Final completion of the garage conversion


Any project requiring a building notice to the council will also require a ‘completion certificate’. This document is simply to illustrate that the local authority has been involved, inspected each relevant stage and found them to be of a satisfactory standard. Nothing more. It will not testify as to quality of workmanship, only that the project / construction is fit for its intended use.

This may not sound like much but if you try and sell your house without it you will encounter problems in a similar way that you wouldn’t be able to prove the existence of a chemical damp proof course without the relevant guarantee. A completion certificate is your guarantee as far as the estate agents are concerned. It doesn’t entitle the purchaser to chase whichever builder (or yourself come to that) for any defects found within, it just states that when it was converted, it was fine, up to standard and fit for purpose.

Remember that these days (2001 onwards) external grade window and door installation falls under building control jurisdiction. You can either have a FENSA (fenestration – self assessment) (fenestration simply meaning ‘the arrangement of windows in a building) registered company install your window and show him a completion certificate (costly and fensa certificates have a habit of taking forever to materialize depending on the installer) or you can install the window yourself and ensure the building inspector is involved. Normally the only thing not visible to the inspector on completion might be a covered lintel so make sure he can see it before it gets covered over. The other stipulations such as fire escape, k glass, safety glass etc should have been taken care of by you and the manufacturer and are pretty obvious under normal circumstances. Just remember to leave the ‘k glass’ or ‘low ‘e’’ stickers on the glass until the inspector has seen them or it may involve an extra cost and him coming back with his ‘k glass’ detector… yes really, and a toughened glass / laminated glass detector… just a shame they haven’t got a dodgy builder detector

You must also submit to the building inspector (show him the document when he shows up for the last time) any documents related to the build such as a boiler installation and commissioning certificate (corgi) or an electrical installation certificate (NIC/EIC). Anything that the building inspector hasn’t had to inspect during the course of the works will either have its own little certificate or he can see it outright. Once he’s been for the last time and left with a smile on his face then a few days later you should receive your certificate through the post. Anything up to 28 days is normal but in most cases it’s quicker.

Remember that only when the building inspector is happy that the work has been carried out in accordance with current building regulations and he is in receipt of any relevant documentation will he issue a ‘completion certificate’. Failure to call building control on time to view a portion of the job which is to be covered over (plasterboarded etc) or failure to obtain an electrical installation certificate may result in you having to rip off any coverings just to prove that you’ve installed the correct depth of insulation and the first fix is satisfactory. Failure to obtain a completion certificate will leave you with problems when / if you come to sell your house as you will need to prove that any work carried out by yourself is of an acceptable standard. (back to ripping coverings off again)