THE COUNCIL VS PRIVATE BUILDING CONTROL
We have been using private building control companies for ALL our clients for the past 17 years now and have not had any problems. Using a private company, you get that extra service. The inspectors come out on site within 24 hours and when they do turn up, they give sound advice and are extremely helpful. We have been using London Building Control now for the past 8 years and they offer an exceptional service. They offer unlimited site visits and are super helpful when giving advice on site. We have a working relationship with the inspectors, and they are used to reading our drawings. LBC are incredibly competitive, and I cannot say anything bad about using them. All our project’s run smoothly when using private company. Using the council however we can highly recommend NOT TO USE THEM! They are a nightmare to deal with. If clients approach us from the beginning and state that they would prefer to use them then we as a company will turn down the project as the council give everyone a hard time.
The council ask for endless changes to the drawings and over the top additional drawings which take weeks to approve. This will incur a further charge on your part as the council drag out the whole process. The engineer then gets involved and further questions need addressing where then the engineer gets stressed out with delay in feedback from the council staff and extremely poor communication as you can never get hold of anyone as they are out of the office or either not at there desk. The inspectors do not hand out their mobile numbers to they are practicably impossible to get hold off and builders walk off site if weeks go by without a site visit being dealt with.
The council tend to go over the top on all projects costing the client £1000’s extra in build costs and this has been demonstrated 5 times last year when only 5 out of 350 clients decided to go with the council and one particular client had to pay an extra £25,000 for pile foundations when the private inspectors confirmed that this was over the top. (It is not a nice experience hearing a client crying on the phone being very distraught about the mistake they have made going with the council)
Please I highly advice you to go with the PRIVATE COMPANYS you have been warned. We want your project to go smoothly and the builder has no say on who to prefer. At the end of the day your builder is going to follow approved drawings and be followed be a professional approved inspector, were the inspector is reachable by mobile phone at 24-hour notice. No short cuts on your project and a final completion certificate being issued when all the works are complete.