Working with a General Contractor

Working With a General Contractor

Should You Buy a Property with Unauthorised Building Work?

Avery Shaw

If you are always looking around for real estate bargains, you may have come across a distressed seller who has to get rid of a current asset quickly. However, they may face a problem as one or more of the current structures on the site does not have the necessary building approval. Does this rule this option out for you, or can you take steps to get this type of authorisation after the fact?

Retrospective Options

More often than not, if a building or structure has been erected without the necessary permit from the local authority, it will need to be removed. Of course, this can lead to major disruption and unwanted costs, which may materially affect the real estate value. Yet, it is possible to get retrospective approval with certain conditions, especially if the structure has been built according to recognised national standards.

Original Design

The key here is to look at the original documentation and, in particular, drawings from a certified structural engineer. You will also need to commission a separate structural inspection to double-check the standards and confirm that, all else being equal, the structure would have been able to generate the required permit at the time.

Structural Assessment

An inspection like this may throw up some issues, but so long as they are not terminal from a permitting point of view, you may be able to conduct additional structural work to achieve adequacy. Of course, you need to take this into account from a finance and practicality point of view before you proceed.

Building Survey

The council may well require you to get an independent building survey inspection before you go any further. If this specialist likes what they see, they can generate the necessary compliance certificate that will usually be acceptable in your jurisdiction. However, always check with your local authority first, as retrospective approval is not universal. While many councils will allow you to do this, some may place a time limit, which is another thing to be aware of.

Understanding the Process

So, in summary, you will need to talk with three separate entities before you can decide whether to proceed. You should discuss the specific structures with your local government, get a structural engineer report and a separate building survey. Often, a leading building surveyor will be able to coordinate with a third-party structural engineer, which may help you streamline the process. For more insight, contact services that offer building approval services. 


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Working with a General Contractor

By the time you have finished reading this blog, you will have a great idea about the benefits which a team of general contractors can bring to your project. This blog isn't written by experts, but we are big fans of the general contracting sector so we have dedicated a lot of time to learning all we can about the industry. So, if you want to find out more about the types of work which a general contractor can complete on your behalf, read on. We will be looking at building work, repair jobs, and painting and decorating projects. Thanks!