Many of you will have experienced a warranty site inspection or two in your time.
But have you ever wondered what else our surveyors get up to apart from pointing things out on site?
We sent a member from our marketing team out with one of our risk surveyors to report back on a typical day in the life of a surveyor!.......
Safety boots, hat and jacket on! I’m ready for a day in the life of a surveyor.
9am: In the car and heading to the first site of the day.
10am: Arrived on site in Wales. My first question of the day… ‘What do surveyors look for onsite?’ As we walked around the site, up and down ladders and across the different terrain it soon became clear this question wasn’t that simple to answer.
From foundations to roof structure, the surveyor looked carefully at the progress made on site since the last visit.
We soon approached a ‘cavity tray’, something I was familiar with from writing previous blogs.
So, what are the most common things to look out for with cavity trays?
- Ensure they span beyond the width of the opening (door/window)
- Ensure they have stop ends provided at each end and also have weep holes installed
- Ensure they are free from mortar droppings
11am: Now time to fill in a site report to document the points noted on site and ask surveyor Greg why this is an important part of a Warranty Risk Surveyor’s role.
“The site report explains to the site manager what has been found on site and what remedial works (if any) we are requesting. There is then a box for the site manager to sign in order to say that the works have been carried out. It also allows us to be transparent and explain what is needed. The next steps are to send out an electronic report from our internal system which usually goes direct to the client’s office to ensure all those involved are in the loop.”
12pm: Off to site number two. A new development consisting of 22 apartments overlooking the sea! As we climbed up to the top level we came across a large section of wall ties. Incorrect use of cavity wall ties is one of the common problems found when surveying a site. So, what are the most common things to look out for?
- Check they have enough end bearing on each leaf of masonry (62.5mm)
- Ensure they are sloping slightly towards the outer skin (or at least level)
- Make sure there are no excessive mortar droppings on them
- Check they are in diamond pattern and to the correct spacing.
For more information check out our blog on ‘How to use cavity wall ties correctly to meet building regulations every time’.
Building your own home may sound like a dream but it can be difficult if you are not sure what you are letting yourself in for. If you are thinking of embarking on your own project make sure you follow our 6 steps to building your dream home and top tips to consider when buying land.
3pm: We eventually reached our final site of the day which was in phase 3 of the development process and consisted of over 60 new timber framed homes. As we walked through the site I was able to see properties at different stages of the build from foundations right through to a finished home.
A big thing to look out for with timber frame developments is the differential settlement allowance. As the timber frame shrinks it is important that a gap has been left in the brickwork below the windows to prevent any damage occurring.
Fire stopping around window openings and the correct fixing specification of the timber frames are also important things to look out for when dealing with timber frame developments.
For more information head over to our blog on how to deal with timber window and door frames.
5pm: After an exhausting day on site it was time to head home. Boots off and finally feet up!
For further technical guidance on the details outlined in this article why not download a free copy of our Technical Manual.
By Olivia Catterall
Please Note: Every care was taken to ensure the information in this article was correct at the time of publication. Any written guidance provided does not replace the reader’s professional judgement and any construction project should comply with the relevant Building Regulations or applicable technical standards. However, for the most up to date LABC Warranty technical guidance please refer to your Risk Management Surveyor and the latest version of the LABC Warranty technical manual.