Local Authority Building Control (LABC) has successfully launched a new website for homeowners – Front Door. The site provides practical consumer guidance on all sorts of home improvements and renovations as well as technical advice on obtaining building control and planning approvals.
Launched earlier this year, the website features sections on home renovation projects like garage conversions, extensions, kitchen renovations, roofing and loft conversions and encourages homeowners to get in touch with their own queries with the ‘Ask Anna’ feature. Front Door will also be regularly publishing blog posts and homeowner-related news items.
Front Door is described as a useful source for builders and other tradespeople who work with homeowners on a day to day basis, giving them somewhere to signpost clients for expert advice and to check facts themselves and understand their rights and responsibilities.
It has been endorsed by many industry bodies, including the Builders Merchants Federation. CEO John Newcomb said: “The LABC Front Door website will be a great reference site for all home improvers. It’s easy to navigate and provides clear, practical information on any refurbishment project they are likely to undertake. The advice ranges from when planning permission or building regulations compliance is needed to the products required to do each job, which they can source from their local builders’ merchant.”
Additional viewpoints include Tom Reynolds, CEO Bathroom Manufacturers Association, who commented: “Product compliance and building control may not be the most exciting topics, but they are about keeping you safe and stopping you getting ripped off. Front Door is a great source of easy-to-understand info about the rules, direct from people you can trust”.
Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) added: “Front Door is a brilliant one-stop-shop for any homeowner thinking about having work done to their home.”
LABC has also worked with the Competent Person Schemes Forum and the NHIC (National Home Improvement Council) providing access to specialist consumer protection advice and a comprehensive list of Competent Persons Scheme Operators and their registered and regulated firms and installers.
LABC’s Head of Engagement, Anna Thompson, summed up saying: “We called it ‘Front Door’ because every home has one! It’s been designed as a resource written for people with no construction knowledge and who may be concerned about the reliability of all the information out there.
“It’s a comprehensive, one-stop website with expert advice and consumer information checked out by the National Home Improvement Council. The emphasis is on compliance, safety, peace of mind and public protection.
“The lockdown has meant people are spending more time in their homes and as a result many are realising they want to make changes – perhaps to add more living space with a garage or loft conversion to incorporate a home office. Front Door helps people avoid rogue traders, explains homeowners’ responsibilities to make sure work is safe and complies with building regulations and has a broad range of advice and information to make home improvement projects go smoothly.”
The Front Door website can be found at labcfrontdoor.co.uk