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    • Jassa
    • By Jassa 9th Oct 17, 10:16 AM
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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 2
    • Jassa
    • By Jassa 9th Oct 17, 7:05 PM
    • 355 Posts
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    Jassa
    Thank you again everyone! The whole site is very flat and the gradient near ours wasn't obvious when we first looked and isn't actually very steep but is close to the pavement. Looks like the road/pavement was laid a little lower than expected - but will find out more when we can get closer to the house on Thursday. Building regs allow for stepped access for disabled people - I think there is a general assumption that wheelchair access could be made from the kitchen door. Thinking of asking for one step to be removed that is level with front door so handrail can come down and still comply with regs. Thank you again for your replies.
    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
    • chappers
    • By chappers 9th Oct 17, 7:38 PM
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    chappers
    might not be possible, there are maximum rise heights in order to comply with accessibility
    With regards to sloped gradients 1:15 max 10 m long, 1:12 max 5m long
    Its all here actually if you haven't already seen
    • ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    • By ScorpiondeRooftrouser 9th Oct 17, 8:58 PM
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    ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    Looking at the site isn't much help when the developers are responsible for altering the ground and road levels on a new estate. It might be it was just cheaper to put in steps than build up the road as originally planned.
    • EachPenny
    • By EachPenny 9th Oct 17, 11:39 PM
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    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.
    Originally posted by aneary
    That is only a matter of different rules/legislation as chappers and Doozergirl have pointed out. Even if not required by legislation to provide for wheelchair access, as a matter of good practice developers should be designing in access from the start, not adding steps as an afterthought (possibly in the OP's case but not yet clear).

    If the Government have seen the light and are ensuring that public transport and buildings are accessible (at public expense) then it is an anomaly that this kind of thing can happen on new build housing where opportunities to design out problems from the start can be done for little or no cost.

    It is also not just about disability or age - anyone can suffer an accident at any age and, even if temporary, getting up steps with crutches or a wheelchair is a challenge.
    "In the future, everyone will be rich for 15 minutes"
    • Jassa
    • By Jassa 10th Oct 17, 9:02 AM
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    Jassa
    I agree ScorpiondeRooftrouser, looks like an afterthought to us. We think the roads went in lower than originally thought. Trying to keep our cool and hopefully can come up with a better design that we like. Compared to the horror stories on here, ours is just a cosmetic problem! There must be a better solution - we'll see soon.
    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
    • ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    • By ScorpiondeRooftrouser 10th Oct 17, 9:07 AM
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    ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    That is only a matter of different rules/legislation as chappers and Doozergirl have pointed out. Even if not required by legislation to provide for wheelchair access, as a matter of good practice developers should be designing in access from the start, not adding steps as an afterthought (possibly in the OP's case but not yet clear).

    If the Government have seen the light and are ensuring that public transport and buildings are accessible (at public expense) then it is an anomaly that this kind of thing can happen on new build housing where opportunities to design out problems from the start can be done for little or no cost.

    It is also not just about disability or age - anyone can suffer an accident at any age and, even if temporary, getting up steps with crutches or a wheelchair is a challenge.
    Originally posted by EachPenny

    This isn't really relevant in this case though is it? They don't want wheelchair access; it isn't an issue. They want the driveway/pavement to be built up to the same level as the house, as the drawings originally showed, with no ramps OR steps. Not because anyone is disabled but because that's what they thought they were buying.
    • EachPenny
    • By EachPenny 10th Oct 17, 9:27 AM
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    EachPenny
    This isn't really relevant in this case though is it? They don't want wheelchair access; it isn't an issue. They want the driveway/pavement to be built up to the same level as the house, as the drawings originally showed, with no ramps OR steps. Not because anyone is disabled but because that's what they thought they were buying.
    Originally posted by ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    It may become relevant if the developer points to smallprint on the drawings which says 'indicative only' or 'subject to amendment without prior notification'.

    And you've missed the point a bit. It isn't about whether the OP wants wheelchair access. As explained by several people, 'access' isn't just about wheelchair users, and none of us knows when (even temporarily) we might have reduced mobility, or want to get a buggy into the house, or have something heavy (like a washing machine) delivered.

    If the developer argues that there was nothing contractually binding about not having steps then the OP may want to be ready to put forward an argument about the developer's responsibility to design access in to new build - even if there is no legal obligation on them to do so.
    "In the future, everyone will be rich for 15 minutes"
    • ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    • By ScorpiondeRooftrouser 10th Oct 17, 9:51 AM
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    ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    It may become relevant if the developer points to smallprint on the drawings which says 'indicative only' or 'subject to amendment without prior notification'.

    And you've missed the point a bit. It isn't about whether the OP wants wheelchair access. As explained by several people, 'access' isn't just about wheelchair users, and none of us knows when (even temporarily) we might have reduced mobility, or want to get a buggy into the house, or have something heavy (like a washing machine) delivered.

    If the developer argues that there was nothing contractually binding about not having steps then the OP may want to be ready to put forward an argument about the developer's responsibility to design access in to new build - even if there is no legal obligation on them to do so.
    Originally posted by EachPenny
    But the OP doesn't want a ramp instead of steps. He wants the surrounding land at the same level as the house. Though I personally would prefer a ramp to steps, neither are what he thought he was paying for.
    • EachPenny
    • By EachPenny 10th Oct 17, 7:23 PM
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    EachPenny
    But the OP doesn't want a ramp instead of steps. He wants the surrounding land at the same level as the house. Though I personally would prefer a ramp to steps, neither are what he thought he was paying for.
    Originally posted by ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    And I'm not saying the OP should have a ramp.... my point is, and remains, the developer should have designed in 'access' from the start and the best way to do so is to regrade the ground so that no steps or ramps are required.

    What has probably happened, as seems to happen so often, is that the developer either through lack of thought in design or error in construction, has ended up with a level difference and opted for the default 'easy' solution of putting in some steps.

    People think 'access' and then think ramps, whereas the correct approach is to think how to avoid the need for anything other than a seamless transition from street (or garden) to house. It isn't always feasible, but where it is (by the sound of it like the OP's case), then it should be the 'go to' solution.
    "In the future, everyone will be rich for 15 minutes"
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