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    • Jassa
    • By Jassa 9th Oct 17, 10:16 AM
    • 355Posts
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    Jassa
    Week to completion and steps and handrail appear on our new house
    • #1
    • 9th Oct 17, 10:16 AM
    Week to completion and steps and handrail appear on our new house 9th Oct 17 at 10:16 AM
    Long time lurker - picked up loads of good advice from you guys here. Think this is a 'suck it up' situation; a week to go to completion on our new build house and we went to have a look from the safety fence yesterday only to find a flight of steps and handrail to the front door. Not there last week, no communication about it from the developer, nothing on any documentation or plans. Obviously some issue about pavement level and front door level. So disappointed as it isn't pretty! Advice?? Thank you.
    Last edited by Jassa; 09-10-2017 at 10:17 AM. Reason: Line space
    I could give up chocolate, but I'm no quitter!
    Shoe love is true love
    Debt-free 21/12/09 and determined to stay that way - still DF 09/10/17
Page 1
    • hazyjo
    • By hazyjo 9th Oct 17, 10:22 AM
    • 9,624 Posts
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    hazyjo
    • #2
    • 9th Oct 17, 10:22 AM
    • #2
    • 9th Oct 17, 10:22 AM
    Were you expecting steps at least? How were you expecting to reach the front door without them? Ring them to see if the handrail can be removed if that's what you're objecting to.
    2017 wins: Opera tickets; film preview; lipstick; Ideal Home Show tickets + afternoon tea & bottle of Champagne; 2 cases of NKD; notebook; bath rack; books; film Premiere; Broadchurch DVDs; lipbalms; hamper (food/wine/Echo Dot/Jo Malone goodies); Avon lippies; cowhide rug; Windsor luxury break, foundation; Flybe flight
    • Mutton Geoff
    • By Mutton Geoff 9th Oct 17, 10:26 AM
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    Mutton Geoff
    • #3
    • 9th Oct 17, 10:26 AM
    • #3
    • 9th Oct 17, 10:26 AM
    Must have a flight of 3 steps or more I guess. Building regs part M insist on a rail for this. It won't pass building control without but you could always take it down after you move in.
    Compensations/Refunds from Banks & Institutions - £4,165 | Stooz Profits - £7,636 | Quidco - £3,963

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    • Jassa
    • By Jassa 9th Oct 17, 10:42 AM
    • 355 Posts
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    Jassa
    • #4
    • 9th Oct 17, 10:42 AM
    • #4
    • 9th Oct 17, 10:42 AM
    Thank you for replying. No mention of steps and handrail in any documentation or artist's impression, etc. Yes, 3 steps and Building Regs apply for a handrail, so not able to take it down. Preparing for a row but don't think there is anything we can do.
    I could give up chocolate, but I'm no quitter!
    Shoe love is true love
    Debt-free 21/12/09 and determined to stay that way - still DF 09/10/17
    • HWG
    • By HWG 9th Oct 17, 10:53 AM
    • 33 Posts
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    HWG
    • #5
    • 9th Oct 17, 10:53 AM
    • #5
    • 9th Oct 17, 10:53 AM
    I'd just hire a handyman to remove the handrail after you move in.
    • comeandgo
    • By comeandgo 9th Oct 17, 11:10 AM
    • 1,838 Posts
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    comeandgo
    • #6
    • 9th Oct 17, 11:10 AM
    • #6
    • 9th Oct 17, 11:10 AM
    Should you not have a ramp too? Once you are in the house, you can get rid of it. It needs to be there to pass the building inspection.
    • societys child
    • By societys child 9th Oct 17, 12:03 PM
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    societys child
    • #7
    • 9th Oct 17, 12:03 PM
    • #7
    • 9th Oct 17, 12:03 PM
    So disappointed as it isn't pretty! Advice??
    Did you take a photo?

    • Jassa
    • By Jassa 9th Oct 17, 12:36 PM
    • 355 Posts
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    Jassa
    • #8
    • 9th Oct 17, 12:36 PM
    • #8
    • 9th Oct 17, 12:36 PM
    No, was too surprised to think about it! We can't get close up because of safety fencing. We've got the 'walk through' with the developer on Thursday so that should be an interesting meeting. I guess I'm cross because they didn't contact us about the problem and they are one of those developers that load the covenants with permission fees if we should do anything to the outside even though it is freehold! Taking on board what others have suggested about taking the handrail down.
    I could give up chocolate, but I'm no quitter!
    Shoe love is true love
    Debt-free 21/12/09 and determined to stay that way - still DF 09/10/17
    • EachPenny
    • By EachPenny 9th Oct 17, 1:30 PM
    • 2,425 Posts
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    EachPenny
    • #9
    • 9th Oct 17, 1:30 PM
    • #9
    • 9th Oct 17, 1:30 PM
    Should you not have a ramp too? Once you are in the house, you can get rid of it. It needs to be there to pass the building inspection.
    Originally posted by comeandgo
    No, was too surprised to think about it! We can't get close up because of safety fencing. We've got the 'walk through' with the developer on Thursday so that should be an interesting meeting.
    Originally posted by Jassa
    It is fortunate then that you don't have a friend/relative who is a wheelchair user and will be visiting regularly. Or have you?

    I find it amazing that a developer can still sell a product (a house) which is not accessible, yet billions of pounds of taxpayers money is being spent buying new accessible trains and buses, and access has to be designed in to many other types of new building.
    "In the future, everyone will be rich for 15 minutes"
    • aneary
    • By aneary 9th Oct 17, 1:38 PM
    • 608 Posts
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    aneary
    I find it amazing that a developer can still sell a product (a house) which is not accessible, yet billions of pounds of taxpayers money is being spent buying new accessible trains and buses, and access has to be designed in to many other types of new building.
    Originally posted by EachPenny
    Because the developer is selling to an individual (or family) and is a private dwelling but trains and buses are used by the public at large.
    • chappers
    • By chappers 9th Oct 17, 2:02 PM
    • 2,682 Posts
    • 1,520 Thanks
    chappers
    Because the developer is selling to an individual (or family) and is a private dwelling but trains and buses are used by the public at large.
    Originally posted by aneary
    Not true, new development must comply with part M of the building regs. Part M does allow for stepped access in certain circumstances, where level or ramped access is not practical, there are rules governing the layout of these steps and the length and width of the fights.

    I would seriously be asking why there are now steps to your front door that weren't part of the original plan, maybe ask them how your wheelchair bound mother is now going to get into the house and see what there response is.
    • HouseBuyer77
    • By HouseBuyer77 9th Oct 17, 2:17 PM
    • 891 Posts
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    HouseBuyer77
    What were you expecting instead? If the house and the road/pavement are not on the same level something needs to be there.

    Were you simply unaware the house was on a different level to the road? I suspect this is a 'suck it up' situation and a good reminder of why it's important to view the actual plot you're buying when getting a new build rather than looking at the show home and otherwise going off plans.
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 9th Oct 17, 2:52 PM
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    lincroft1710
    I presume a house like this would be a instant no no

    https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@52.6539104,-0.4878333,3a,75y,90t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1stJuFhNs7EXPlDu_irZDH2Q!2e0!7i1 3312!8i6656
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 9th Oct 17, 2:56 PM
    • 13,645 Posts
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    I'd be having a go at the developer in your position as to why they had done a "disability friendly" house - rather than the normal house I'd bought - and insisting the "disabled" adaptations be removed. Yep...in my 60s now - but I'd still be insisting that they be removed pronto.

    A new-build house is a different kettle of fish to an existing house.

    Personally - I'd have been prepared to buy an existing house that already had these adaptations and have them ripped out within the first week.

    But I would not expect it from a new-build house.
    #MeToo
    • chappers
    • By chappers 9th Oct 17, 3:03 PM
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    chappers
    But they're not disabled adaptations, quite the opposite.
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 9th Oct 17, 3:09 PM
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    lincroft1710
    I'd be having a go at the developer in your position as to why they had done a "disability friendly" house - rather than the normal house I'd bought - and insisting the "disabled" adaptations be removed. Yep...in my 60s now - but I'd still be insisting that they be removed pronto.
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    I don't think 3 steps and a handrail is "disability friendly". Presumably the steps are there as the door is well above ground level, not so that the builder can practise their bricklaying skills.
    • teddysmum
    • By teddysmum 9th Oct 17, 3:12 PM
    • 8,350 Posts
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    teddysmum
    I'd be having a go at the developer in your position as to why they had done a "disability friendly" house - rather than the normal house I'd bought - and insisting the "disabled" adaptations be removed. Yep...in my 60s now - but I'd still be insisting that they be removed pronto.

    A new-build house is a different kettle of fish to an existing house.

    Personally - I'd have been prepared to buy an existing house that already had these adaptations and have them ripped out within the first week.

    But I would not expect it from a new-build house.
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    The house is not disability friendly ,as any staircase of steps requires a rail (my son's council house has one and a good idea for the children ,as the youngest is not yet four and the drop quite high).


    A disabled person ,not necessarily in a wheelchair (most houses are not wheelchair friendly because of a doorstep),could well have problems with multiple steps as would a mum with a pushchair and possibly more than one child.


    Is there an alternative plot to be offered as a difference between ground level and house interior would not be obvious to the average person, as newbuilds often have gaps (eg for drainage pipes or cables) to be filled in before they are ready to live in.
    • chappers
    • By chappers 9th Oct 17, 3:16 PM
    • 2,682 Posts
    • 1,520 Thanks
    chappers
    What were you expecting instead? If the house and the road/pavement are not on the same level something needs to be there.

    Were you simply unaware the house was on a different level to the road? I suspect this is a 'suck it up' situation and a good reminder of why it's important to view the actual plot you're buying when getting a new build rather than looking at the show home and otherwise going off plans.
    Originally posted by HouseBuyer77
    Lots of houses are on different levels to the road, that doesn't mean they have to be accessed by flights of stairs.
    Yes by all means look at the plot, but the plans are the only actual way to tell the layout and finish of an off-plan purchase. the clue is in the name.
    All that being said, I have seen these !!!! ups with ground levels more times than I care to think about. I'm sure there will be another alternative, the developer will have just gone for the point of least resistance/cheapest option.
    I would say that not consulting on such a fundamental issue as changes to the access to the property and the basic appearance, was a major !!!! up by the developer.
    I wouldn't just be sucking it up
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 9th Oct 17, 3:34 PM
    • 23,890 Posts
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    Doozergirl
    I'd be having a go at the developer in your position as to why they had done a "disability friendly" house - rather than the normal house I'd bought - and insisting the "disabled" adaptations be removed. Yep...in my 60s now - but I'd still be insisting that they be removed pronto.

    A new-build house is a different kettle of fish to an existing house.

    Personally - I'd have been prepared to buy an existing house that already had these adaptations and have them ripped out within the first week.

    But I would not expect it from a new-build house.
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    I would absolutely expect it from a new build house because building regulations have dictated for several years that houses must be accessible. Stairs with a handrail is the bare minimum required.

    New house are built with accessible loos with even the postioning laid out to make it easier, if not entirely easy for wheelchair users to manouver onto a loo. Plug sockets are also placed higher and switches lower.

    You can't dismiss people with accessibility problems just because you don't have them. Houses are built with legislators understanding that the first occupiers of the house are not the last and that even those first occupiers, if they stay for a long time, will get old.

    It's about having an inclusive society.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • HouseBuyer77
    • By HouseBuyer77 9th Oct 17, 3:52 PM
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    HouseBuyer77
    Lots of houses are on different levels to the road, that doesn't mean they have to be accessed by flights of stairs.
    Indeed that's why I asked what else they might have expected. If it's gentle gradient then maybe they expected a sloping path? If it's a steep then stairs may have been the only practical solution.

    If they want it changed they need to identify what else would go in it's place.

    OP also needs to go back over the contract and any plans they may have. What do they have to say about the layout of the outside of the house? If something other than stairs is clearly indicated they have a stronger case that the builder needs to switch them with something else.
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