Building regulations not met

What to do. We’ve had our staircase revamped with spindles and balustrade to replace old 70’s horizontal rails. Problem is that we have now found that they don’t meet building regulations - handrail is under 800mm high from pitch, and spindles on landing are 120mm apart (they are 100mm apart going up the stairs).

The builder is not returning calls or messages and they’ve been paid in full, even though there were other problems unfixable and that we decided to live with, and we seemed to part on friendly terms (I’ve posted about the squint tile job on another thread).

We only found out about the staircase when a friend came round and thought they looked wrong and so we measured and checked.

 Will we now be liable to fix this? Or possibly be fined for not having made sure building regulations were met? 

Comments

  • Nobbie1967
    Nobbie1967 Posts: 1,444
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    They’re not going to find out, so I’m not sure it really matters. Most houses have stuff that doesn’t meet building regs because they are constantly changing. The main issue is one of safety if you have kids crawling around on the landing.
  • The spindles on the landing do need to be changed as we have family and friends that visit with small children. I’m thinking further down the line with the rest, when we come to sell and surveyors notice then we’ll have to redo?
  • FreeBear
    FreeBear Posts: 14,248
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    DetailDave said: I’m thinking further down the line with the rest, when we come to sell and surveyors notice then we’ll have to redo?
    Assuming your future buyer has a survey done (not everyone does), they may try to knock some money off. You won't be forced to redo the spindles - That would only happen if the council served an enforcement notice within the next four years. If you failed to comply with the notice, then you might be prosecuted and could get a fine (not likely that that would happen).

    Fixing the spindles on the landing shouldn't be too difficult if you can source some more to match the existing ones - If they are "off the shelf" items, best to do it now before they go out of fashion. The hand rail would be more difficult & costly. New spindles along the whole length would be needed at a minimum.. What is the current height ?

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  • cerebus
    cerebus Posts: 513
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    How far under 800mm in height?

    Spindles are easy to sort with careful measurements and new filler pieces 
  • The spindles on the landing do need to be changed as we have family and friends that visit with small children. I’m thinking further down the line with the rest, when we come to sell and surveyors notice then we’ll have to redo?
    Yes a surveyor will point it out, in exactly the same way as they would have pointed out your horizontal rails were no longer compliant.  But it's a minor issue and would not justify a reduction in sale price of selling
  • DRP
    DRP Posts: 4,269
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    BRegs won’t come and knock on your door, but it may make a negotiation necessary if you sell.

    we had similar for the stairs up to a loft conversion when we bought our old house. We insisted and the owners agreed to sort out what was needed to comply with BR (spindles, fire alarms, some other loft work).
  • grumbler
    grumbler Posts: 58,627
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    edited 2 November 2023 at 1:11PM
    FreeBear said:
    DetailDave said: I’m thinking further down the line with the rest, when we come to sell and surveyors notice then we’ll have to redo?

    Fixing the spindles on the landing shouldn't be too difficult if you can source some more to match the existing ones 

    It doesn't have to be an exact match and, possibly even better no to be if adding new spindles between existing ones. There are many pictures in the internet, e.g. 
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