Let’s start with a story:

I’m extending into my house’s loft space to create an extra few rooms, and make better use of a space that until recently stored Christmas decorations. This is a major piece of work; we’re changing the skyline of our house, and in the UK this kind of thing requires Planning Permission from the Local Authority. Planning Permissions requires submission of forms and drawings to enusre that the building is safe. The submission is also open to public comment, so if anyone has any concerns they can comment and these comment are taken into consideration when the decision is made to allow the build. In our case everything was approved with a few caveats around window placing and using obscuring glass. So far, so good.

Once this has been done, then a further step called Building Control needs to happen during the building process. Well, actually, you have to submit for Building Control a day or two before, but essentially the process runs whilst the works are taking place. This process is to cover that the works match the drawings submitted, and to verify that the building materials/ supporthing joists are correct.

It’s worth pointing out that both Planning and Building Control are not free, in fact they’re not even cheap. This is fair game, because the building inspectors for Building Control should be able to understand the language of the builders and be able to review and inspect the work is of a standard.

Well, this is what is supposed to happen… in our case the building inspectors “visit” involved a FaceTime call. I’m not convinced that this really is an inspection. The builder himself said htat this is far from unusual, and that he has even had inspectros turn up and not climb up to the roof, but just ask some questions, tock the boxes in the form to say “job done” and then talk about the football.

Far from belly-aching, because I am all too familiar with this is how the world works. But it re-enforces something I’ve learnt in IT projects, and that is ‘what gets measured gets done.’