Make Sure You Understand New Building Regulations

Make Sure You Understand New Building Regulations

Changes that will be introduced to the domestic construction sector next month could impact on homeowners who are looking to sell their property. It's vital that you understand exactly what the changes involve so that you can ensure you choose a contractor who complies with the regulations. Otherwise you could run into difficulties when you want to sell.

The Construction Design and Management (CDM) regulations will come into effect in April, and they could have an impact on homeowners if the building work on their property doesn't comply. The changes will affect a large amount of building work that takes place on properties, from full-scale renovations through to balcony design and installation.

What Do the CDM Regulations Involve?

This new legislation has been designed to reduce the number of accidents on construction sites. There will also be new requirements for safety standards on sites. In the past, there was a large amount of focus on big developments, but it is often on the smaller sites where most of the accidents occur. Health and Safety Executive (HSE) data highlights that safety is not always a key consideration for homeowners when they are choosing a contractor, whether this is to build an extension or to carry out a balcony design.

The new regulations will ensure that all elements involved in a building project work together to create a safe environment. These include architects, builders and engineers, alongside the property owner. Everyone that has an interest in the project will have some degree of responsibility for ensuring that the work is carried out correctly and safely.

Builder Requirements

After the 6th of April, any builder who is involved in domestic construction will have to put together a construction phase safety document at the start of a project. If there are several contractors working on a site, you'll need to instruct a principal contractor. You'll also require a principal designer when there are a number of contractors involved. He or she will be in charge of organising all the health and safety elements. The principal contractor will take responsibility for ensuring the site operates safely and provide the principal designer with information relevant for the health and safety file.

At the end of most building work, a health and safety document will need to be produced. If you fail to have this, any future sale could run into difficulties. The health and safety file will be necessary if there have been two or more contractors involved in a project. This will need to be shown to conveyancing solicitors if you're buying or selling a property.

A failure to comply with the legislation which leads to injuries or fatalities could result in imprisonment and an unlimited fine.

With these changes to regulations, homeowners can no longer sit back and hope someone else takes responsibility for health and safety. You should ensure that you act responsibly whenever you instruct contractors and choose a builder who works safely and complies fully with the legislation. This will mean that you have done everything in your power to prevent accidents.