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02
Dec

Building Regulation Certification Opt Out for Single one off houses


Starting from Sept 1st 2015, SI No. 365 of 2015 allows a person constructing a one off single house ( Opt Out) to opt out of the Building Control Regulations regarding the full Certification process, introduce(s) d last year , SI No. 9 of 2014, with the intention of protecting homeowners from shoddy work. Nobody going to the major lifetime expense of constructing a house for themselves wants anything to do with shoddy work or poor materials going into the construction of their house. But there is the added expense of the Certification and paperwork process. Generally the opinions, seen in the media, refer to exorbitant fees being claimed for the Certification process required by the Building Regulations and in some cases these rumours could be true. But there is ample anecdotal evidence that if a prospective house builder shops around quite reasonable fees can be negotiated. The legacy in Ireland is that Self Built Houses generally proceed without the oversight of an architect or engineer and generally to their detriment. e.g. Select a plan in one of the various books of house plans and tell the local builder that is what you wanted and he duly proceeded to build the house for you without any apparently spurious ancillary fees. There is still resistance to paying fees for professional oversight of a one off house, in spite it being nigh impossible for a non technical person to supervise the construction of a modern BER compliant house that meets all the requirements of the current Building Regulations. It should be noted carefully that to Opt Out of certification for a One Off house(is) a formal application must be made to the planning authority and will remain as a feature of the house for its life. This is a serious consideration if the house is ever to be placed on the market. It will always be a concern for a lending institution and the legal profession. Insurance companies may also take note of lack of certification when considering the house value. It should also be noted that opting out of certification does not exempt anyone from fully complying with all the Building Regulations and CE marking requirements. Architects generally, and Engineers Ireland, have expressed concern at what they consider a retrograde step in the control of the quality of the housing stock in Ireland. ITWA would concur with these concerns. There may be a vested interested there, but there is very genuine concern about the considerable number of houses that have been built in recent years that fall far short of the current, the last and the previous Building Regulations. This leaves a very poor legacy of housing stock for future generations.