Bought new house, extension has no foundation

Discussion in 'Sites, planning, self-builds and extensions' started by Nick_P, 12 Apr 2019.

  1. Nick_P

    Nick_P Registered User

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    Hi all,

    First post and its a big one and Im unsure of how it plays and and what course of action to take.

    We bought a house in Dec which had a first floor extension over a garage.

    We have started work to now convert the garage into a bedroom and low and behold, builder has discovered that there is no foundation under the extension.

    Now we checked paperwork before signing for house as did solicitor (planning permission approved, compliance with building reg etc - only doubt i had was last piece was done 10 years after the build).

    I am meeting with architect and building on Monday to see how to proceed but would appreciate any advice before this, what options I have and how it might play out?

    Thanks in advance guys,

    Nick
     
  2. noproblem

    noproblem Frequent Poster

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    When you say there's no foundation under the extension i'm assuming you mean the garage?
     
  3. Nick_P

    Nick_P Registered User

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    Hi Noproble, yes thats correct
     
  4. noproblem

    noproblem Frequent Poster

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    There's a possibility the foundation could be what's called a strip foundation
     
  5. Nick_P

    Nick_P Registered User

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    thanks - I have builder, my architect coming out Monday to review. If the view is there is a breach of building regs, what are my options? Sue issuer of the Opinion of Compliance?
     
  6. Saavy99

    Saavy99 Frequent Poster

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    Whattt??? You won't have leg to stand in, Oppinion of Compliance is just that, an opinion, so full of Caveats, it would be like taking Donald Duck to task. You need a cert of compliance to sue anyone.
     
  7. Nick_P

    Nick_P Registered User

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    ah dont say that, so whats the point of it, if its not to ensure legal compliance?
     
    Saavy99 likes this.
  8. Jim2007

    Jim2007 Frequent Poster

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    The hint is in the word ‘Opinion’.... It means that someone with experience might spot something obvious, better than nothing but not a lot.
     
  9. Nick_P

    Nick_P Registered User

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    so zero legal pushback then? What are my building options, Ive heard of underpinning?
     
  10. noproblem

    noproblem Frequent Poster

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    Like a good lad, wait until you're certain of what's wrong, or not.
     
  11. DeeKie

    DeeKie Frequent Poster

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    Did you get a survey
     
  12. Leo

    Leo Moderator

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    Guessing you mean slab?
     
  13. Leo

    Leo Moderator

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    And that 10 years is the issue here. As pointed out above, the cert you received was an opinion on compliance. There's a big difference between that an a certificate issued on completion of works that is it compliant with the planning granted and the building regs of the day.

    Talk to your solicitor, is there any recourse against the person who signed-off on that cert where they didn't check on this?

    As for building options, underpinning is expensive. Weigh the costs of that against knocking and re-building the garage section. At least with knocking it you get to add insulation underneath and to the walls to modern standards.
     
  14. Leo

    Leo Moderator

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    A survey won't pick up issues like this. Assessing a foundation would require digging around the walls, and they don't do that.
     
  15. Nick_P

    Nick_P Registered User

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    How much is underpinning ballpark? On the rebuilding garage, there is a bedroom and bathroom above it so is that doable?
     
  16. AlbacoreA

    AlbacoreA Frequent Poster

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    How old is the extension above it. I assume a while and there's no sign of any movement yet.
     
  17. Nick_P

    Nick_P Registered User

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    12 years and no visual indication of inadequate/no foundation.
     
  18. AlbacoreA

    AlbacoreA Frequent Poster

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    That doesn't help you with compliance going forward. But it may influence the architect and builders approach.
     
  19. noproblem

    noproblem Frequent Poster

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    No, I would have written slab if that was the case.
     
  20. Leo

    Leo Moderator

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    Fair enough, just not sure why you'd call out strip foundations then when that is the norm. Not exactly possible for a builder to miss a strip foundation.