Warranty Inspections and processes FAQs

Site inspections are an essential part of the structural warranty process. We provide the answers to our frequently asked questions about our risk management inspections.

What are site inspections?

Site inspections are where our surveyors will come out to your site to ensure the technical standards outlined in our technical manual have been met. Inspections will consist of an initial assessment of the site, stage inspections and a final inspection. Further inspections may also be necessary for parts of the build with a high level of risk such as basements and roofs.

Why are site inspections necessary?

The purpose of our risk management and site inspection process is to assist you in completing your development in accordance with our technical manual. We will work closely with your local authority building control to resolve any problems as quickly as possible to avoid unnecessary delays to your build.

Site inspections are required by our insurers at various stages of the build and areas of particularly high risk to ensure that they are satisfied to provide a structural warranty upon completion.

Who comes out to my site?

Every site covered by our schemes is assigned a surveyor, who is responsible for undertaking the Technical Audit process on site. Your Surveyor will contact you within 5 working days of your order being placed to arrange a site meeting. This initial meeting will include a project review which will give you the opportunity to discuss your development with your surveyor and for them to highlight any areas where additional information may be required. You will then be issued with a site record folder which will be updated during each visit.

What do I do if I need an inspection straight away?

If you need an inspection immediately, please contact our team on 0845 054 0505. We usually require 48 hours’ notice for an inspection.

Please note, it is essential that we see your foundation excavations before the first pour of concrete and in the case of a refurbishment of conversion that we are able to see the existing building before any areas are covered up with new works.

What information do I need to provide?

For all sites we will require a Soil Investigation Report, a full set of plans and any foundation design and calculation documents.

We also require details of the plot numbers you are using on your development (if applicable) to allow us to issue documentation and site reports. This information is required as soon as possible and Royal Mail postal addresses will also be required at a later date.

What is an Initial Assessment?

If this is your first development with us, we will undertake an Initial Assessment. This does not apply for Self-Build, Completed Housing or Commercial schemes.
An initial assessment of your site will be made based on the following criteria as a rough guide:

• Ground conditions

• Site exposure

• Complexity of the design specification

• Professional input

This plan check enables the surveyor to judge the likelihood of any problems arising as the building work progresses. The assessment is adjusted accordingly during construction to reflect the standards being adhered to.

If the development includes the refurbishment or conversion of an existing building, we will aim to coordinate with our Technical Services Department a joint inspection to undertake the Refurbishment Assessment (RA).

At what stages will site inspections take place?

There is no one size fits all approach to site inspections but as a guide our surveyors will carry out site inspections at the following construction stages:

• Foundations excavations (or prior to concreting ground beams on piled sites)

• Ground floor

• Chamber joist

• Roof structure

• First fix (or pre-plaster)

• Pre-handover

What standards do I need to work to?

You will be supplied with a copy of our Technical Manual once you register with us, which provides all of the functional requirements for your build. Whilst our Technical Manual provides comprehensive guidance on meeting the necessary standards we recognise that we cannot cover every construction option in a single document. So, if you have an alternative method you would like to use on your build call us on 0845 054 0505 and we would be happy to discuss the solution and work with you to ensure the necessary standards are met.

You can also access an electronic version of the Technical Manual and dedicated technical blog articles on our website.

What are the areas with a high level of risk?

This will vary depending on the project but the following areas are usually associated with a high level of risk:

• Basement construction and waterproofing

• Roof covering

• Waterproof envelope

Will there be more inspections for apartment blocks?

Yes, for apartment blocks our inspection regime would also take into account the following:

• More complex foundations

• Basements

• Cladding

• Fire stopping

• Other construction areas as identified by the surveyor

Are there any differences for conversions and refurbishments?

For conversions and refurbishments the inspection regime will be considered on an individual basis considering the following:

• Recommendations of the Refurbishment Assessment

• Complexity of the scheme

• Extent of the works

How will I know what actions are required at each stage?

Your surveyor will explain to you when they visit your site what actions will need to be taken and fill out the relevant section of your site record folder. You will also receive a site inspection report electronically each time an inspection is carried out.

When will I receive my certificate of insurance?

Your certificate of insurance will be issued once we are satisfied you have fulfilled all conditions applied to your development and your site has achieved final sign-off by our dedicated team of inspectors. You will also need to ensure that all documentation and payments have been received by LABC Warranty and a logic test has been completed.

Once this criteria has been met our customer service team will issue a copy of your certificate of insurance.

What conditions need to be fulfilled?

This will vary depending upon your development but the conditions you will need to meet before your certificate can be issued could include:

• Have you paid your insurance premium and other fees?

• Has Developer or Builder Registration been completed (or both) if applicable?

• Have you provided us with postal address(es)?

• Have you provided funds for any required escrows?

• Have you provided details of sale prices?

How do I achieve final sign-off?

In order to satisfactorily sign off each unit we need to firstly ensure all issues relating to the warranty audit have been satisfactorily closed e.g. outstanding design information or remedial measures on site, and be satisfied that the requirements of the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) ‘logic test’ have been met.

Your Surveyor may coordinate with our dedicated team of inspectors who specialise in final sign-offs to ensure every unit on your development has been signed off.

What is involved in a logic test?

The purpose of the logic test is to ensure the home is safe for sale or rent. Any outstanding information, defective design or non-compliance with standards on site will be classified as either critical or non-critical using the following flow diagram. If an answer to any of the standard questions is yes the item will be classified as critical and confirmation of a final inspection will be withheld until the issue has been resolved. However if the answer is no the item will be classified as non-critical and confirmation will be provided to the builder/developer who is then responsible for addressing the issue.

What documentation needs to be submitted?

In most cases, we will require some or all of the following documentation and information to complete the test:

• Electrical test certificate

• Gas safe certificate
• Air pressure test certificate

• Sound test certificate or Robust Standard Details compliance certificate

• Ventilation commissioning certificate if whole house ventilation is fitted

• Third party warranty certificates for timber treatment, damp treatment, and tanking systems if the project has any existing elements

• Building Control final certificate

• Any other site specific requirements previously noted by the Surveyor

If you are providing these documents electronically, please send them to enquiries@labcwarranty.co.uk. Hard copy documents should be sent to our head office address.

Do you issue Cover Notes on site?

Yes, we can issue Cover Notes on site if required. However we have developed our processes so a Cover Note would not be required as long as all the information has been provided. We will issue the Certificate of Insurance if all conditions have been met which will confirm cover is in place meaning a Cover Note would not be required.