InSite | When is "work started"? Official guidance compared to warranty requirements

When is "work started"? - Official guidance compared to warranty requirements

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Recap: how transitional periods typically work


When building regulations change it is normal for a transitional period to apply, during which time the existing regulations continue to apply to works already planned or in progress.


Typically, amendments will not apply to building work where a building notice or initial notice has been given to, or full plans deposited with, your Building Control function, by a defined date, providing that building work has started before a subsequent defined date.


For example, for Approved Documents F (ventilation), L (conservation of fuel and power) and O (overheating) the deadline date for submitting a building notice, initial notice or depositing full plans is June 15 2022, and building work must start on that individual building before June 15 2023. Approved Document S (electric vehicle charging) the transitional provision relate to building work generally not each individual building with the same cut off dates of 15 June 2022/3 respectively.


This blog has more information on the arrangements for these building regulation updates.


How is “work started” defined?


The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) lists a series of construction details that in its opinion marks the commencement of work. These details were repeated in their circular letter dated December 15 2021.


These details relate to a building control function. From our warranty perspective, additional requirements must be taken into consideration if plots are to be started and left for up to a year.


Please note that there may be restrictions in your terms and conditions that once works have started they need to be completed within three years.


The table provides a side-by-side comparison of DLUHC’s definitions and Premier Guarantee’s corresponding requirements.


DLUHC’s definitions of work commenced

Related warranty considerations

Excavation for strip or trench foundations or for pad footings.

Digging out and preparation of ground for raft foundations.

Strip foundation - the durability and mix of the concrete needs to be suitable for the elements, the whole foundation for the plot must be excavated and concrete laid

Rafts – would need to have frost resistant concrete and increased cover for the reinforcement. Ground reduction and backfill with granular material ready for a raft is a sufficient start.

Engineered granular fill - seek advice from our engineering department.


Vibrofloatation (stone columns) piling, boring for piles or pile driving.

If a site is piled, all the piles to the plot must be installed. Any exposed steel will need to be suitably covered if it is to be left for a length of time. There should be limited site traffic around the area. All piles will still need to be validated in line with our guidance.

Vibrocompaction – the whole plot/site would need to be completed and left without further excavation. Testing would need to be completed and a survey of “as built” so they are not lost.

If we have contiguous piles for a basement the piles can go in but the basement must not be excavated until continuous work are to happen.

Drainage work specific to the building(s) concerned.

Installing drains – not suitable for piled or vibro sites as the foundations must go in first.

DLUHC’s work details not likely to constitute commencement of work

Related warranty considerations over details that do not constitute work commencement

Removal of vegetation


As stated, plus MMC – an offsite commencement is not a commencement – so even if the modular/panel has been built offsite it is not a commencement.


Demolition of any previous buildings on site

Removal of topsoil

Removal of treatment of contaminated soil

Excavation of trial holes

Dynamic compaction

General site servicing works (eg roadways)


Should you have any further questions, please speak to your Premier Guarantee risk management surveyor or building control inspector.


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Every care was taken to ensure the information in this article was correct at the time of publication. Guidance provided does not replace the reader’s professional judgement and any construction project should comply with the relevant Building Regulations or applicable technical standards. For the most up to date Premier Guarantee technical guidance please refer to your Risk Management Surveyor and the latest version of the Premier Guarantee Technical Manual.

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