Insulation and fire exit challenges?

Insulation and fire exit challenges?

0:02 AM, 10th October 2023, About 8 months ago 10

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Hello, I have a building control issue whereby the extension was built and not enough insulation was put in the cavity wall by the builder who was not aware.

Building control wants this done as per the required amount. They have been advised that the whole property is an old one and no cavity wall on other walls apart from this extension. I have a rating of Band C. I have appealed this to building control as they will not issue the certificate.

I have pointed to them the Prime Minister’s recent statement on insulation and would like my property to be treated and exempted as per this statement in regard to insulation exemption not to be enforced on homeowners and landlords. My tenant has not complaint about any damp in the property apart from the wall next to council garages.

The council garages were built not even leaving a one-meter gap as per building control policy. Building control also wants a fire exit and I have pointed to them the issue of the garages built next to my wall leaving no 1 meter as required by law.

Unfortunately building control states they have nothing to do with that and if anything I will have to install a fire sprinkler as unable to use the exit next to garages. I am depressed and not even sure who to discuss this with. Not sure if to talk to a solicitor who I might end up paying and never succeed.

Can anyone help if you have an idea on how to work on these two issues?



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Graham Bowcock

10:01 AM, 10th October 2023, About 8 months ago

Your post is a bit muddled, but it sounds like you need a good building surveyor. I'm not sure what a solicitor would achieve for you here - who are you sugetsing you may take action against?

Building regs have to be followed and it sounds like you simply haven't done so. If this was delegated to your builder then he should have known. If not delegated then it's down to you. If you don't comply then you won't get a certificate of compliance.

As I said at the outset, speak to a building surveyor.

Judith Wordsworth

10:09 AM, 10th October 2023, About 8 months ago

Your builder should have been aware. The exemptions are for properties that cannot meet insulation requirements should these be required in the future, not for properties or building works that did not comply with building regulations.

Can you not add insulation to the inside of exterior walls?

What is the gap between your external wall and the garage wall?

Martin Hicks

10:18 AM, 10th October 2023, About 8 months ago

I am puzzled why the inadequate space for a fire exit was not discovered when the planning application was submitted. Also, what inspections were carried out during construction?


10:25 AM, 10th October 2023, About 8 months ago

Depending on who you speak to, there is a growing movement against "damp industry" as people are convinced that it damages properties and is a fraud. Peter Ward from has made a number of youtube videos outlining the damage that the damp proofing industry can do to brick properties. I urge anyone involved in the property business to be very skeptical of the damp proofing industry and avoid filling your brick walls with unnecessary filling. The fact that EPC encourages such so called "damp proofing" or "cavity insulation" as they call it, just shows how much of a racket the EPC rating system is.


11:56 AM, 10th October 2023, About 8 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Martin Hicks at 10/10/2023 - 10:18
Hi Martin
Thank you for your response

These are council garages built just next to my property wall. I understood the land used to be part of my property garden and the council was given by an elderly lady who owned it prior to the last owner I bought the property from. Unfortunately, the previous owner never highlighted this problem of exist as well damp at the time as i was an amateur and my first property to buy in 2003. No surveyor also commented on this issue.


12:09 PM, 10th October 2023, About 8 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Graham Bowcock at 10/10/2023 - 10:01
Hi Graham

Sorry for my muddled statement.
Insulation was infilled but not to the required amount by building control. All this has to do with directions regarding insulation whether old or new building.
The property has an EPC rating of C and therefore property energy efficiency rating is not affected by an extension which is in question. The builders have since moved on and are unable to trace the builder. With the recent direction announcement by the Prime Minister, I wondered if building control is not part of this direction! Also, I am required to infill insulation on the mono-pitch on the porch to see insulation is done right!
I am just not sure if directions were not to do with insulation as a whole irrespective of building control direction as this was built way back in 2016.

Graham Bowcock

13:25 PM, 10th October 2023, About 8 months ago

You definitely need help from a surveyor, or at very least speak to the local council's building officer.

Building regs are a matter of fact and have to be abided by. I do not know how they link to EPCs, but I'm not sure that one trumps the other - i.e. you need to comply with both.

I doubt the Prime Minister's announcement affects anything you have going on here.

Terry Bibby

14:14 PM, 10th October 2023, About 8 months ago

This can be rectified by pkasterboarding with insulated plasterboard or external wall insulation actually I have a load of external wall insulation available due to my cowboy builder ordering way too much lol to rectify exactly the same issue

Old Mrs Landlord

16:04 PM, 10th October 2023, About 8 months ago

Most house doors open inward so if there is a gap of just less than a metre between your house and the garages can you not make a fire exit door there? That would solve one of your problems.

Martin Hicks

16:28 PM, 10th October 2023, About 8 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Old Mrs Landlord at 10/10/2023 - 16:04Unfortunately the final fire exit door is required to open outwards with a crash bar to open it.

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