Certificate of Structural Adequacy?

certificate of structural adequacy

What is a Certificate of Structural Adequacy?

A Certificate of Structural Adequacy is issued if you have had work completed on your property, typically where you have had subsidence, heave, or landslip. It can also be issued by an independent Chartered Structural Engineer to provide reassurance to the building owner that what has been built, is what was designed.

In the case of subsidence, the certificate of structural adequacy details the causes of the damage, the repair work undertaken and confirms that the work was carried out correctly and that the property is now structurally sound.

Who Usually Issues a Certificate of Structural Adequacy?

Loss adjusters, mortgage providers and insurers normally require the certificate to be issued by a Chartered Member of the Institution of Structural Engineers.

When is a Certificate of Structural Adequacy Issued?

Following completion of any building work and/or structural repairs and (in the case of underpinning) after a period of monitoring.

crack monitoring

Is Building Regulations Approval Required for Structural Repairs eg underpinning aswell?

Yes. If you are carrying out underpinning work, under the Building Regulations it is deemed to be “building work” and would require Building Regulation approval.

Can I Get A Retrospective Certificate of Structural Adequacy?

Yes, but you would need to expose all of the structural elements of the build so that the engineer would be able to see that what has been built is correct (eg. as per the engineers’ design drawings), so the best thing is to have the engineer inspect during the works

Why Do I need a Certificate of Structural Adequacy if I have obtained Building Regulations Approval – Building Control Inspect Don’t They?

Building control only inspect a limited number of parts of the build.

The Chartered structural engineer would inspect at regular intervals to check to make sure that his/her design was implemented correctly. The Certificate of Structural Adequacy closes the loop. It makes sure that the builder has built what he has been paid to build.

Does A Certificate of Structural Adequacy Guarantee the Work?

In effect, the structural work will be guaranteed by the chartered engineers’ professional liability insurance. This insurance covers the design and advice provided and with satisfactory inspections it is clear where responsibility lies.  If the builder hasn’t correctly implemented the design, this devalues the benefit of the insurance.

How much does a Certificate of Structural Adequacy Cost?

They can vary from £195+VAT to £295+VAT .

How Much Does Is Cost To Have a Chartered Structural Engineer Oversee The Build?

Again, this can vary, depending on the complexity of the job and hence the number of visits required to ensure the design is correctly implemented.

A Recent Example

This was a small project in Reading, Berkshire but demonstrates what can go wrong when you trust the builder to follow the approved plans, without any independent checks

  • The client obtained Building regulations approval for their project.
  • The builder built what he thought was correct (didn’t follow the drawings).
  • The client was none the wiser, as they didn’t know how to read the drawings.
  • The builder didn’t call out building control to inspect the works (even though there was a building control application and inspections should have been made).
  • Only after the works were completed did the client realise – he hadn’t received anything from building control.
  • Building control confirmed that they hadn’t inspected at all.
  • The client had photographs of the works being carried out, unfortunately, it was clear that the builder had not built to the approved drawings.

How Did the Client Resolve The Matter?

Sadly, this is not yet resolved.

The builder left site with the clients money and the client is left with a bill to sort out, or live with a structural defect and a potentially devalued property (as conveyancing solicitors would typically warn their clients not to buy a property without the final completion certificate). 

The 3 Key Questions To Ask Yourself before You Start Your Project.

  1. Do you understand what those stages are when building control need to inspect?
  2. How are you making sure that the builder is notifying building control to check the work at the right time?
  3. Are you confident doing that?

Are You Having Building Work Carried Out On Your Home?

Would you like an independent engineer to inspect the works as they proceed?

Please contact us today to see how we can help you.

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