings, tradesmen who are registered with a Competent Person Scheme are able to self-certify their work. This means that you won't need to separately notify a Building Control Body.
The general advice is always to discuss your proposals with a Building Control Body before you start work.
- What is the Party Wall Act 1996?
- The Party Wall Act 1996 is legislation controlling building work that affects a wall, fence or any part of your neighbour's structure. You're not required to consult with neighbours under building regulations, but you may be required to issue a Party Wall Notice. It is advisable to consult with a Party Wall Surveyor before starting any building work.
- Is my personal information safe?
Yes, your information is completely safe. BuilderHelper does not divulge any of your contact details on the site. All communication takes place securely via the built-in messaging feature located in My Jobs, which allows you to choose who you respond to, and who you want to work with.
Unlike other websites that work on a 'lead generation' model, we do not sell your personal information to third parties, so you won't receive any unsolicited emails or phone calls.
- Why can't I include my contact details on the public parts of the website?
- We take your privacy very seriously, and want you to have a safe experience on our site. The last thing we want is for you to post your details on public view and receive unsolicited calls or spam email.
- Can I send you a suggestion for improving the site?
- Certainly. We're constantly updating the site and always looking for new ways to improve our service. Send us a message with your suggestions.
- I've enjoyed using your service. Do you accept testimonials?
Absolutely. We're very happy that you've had a good experience using BuilderHelper. Send us a message with your comments and we'll post them on the site. Please let us know if you're happy for us to publish your name and/or company details along with the testimonial.
- Another user has sent me an abusive message through the site. What can I do about it?
BuilderHelper is a community site that promotes mutual respect and friendly conduct amongst all users. We work hard to ensure that all content posted to the site is appropriate and in keeping with our policies.
Despite our best efforts, BuilderHelper cannot guarantee that the site is entirely free from offensive or inappropriate content. If you happen to be subjected to or encounter such conduct or content, please do not hesitate to contact us. We will do our best to investigate reports of this nature and take appropriate action as necessary.
- Can I upload an image in PDF format to my job?
- BuilderHelper only accepts images in JPEG format. Adobe Acrobat Professional will allow you to save PDF files directly to JPEG format. Alternatively, there are a number of applications available from the web that will convert PDF files to JPEG.
- How do I reset my password?
- Simply click here and enter your email address. We will automatically send you an email containing instructions about how to reset your password.
- Does it cost anything to post a job?
- No, it's completely free for job posters. BuilderHelper works by charging the tradesperson a small fee if they find a job through the site.
- If you charge the tradesman a fee for securing the job I posted, don't I pay for it in the end?
Actually, you are likely to pay less when you hire through BuilderHelper because of two factors:
- Compared to other marketing methods such as newspaper advertisements, directories and lead generation websites, BuilderHelper provides tradespeople with a cheaper wayto find work. Marketing expenses and other fixed costs will always be built into a quote. However, because we offer tradespeople a more efficient way of getting new clients, they can actually lower the price of their services.
- In addition, our tendering process helps to encourage very competitive quotes, saving an additional bundle compared to traditional ways of finding and hiring tradespeople.
Hire a tradesperson
- My job listing has ended. Can I still hire a tradesman?
Yes - if your listing has ended, don't worry - you can still interact with and hire tradesmen who have expressed interest in your job.
If you need more tradesmen, you can search for tradesmen and invite them to quote.
- A tradesman has asked me to work outside the site - is this allowed?
- Certain tradesmen may offer a small discount against your final invoice in order to avoid paying the Success Fee to BuilderHelper. While this might sound like a good idea at the time, remember that you are unable to leave feedback for the tradesman once the job has been completed. If your job or project goes wrong for any reason, you have lost the ability to hold the tradesman accountable for the work they have carried out and to tell other members of the Community about your experience.
- Is there a minimum quote value?
- The minimum quote value that can be entered for a job on BuilderHelper is 30 pounds.
- I accidentally accepted a quote on the site, how do I reverse it?
- This is something that we do from our end. Simply contact us and we will change it for you.
- If I post a job, am I obliged to choose any of the tradespeople on the site?
- Of course not. Who you hire is totally up to you. We are here to help, and we want to help you find the best tradesperson for your job. If you decide to cancel your job or hire a tradesperson through another source, you can simply remove your listing from the site.
- I've clicked the "Hire" button. Do I need to inform the other tradespeople who expressed interest?
- No. We will politely inform other interested tradespeople that someone else has been hired.
- Do you have any advice on how to hire a tradesperson?
- You might think that finding the best tradesperson for your project will be a challenging process. Which quote should I choose? How can I be sure they'll do a good job? Our article entitled Advice on hiring a builder will help you make the right hiring decision and ensure the project is completed to your satisfaction.
- Why can't I apply for jobs in my area that match my skills & trades?
- You will be unable to quote on a job if the system finds enough tradesmen whose combined skills and location are more closely matched to a job than yours. You may still receive a lead if a job has not received sufficient interest a day or two after being posted. Customers may also search the entire list of tradesmen and invite you to quote.
Background checks and qualifications
- What does it mean when I see a comment on a tradesperson's profile that says "This user has been temporarily restricted"?
We have two different types of restriction:
This user has been temporarily restricted: a user's account has been flagged for administrative reasons. The restriction will be removed if and when that user updates their account.
This user has been permanently restricted: We have completely removed that user from the site. You will not be able to hire and leave feedback for a user who has been permanently restricted.
If you have any concerns about a tradesperson whose account has been temporarily restricted, feel free to contact them directly and ask for more information.
- How can I be sure that the tradespeople are qualified and insured?
Tradespeople provide you with information about themselves and their business through their profile. Many tradespeople post photos from work they've done previously and have feedback from jobs won through BuilderHelper. A tradesperson with valid qualifications, accreditations, memberships and insurance will have evidence of this and should be able to provide you with proof. Please note that you will need to verify any information provided by a tradesperson prior to hiring.
Do bear in mind that, whereas formal qualifications can play a part in the hiring decision, other important factors such as BuilderHelper feedback, client references, workmanship guarantees and years of experience should also be taken in to consideration when making your final decision.
- Do you perform any background checks on tradespeople prior to them joining BuilderHelper?
- BuilderHelper is an online marketplace that brings together consumers, builders and tradespeople. We are not an agency and we don't personally endorse tradespeople who use BuilderHelper. The accountability that we offer is our feedback system. Feedback is a major determining factor for tradespeople getting work through BuilderHelper, and they take it very seriously.
- Why has my feedback been removed?
We take our feedback system very seriously and strive to ensure that every piece of feedback on our site is:
- An honest and objective appraisal of actual work carried out
- Impartial and unbiased
- Posted by a genuine user
- Posted by someone previously unknown to the builder
All feedback comments undergo stringent technical and manual checks.
If feedback does not pass our checks to a standard that we can be confident about its authenticity, we remove it from the site.
- I hired a builder through the site and I've been let down, what can I do?
In the first instance we recommend that you discuss any problems with the tradesperson directly and try to work out a solution that suits both parties. Most tradespeople want customers to be happy with their work and will be keen to resolve any issues amicably and to their customer's satisfaction.
If you are unable to reach an agreement and still feel that work hasn't been completed to your satisfaction, we recommend that you leave feedback. The ability to leave a comment on the tradesperson's profile creates a level of accountability that wouldn't otherwise exist.
Please note that tradespeople have the right to reply to any neutral or negative feedback posted to the site. Responses to neutral or negative feedback are posted directly beneath the original feedback and cannot be edited or removed once posted.
More information about dealing with disputes
You might also wish to contact either your local Trading Standards office or Consumer Direct for help and advice.
Consumer Direct is a telephone and online consumer advice service, supported by the Office of Fair Trading. They provide practical and impartial advice to help consumers resolve problems and disagreements they may be having with suppliers of goods or services.
Tel: 08454 04 05 06
Unfortunately MyBuilder cannot get involved directly with disputes.
- Can I edit my feedback once it's been posted?
- No. Once feedback has been posted to the site, it cannot be edited or removed. This is to prevent fraudulent changes, to prevent feedback blackmail and to avoid any possible confusion and loss of confidence from other users who would see feedback comments change unexpectedly.
- How can I be certain that feedback on the site is genuine?
We check all feedback obsessively. Feedback can only be left once a tradesman has been hired through the site and a transaction has taken place. All feedback comments undergo stringent technical and manual checks.
Suspicious feedback is flagged and investigated thoroughly by our team. Those who try to play the system are permanently removed from BuilderHelper.
- How does the feedback system work?
Feedback has two important elements: the past and the future. Before you decide which tradesperson to hire, you can look at past feedback to check them out. After you hire someone and the work is finished, you add to that feedback. This system rewards excellent service and punishes bad work. Your feedback closes the loop and give the next customer valuable information about that tradesperson.
A tradesperson hired through BuilderHelper has a strong incentive to do their absolute best because they are held accountable for any work done for you. Hiring someone through BuilderHelper is safer for this reason. Do not engage anyone who suggests that you bypass the site. An honest tradesperson who intends to do good work will want your feedback.
BuilderHelper feedback is transactional, which means that only people who have actually hired that person can leave feedback on their profile. We work very hard to ensure that all feedback is genuine, which helps everyone using BuilderHelper.
- What is feedback?
- Feedback is at the heart of the BuilderHelper community. Quite simply, feedback is an evaluation of work carried out. Job posters can read previous feedback comments on each tradesperson's profile, before they hire. More importantly, Job posters can add to a tradesperson's reputation and bring accountability to their project by posting feedback when the job is done.
- A tradesman has failed to make an appointment. What can I do?
We're sorry if you've been let down. We request that all tradesmen contact customers in advance if they are unable to meet an appointment. Please provide us with the name of the tradesmen in question, we will contact them directly and issue them with a warning. If a similar incident is reported action may be taken if we believe that the tradesman has not acted in the best interests of our community.
We would suggest that you focus on other tradesmen in your list and make alternative arrangements. Please note that you can completely remove a tradesman from your list by clicking the "Remove" button on their profile - this action will inform them that you will be hiring someone else for your job.
- I've found a builder through the site and I want to leave feedback. How do I do this?
Great! Simply log in to your account and find the tradesperson that you used in your list. You won't be able to post feedback until you have hired a tradesperson through the site, so if you haven't done so already, click the Hire button on their profile and submit the agreed details.
Once you have hired a tradesperson, you will then be able to post feedback by clicking the Leave Feedback button. Feedback should only be left after the job is finished.
Post a Job
- How can I request a quote from a specific tradesperson?
The first step is to use our Request Quote feature which can be found on every tradesperson's profile. We will send the tradesperson an email and they should then get in touch with you. After that you can communicate securely and privately through our built-in messaging facility.
Please note that we don't object to personal contact details being exchanged, as we appreciate you may need to discuss your project outside of BuilderHelper.
- What happens after I've posted my job?
We manually approve all jobs before they are posted to the site. Once your job has been approved you will be notified by email, and tradespeople who are interested will start sending you messages and quotes through the site.
While waiting for your job to be approved, you can search for tradespeople and invite them to quote on your job. Once your job is live, MyBuilder will automatically send an email to those tradespeople asking them to look at your job.
Don't forget you can easily edit your job description at any time by using the Update My Job tab
- How do I post my job?
Click here or visit Post a Job at the top of any page on the site. Describe your project in as much detail as possible. The better your description, the more interest you're likely to generate from tradespeople. You can also upload images such as photographs, plans or ideas to help tradespeople better understand your requirements. Try to include the following information:
- Dimensions (exact or approximate)
- When you would like the work to start
- Preferred materials
- Specific skills required
Please don't put any contact details or sensitive information in your job title or description as anyone using the site can view this section.
- How do I re-open a closed or cancelled job?
- This is something we do from our end - please contact us and we'll be happy to action your request.
- How do I remove my job listing from the site?
If you haven't found anyone suitable through the site, you can easily remove your job listing. Simply log in to your account, select your job and click Cancel My Job to remove your listing.
If you've found a tradesman for your job it's very important that you indicate whom you've hired by clicking the Hire button on the tradesman's profile.