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CASE STUDY

CLIENT LEARNS THE HARD WAY THAT HIRING AN UNREGISTERED SURVEYOR CAN BE VERY COSTLY THE BACKGROUND Some clients think they can save costs by hiring an unregistered surveyor. Unfortunately, hiring an unregistered surveyor, who lacks experience can mean non-compliance resulting in rework that results in much higher costs than the original savings. The builder urgently required our assistance to survey the position of an existing single storey granny flat. An irritated neighbour complained to the council that the structure as previously proposed by the unregistered surveyor was too close to their property. Following the council’s investigation, we were required to determine the correct location for the project to continue.

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The builder was inexperienced with the current council requirements and was fortunate that the structure was on piers since our measurements confirmed the granny flat was indeed, too close to the neighbour’s boundary. It had to be moved to comply with the council regulations. Significant expense would have been borne by the builder had a slab been poured and worse if demolishing the structure was required! In this intance that was not the case, however, there was still a significant cost and inconvenience because a crane had to be used to relocate the granny flat into its proper location. Excavation commencing

15 Parkes St Parramatta, NSW 2150 x T: 02 9806 3000 x F: 02 9891 2806 www.DonovanAssociates.com.au


CASE STUDY

THE CHALLENGE According to the Building Code of Australia, buildings with windows and doors must be a minimum distance of 900 mm from the boundary. However, the boundary is not the fence line as many inexperienced homeowners, and builders might think. Sometimes the fence can be erected over the boundary. Whatever went wrong in this project, a mistake was made and unfortunately the building needed to be relocated to its proper position. We were called to determine where that proper position should be. Formwork under construction

Councils have recently become more rigorous with builders and those who attempt to bypass regulations can pay dearly as this client found out. OUR SOLUTION We completed an accurate survey, along with rigorous quality assurance checks, which were all performed and signed off by a registered surveyor. 2 Poured granny slab

Surveying requires proper investigation. After acquiring the property plans from the Land Registry Service (LRS), we sent out our field surveyors to locate boundary marks, which were then interpreted by our qualified, registered surveyor. OUR SURVEYOR CALCULATED THE CORRECT BOUNDARIES. Sometimes clients use unregistered or inexperienced surveyors without first considering the implications of their actions. A TAFE graduate may possess knowledge, but only a registered surveyor can legally sign off on a project.

Under construction

As this case study implies, there is a potential price to pay when builders use unregistered surveyors and mistakes are made. When a significant portion of the builder’s business comes through word of mouth, a client’s unsatisfactory experience resulting from the builder not following the correct procedures, can cost them dearly, both financially and in adverse publicity. Since unregistered surveyors are not insured, the loss cannot be claimed legally unlike for registered surveyors, who have a legal obligation to comply by the rules and are appropriately insured.

15 Parkes St Parramatta, NSW 2150 x T: 02 9806 3000 x F: 02 9891 2806 www.DonovanAssociates.com.au


CASE STUDY

Unfortunately, this wasn’t the first time we were brought in to correct a situation for a builder who used an unregistered surveyor. OUR RESULTS We marked out the granny flat so the client was confident that the granny flat was in the right place, complying with all the relevant building codes. The client could then start building without the uncertainty of a poor survey. Next, we provided an identification survey showing the accurate location so they could obtain their occupation certificate. BECAUSE OF THIS EXPERIENCE, WE HAVE WORKED WITH THE BUILDER ON MANY OTHER PROJECTS TO ENSURE THE SURVEYING FOR THEIR GRANNY FLATS ARE ACCURATE BEFORE THEY COMMENCE ANY WORKS. As the saying goes “penny wise, pound foolish”.

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Site plan

Final report after recertification

Final report non-complying

15 Parkes St Parramatta, NSW 2150 x T: 02 9806 3000 x F: 02 9891 2806 www.DonovanAssociates.com.au

Donovan Associates - Surveying Case Study - Risks Of Using Unregistered Surveyors.pdf  
Donovan Associates - Surveying Case Study - Risks Of Using Unregistered Surveyors.pdf  
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