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Topic Title: Looking at renovating a house and avoiding Part P as best as I can
Topic Summary: Any advice? Experience?
Created On: 02 July 2009 02:03 AM
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 02 July 2009 02:03 AM
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apfear

Posts: 72
Joined: 16 November 2002

I am looking at doing so work on a family member's house, some of which will include electrical work, mostly bringing it all up to 17th Ed standard, and just generally making it a safer place. The house has very old "dodgy" wiring in it's present state.

I am aware of the Part P money-printing scheme which requires that I pay some suit each time I perform 'notifiable' work, of which a lot will be. Things like installing a new consumer unit, updating earth bonding, working in kitchens.

I would consider myself more than competent, having a advanced degrees in electronics, being a member of the IET, and genuinely having a very sound understanding of all things electrical, as well as plenty of practical experience.

Is there a way of proving to one of these self-appointed inspectors that I am not an idiot and more than capable of wiring a house up?

I do not wish to have to pay someone each time I decide to make a part of a house better/safer - but equally I am not prepared to pay any money to prop up this Part P nonsense.

This will be a long running project of doing up a house room by room when I have some free time, and I do not need an electrician.

Any advice anyone can give me on the best way to get around all this? Has anyone had any luck proving to building regs you know what you're doing?

Thanks
 02 July 2009 03:12 AM
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ericmark

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I wrote to my MP about the Part P charges which for whole house rewire are OK being £100 plus vat per £2000 worth of work. But for electrical work doing £2000 worth of notifiable work takes some doing.
He tells me the charges are under review and I suppose the more people that complain the more likely we are to get reasonable charges.
As far as I can see the kitchen, bathroom, outside and consumer unit needs Part P notification but not a clue as to how long the job can be done over I also want to change my two consumer units both on their own RCD to a single consumer unit with RCBO's but Part P will double the cost.
So one has to decide if you are going to break the law or not. I think there must be many times I have exceeded the speed limit without realising I had let the speed drift up. But that is different to doing 80 down the motorway as you think you will get away with 10mph over limit. And although I know very unlikely to get caught I still would think twice before breaking the law. On my fathers house when the builder ran off in middle of job and the wet room still needed doing I did the work and informed the LABC who did not charge me because my mother was disabled. And once they realised I had no intention of cutting corners accepted my installation certs without checking on my work. I do have a C&G2391 and 2381/2 and degree in electrical/electronic engineering and my son had all the meters to be able to test which were left on view when inspector arrived so he knew the circuits would be tested.
If I was doing so much I would submit plans for bathroom, kitchen and consumer unit and no more as rest does not need notifying and want to ensure they think work would cost less than £2000. I think you have two years to complete the work but check on that.
 02 July 2009 07:16 AM
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Jaymack

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Originally posted by: apfear
I would consider myself more than competent, having a advanced degrees in electronics, being a member of the IET, and genuinely having a very sound understanding of all things electrical, as well as plenty of practical experience.

A degree doesn't qualify for house bashing although Ohms Law is useful. You require proven knowledge of BS7671, this can be established by passing the Noddy exam. You also require relevant practical experience; and knowledge of the other building regulations, apart from part P.

Is there a way of proving to one of these self-appointed inspectors that I am not an idiot and more than capable of wiring a house up?

See the above again. Who would this self appointed inspector be? - LBA? They should be qualified in the electrical trade and the building regulations; and have proven evidence of this.

I do not wish to have to pay someone each time I decide to make a part of a house better/safer - but equally I am not prepared to pay any money to prop up this Part P
nonsense.

Wouldn't we all Duckie? but there is a system in place requiring compliance otherwise anarchy rules - OK? You would require to notify the LBA in advance of the work, this could include all the work; but would require completion within a set period.

This will be a long running project of doing up a house room by room when I have some free time, and I do not need an electrician.

Your comment may be correct, how would you propose to justify it?

Any advice anyone can give me on the best way to get around all this? Has anyone had any luck proving to building regs you know what you're doing?

Proving that you are competent, is easy.......if you are! The LBA or a representative would determine that - rightly so, for a fee.

Regards

Edited: 02 July 2009 at 07:23 AM by Jaymack
 02 July 2009 07:41 AM
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Jaymack

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Originally posted by: ericmark
I wrote to my MP about the Part P charges which for whole house rewire are OK being £100 plus vat per £2000 worth of work. But for electrical work doing £2000 worth of notifiable work takes some doing.

What would you consider to be a reasonable charge for someone to inspect an installation, for or by the LBA? This cost shouldn't be passed to the rate payer.

What should a HIPS cost?
What should a house surveyor report cost?
What should an MOT certificate cost?
What is the justification for a TV reception license fee?
Why does the BBC hold the license fee distribution?
Ad infinitum

Regards
 02 July 2009 08:05 AM
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normcall

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Just remember that most building/renovation work will need LABC approval.
Heating/lighting/drainage/windows/bathroom/kitchen all are included - it ain't just us. It's just that most of the others don't bother!

-------------------------
Norman
 02 July 2009 08:07 AM
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ebee

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"This will be a long running project of doing up a house room by room when I have some free time, and I do not need an electrician."

Not the most cost effective way to do the wiring anyway

"Any advice anyone can give me on the best way to get around all this? Has anyone had any luck proving to building regs you know what you're doing"

Become a criminal

"I do not wish to have to pay someone each time I decide to make a part of a house better/safer - but equally I am not prepared to pay any money to prop up this Part P nonsense."

Do you have the same attitude with your cars or with gas installations etc?


"Is there a way of proving to one of these self-appointed inspectors that I am not an idiot and more than capable of wiring a house up? "

Pay the fee upfront, do the work and let them do what checks they need to, it`s really simple and if you are as competant as you say it`s not going to be a problem.

I am not aware of what time limit (if any) applies

-------------------------
Regards,
Ebee (M I S P N)

Knotted cables cause Lumpy Lektrik
 02 July 2009 08:26 AM
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John Peckham

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As one of the "self appointed" inspectors" as you have called us I think you need to consult your relatives before commencing work. If the work is done legaly by a person pre-notifying the local authority or being an approved person the owner will get a Building Regulations Completion Notice on satisfactory completion of the works. This is in addition to an EIC or a MWC. This important document will be needed if they sell the premises. Also even if you have paid for insurance for your work you will not be insured as no insurance company will indemnify you for an unlawful act.

You may disagee with Part P but like death and taxes it cannot be avoided. Why not get your family member to pre-notify and pay the local authority fee so you can work legaly and not worry about any consequencies.

-------------------------
John Peckham

http://www.astutetechnicalservices.co.uk/
 02 July 2009 08:49 AM
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ChrisGilbert

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Originally posted by: apfear

This will be a long running project of doing up a house room by room when I have some free time, and I do not need an electrician.


What about the extensive inspection, testing and paperwork? You don't have the test equipment or qualifications/experience.

Your best bet is to find a good local electrician who will charge a small fee to advise you how to DIY and check you at various stages and then do the testing and paperwork for the Part P certification and LABC notification which is mandatory.
 02 July 2009 09:24 AM
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normcall

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One could argue that is what the LABC fee is for!

-------------------------
Norman
 02 July 2009 09:32 AM
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unshockable

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I helped a client rewire his house, bit by bit and had to talk him very sternly into notifying which in the end he was glad of.

My involvement was to come in for a day or two at to complete major stages keeping the electrical installation certificate in order. He lifted all the boards, chased the walls, moved the furniture and connected the sockets; all that remained was to test and connect up the legs.

I drank more tea chatting about what would be done and how, than anything else. Because of the pace of the job, the inspector agreed to two notifications(and fees) to allow 4 visits; this dictated the pace of work and order.

In the course of the job, the inspector left The Power Service (he still had to complete the inspection, not the company), the 16th of BS7671 became the 17th and I got my first grey hair.

I say notify at these prices before they shoot up!

BTW There is earthing and bonding but "earth bonding" is nonsense.

Simon
 02 July 2009 09:34 AM
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apfear

Posts: 72
Joined: 16 November 2002

Thanks for the reply ericmark, perhaps I do need to get a bit more cozy with a build regs chap and see his take on the situation. Whilst I have no C&G to my name, I should be able to demonstrate intelligence. The main thing for me is I don't wish to plan everything out now, I want to drive over, look at something, decide I want to update/replace it, and do it.
 02 July 2009 09:44 AM
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mikejumper

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Originally posted by: apfear

The house has very old "dodgy" wiring in it's present state.

This will be a long running project of doing up a house room by room when I have some free time, and I do not need an electrician.


We'll let's hope the house doesn't catch fire or somebody get electrocuted before you're finished.
 02 July 2009 09:57 AM
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apfear

Posts: 72
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Jaymack you appear to be one of those persons who helps propagate this rubbish. I clearly understand in my present state I am not "qualified" to do this work, else I wouldn't have posted, surely? The rest of your post seems to address your own job insecurities.

ebee I have considered just sticking 2 fingers up the whole thing and becoming "a criminal" - if it were my house I probably would. I would not touch gas piping or appliances myself as that isn't my thing, I would however repair my car, and I'd trust myself with my own and my families life a lot sooner than your average garage mechanic.

Johnpeckham I have every intention on "consulting" the owners of the house. It's a sad state of affairs when you're not able to update your own homes without paying money out to every man and his dog for the privilege. A person should be able to do anything they like to building regs, and building regs should have to prove you're work isn't good enough, not the other way around. This should all be part of the council rates. They have set up a self propagating industry which sounds like you are part of.

ChrisGilbert testing what I do is not a problem. I have access to enough calibrated kit.

unshockable that is something else I will consider, I do have a few 'friend of the family' sparks, whether or not they carried on after this Part P stuff I am not sure, I will have to find out. One of those might be happy to sign off my work.

 02 July 2009 10:02 AM
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zeeper

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THIS maybe useful to you
 02 July 2009 10:08 AM
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apfear

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Hi zeeper. I've already got those to hand. Cheers.
 02 July 2009 11:18 AM
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Jaymack

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Originally posted by: apfear
Jaymack you appear to be one of those persons who helps propagate this rubbish. I clearly understand in my present state I am not "qualified" to do this work, else I wouldn't have posted, surely? The rest of your post seems to address your own job insecurities.

I was one of the opponents of fart P when it was first being muted. Unfortunately it was felt necessary, as a result of experiences with incompetent persons dabbling in domestic wiring.
That being the case, it's now law requiring conformance - whether you, me or the Pope disagrees! Failure to pre-notify the LBA of any work under fart P will result in a fine up to £5000, a criminal record and the probability of the installation being removed at your expense.
A further problem arises when the house is put on the market, e.g. the estate agent will require an answer on "Any electrical alterations in the past few years?" this could lead to serious repercussions, if incorrectly answered.
At least a DI has proven knowledge of the regulations, insurance and the ability to notify fart P requirements at minimal cost. A degree, albeit in a kindred electrical discipline doesn't confirm competence in house bashing!
Why not go for DI, you should be up 'n running in no time.

If you were expecting advice on this forum, in getting around fart P, sad to say ...........Toughies!

Regards

Those who know, know!
Those who don't know, know they don't know!
The suspect one is the one who doesn't know.. .he doesn't know.
 02 July 2009 11:30 AM
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seeker

Posts: 319
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Originally posted by: apfear

I am looking at doing so work on a family member's house, some of which will include electrical work, mostly bringing it all up to 17th Ed standard, and just generally making it a safer place. The house has very old "dodgy" wiring in it's present state.



I am aware of the Part P money-printing scheme which requires that I pay some suit each time I perform 'notifiable' work, of which a lot will be. Things like installing a new consumer unit, updating earth bonding, working in kitchens.



I would consider myself more than competent, having a advanced degrees in electronics, being a member of the IET, and genuinely having a very sound understanding of all things electrical, as well as plenty of practical experience.



Is there a way of proving to one of these self-appointed inspectors that I am not an idiot and more than capable of wiring a house up?



I do not wish to have to pay someone each time I decide to make a part of a house better/safer - but equally I am not prepared to pay any money to prop up this Part P nonsense.



This will be a long running project of doing up a house room by room when I have some free time, and I do not need an electrician.



Any advice anyone can give me on the best way to get around all this? Has anyone had any luck proving to building regs you know what you're doing?



Thanks


I will not get into your level of competence here but do you have a copy of BS7671 available and understand its nuances? Being an electronics boffin does not necessarily mean you are au fait with power distribution circuits. You need to go and have a chat with your LABCO to determine his/her expectations of you.
Have you read the Approved Document thoroughly? If you submit one application for the whole job which admittedly is open ended you only pay one fee. As far as testing and certifying - the all important bit of backside covering for the civil servants - a "qualified person" can do it and need not be a member of said scam. Sections 1.21 to 1.23 on page 11 make this clearer. Work done by "unqualified persons" is clarified in sections 1.24 to 1,26 but as you will see LAs are not allowed to charge you extra fees for testing. When Prescott (spit) was in power his department had to clarify this point to a number of councils.
 02 July 2009 11:42 AM
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apfear

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Originally posted by: Jaymack

I was one of the opponents of fart P when it was first being muted. Unfortunately it was felt necessary, as a result of experiences with incompetent persons dabbling in domestic wiring.


I have no doubt there are some wallies out there that shouldn't change a plug, let alone rewire a house, however there are also some "qualified" electricians I wouldn't let change a plug. At the end of the day all this Part P stuff does is legitimise persons who pay some arbitrary body a load of money. If anything it acts to make things less safe as persons start opting to leave things as they are over making them safer.

That being the case, it's now law requiring conformance - whether you, me or the Pope disagrees! Failure to pre-notify the LBA of any work under fart P will result in a fine up to £5000, a criminal record and the probability of the installation being removed at your expense.


Granted, although there is no criminal element to it, only fines. I'm 100% behind conformance, just not paying for the privilege.

A further problem arises when the house is put on the market, e.g. the estate agent will require an answer on "Any electrical alterations in the past few years?" this could lead to serious repercussions, if incorrectly answered.


Having just bought/sold a house I know from experience you can 'insure' your sale for £77 should the wiring/central heating/whatever be found to be uncertified, against regs, etc. You then just tick the box which says "I do not have certificates" on the HIPs. The HIPs thing is a massive joke anyway, the house we ended up buying was supposedly all in order, and it wasn't. The solicitors got all excited over the most irrelevant points and totally missed some glaringly obvious ones.

At least a DI has proven knowledge of the regulations, insurance and the ability to notify fart P requirements at minimal cost. A degree, albeit in a kindred electrical discipline doesn't confirm competence in house bashing!


I'll happily admit a degree doesn't prove much these days, but it does demonstrate a person understands at the very least the basics of electricity. My degree was more tailored to designing satellites for outer space than wiring a house, though. My confidence to do such work comes from actually knowing a lot about electricity, and being able to read a book - not my degree.

Why not go for DI, you should be up 'n running in no time.


What is this DI acronym? I have no interest in paying lots of money in becoming an electrician to help a family member save a bit (a lot!) of money and avoid wonky sockets and the like.

If you were expecting advice on this forum, in getting around fart P, sad to say ...........Toughies!


I was hoping someone with a similar plight could offer some guidance on what they ended up doing. One already has.
 02 July 2009 11:50 AM
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apfear

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Originally posted by: seeker
I will not get into your level of competence here but do you have a copy of BS7671 available and understand its nuances? Being an electronics boffin does not necessarily mean you are au fait with power distribution circuits.


Hello seeker. I do understand that electronics != power distribution - but both are well within my grasp. I do have a copy of all the regulations and can understand them with relative ease.

I think my plan is to speak to the authorities on a hypothetical basis
and see what they say. Before submiting anything official.
 02 July 2009 11:54 AM
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OMS

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Just pay the money to your LABC and then agree with them what your doing - would you still have these objections if you were building an extension or replacing thermal elements.

What makes you so exempt from the system just because you think you can DIY - there are many in the same position as you who have to play by the rules

OMS

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