Author Topic: Photovoltaics installed to wrong elevation  (Read 237 times)

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complainer

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Photovoltaics installed to wrong elevation
« on: October 28, 2017, 06:45:06 pm »
Long time lurker, first time poster, hoping to get some advice.

We've exchanged contracts on a New Build home off plan, and it's nearing completion in mid-December (currently at stage 14 so I'm told, although the roof isn't yet completed).  The development includes Photovoltaics installed to every property, and there's a planning approved drawing that records the elevation to which the PVs are to be installed for each property.

We visited site today and have found that the PVs have been installed to the wrong elevation, the builder has installed them to the North elevation rather than the West elevation as indicated by the planning drawings.  The North elevation is the least effective for PVs and should never be used if an alternative is available.

Unfortunately we have made the mistake of instructing a solicitor that had been recommended by the developer.  It's our belief they have been acting in the builder's interests rather than their clients. I wish we had found this website sooner.  I could ask the solicitor to make enquiries, but I have little faith in their effectiveness as they've fobbed-off a number of our enquiries.

We would like the PVs to be installed to the correct elevation to ensure we make maximum use of them, what would be the best approach to maximise the chance of this happening?


New Home Expert

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Re: Photovoltaics installed to wrong elevation
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2017, 09:18:20 am »
Who is the housebuilder?

It seems to me to be utter madness to fit solar panels to a roof facing north.
Even a west facing roof isn't 100% efficient. If you have a north facing roof have you not got a south facing roof on the other side?

It is also questionable that your home could be at "stage 14" whatever that is when the roof isn't completed.  I'm assuming you meant "stage 4"

The reality is, there are just seven weeks left to finish your house.
You should also note that many other homes will be being rushed for year-end figures too, so your house may not even be 100% finished, even on Friday 22nd December!

Please instruct your solicitor now, that they are not to legally complete without your prior authority, which will only be given once you have had your home has been professionally and independently snagged and inspected.
New Home Blog - New Home Expert is committed to providing help and advice for people having issues with their new homes and difficulties with house builders as well as helping potential buyers reduce the risk of possible problems if they do buy.

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complainer

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Re: Photovoltaics installed to wrong elevation
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2017, 10:09:24 am »
 Thanks for replying. This is Story Homes.

The roof is L-shaped with a dormer. The orientation of the house means solar panels can be installed to the North or West elevations only. Why they've installed them on the North elevation is beyond me, especially when the planning-approved drawings shows they need to be installed to the West elevation.

The sales team have assured me that first fix can go ahead with the house before the roof is finished because of the complex nature of the roof. I don't believe much of what the she's team tells be to be frank. They definitely said stage 14.

I've instructed the solicitor to not legally complete without my prior approval.

Do you think I should approach the council regarding the planning non-compliance?
Would that add some weight to forcing the builder's hand?

Could relocating the solar panels damage the roof?

Thanks again


New Home Expert

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Re: Photovoltaics installed to wrong elevation
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2017, 06:56:41 am »
If your house is at stage 14 and the first fix is just being started, its hard fro me to see how so many stages there were!
Foundations, Brickwork to DPC, Drainage, Ground floor, brickwork to 1st floor, joists, brickwork to plate, roof trusses, roof tiling.  I suppose if they included each brick lift and scaffolding as a stage maybe!

I am pleased you are safeguarding yourself.

You could inform the Local Authority of the planning breach.
However, Story Homes should sort this out prior to legal completion, especially as the scaffolding is still up presumably.

As for damaging the roof, if the tiling needs to be replaced or there is any damage whatsoever, that will also be a matter for Story to address not you to worry about.

New Home Blog - New Home Expert is committed to providing help and advice for people having issues with their new homes and difficulties with house builders as well as helping potential buyers reduce the risk of possible problems if they do buy.