Changes to the Building Control Regulations have been welcomed by Fine Gael. The amendment came into effect on 01 September. Senator for Cork North Central, Colm Burke, said homeowners will however, still have to demonstrate full compliance with building regulations.
Mr Burke said: “While this amendment of the Building Regulations is welcomed, homeowners should still discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using the ‘opt-out’ option with their solicitor. In particular, house owners who are drawing down a home loan on the new development must also make sure that if they opt out of the statutory certification that they are still in compliance with the terms of their loan sanction.”
Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly has decided to remove the mandatory requirement for “statutory certificates of compliance” with building standards to be produced for single unit development or home extensions.
Almost half of all homes built so far this year have been one-off houses.
The regulations, introduced in March of last year by Mr Kelly’s predecessor, Phil Hogan, required builders to have assigned certifiers – registered architects, engineers or building surveyors – inspect building works during construction and certify that a finished building complied with building standards.
Mr Kelly said the inspections system imposed too great a cost burden on builders of single homes and “outlandish” fees were being sought by certifiers. “Nobody who invests in their own home would spend money on substandard work, but people should not have to pay at inflated rates for excessive inspection services,” he said.