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No of Assessments?

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  • 11-03-2009 7:58pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 30


    Hi,

    I'm registered as an assessor since Jan. I've set up a website and done some advertising, called to auctioneers and wrote to engineering consultancies(mainly looking for work as an engineer but also threw in some business cards).

    As far as i can see the only people making money off this are the people we're paying for advertising and the SEI. How many assessments have ye carried out? Where'd ye get the business? I've done 2. I got one from an autioneer and one from SEI list. Is my advertising just inadequate or are there just none being done.

    Also. this SEI list is a bit of a joke. alphabetical order? With the amount of assessors out there surely its a bit unfair on us poor misfortunates who don't start with A. Maybe a extra search box which includes a town name or something. One of the assessments i got the woman said she searched through the list for twenty mins trying to find someone from her town.


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Comments

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,379 ✭✭✭Jimbo


    I have only got one enquiry through the SEI website so I wouldn't exactly rely on it.

    We are doing BER assesments in conjunction with other Archtectural/Engineering services as a complete package. I can't see how we could ever survive solely doing BERs - there is far too much competition out there.
    The unfortunate fact is that there are far too many registered assessors.
    I can't see how they will all survive.


  • Subscribers Posts: 41,586 ✭✭✭✭sydthebeat


    registered since december 2007...

    i have published NO assessments on 'new' dwellings, simply because self-builders do not HAVE TO get an assessment done.

    I have carried out around 8 'existing' assessments.

    the course cost 1800, registration cost 1000....
    (at an average profit of about €50 a pop, i reckon ill break even in seven years!!)

    like others i am part of an architectural firm so there was no extra PI or PL insurance, so i feel for sole providers.


    I find knowing how to use DEAP extremely important however... as part of the design process....


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,489 ✭✭✭No6


    I'm registered since dec 2007, I have about 10 new builds done on a preliminary basis, finishing soon for publication and have published 3 1 provisional and 2 existing (I'm just too expensive) Just won a tender for a reasonable number of new build though so I'll break even if paid this year. I'm offering a Specification improvement service free to my own architectural clients (none have utilised it so far!!) and for a fee to other new builds who have all done it, dosn't make sense to me. I have spent enough on advertising at this stage, it generates nothing!!, SEI, your own web site, google, newspapers, all rubbish and as for my local auctioneers, dont get me started!!!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 15 wall2wall


    To date I have completed 8 existing and currently doing one new dwelling. Was awarded 20 existing properties by two guys that have properties around Dublin but no go on them yet. I think we can safely say that the market is stifled at the moment because of very low activity in the property market. Have had a good few calls for quotes which I have kept cheap but I assume some people are doing them for nothing. Thankfully this is not my only income, but with the construction industry slowing down fingers crossed on the 7 estimates we have with private clients, probably get 1 out of 7, i hope. Otherwise I could be a BER assessor on his ass!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 102 ✭✭brianmacl


    There are going to be a lot of BER Assessors sitting on their arses unless something is done.

    I don't know the full number of assessors that are registered at the moment but it will increase again in May when FETAC do their next accreditation and it must be arround 3,000 assessors, most of whom paid a lot of money to become assessors. Very few of whom will make this money back.

    The problem is that very few properties that are currently on the market for sale or to let are getting BER's done. This is an enforcement issue. If 3,000 jobs were at risk in Intel because there was a law that wasn't being enforced the papaers, radio stations and political parties would be jumping up and down. The problem is that BER assessors are mainly either self employed or working in small business. BER assessors have to get together and push some enforcement through.

    There is one poblem with this, SI666 is badly written and the IAVI and IPAV know this. This means that inforcing it is bloodey hard. I recon we have to form a proper body of BER Assessors, then get legislation amended and finaly proper enforcement.

    Personaly I am doing quite well, I have been an assessor since late January and BER's are an add on to a service that I provide to people that are selling their property. I am now averaging about 5 properties a week and have not had to go down the price war route.

    Good luck to all of you, hope we all make it through the recession and make back our start up costs in less than 7 years.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 67 ✭✭parka


    I know a few shop keepers doing BER assessments


  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 17,923 Mod ✭✭✭✭DOCARCH


    Big fat 0 - although I am grateful for 2 enquiries in one year!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 102 ✭✭brianmacl


    DOCARCH wrote: »
    Big fat 0 - although I am grateful for 2 enquiries in one year!


    So did the training companies sell a big fat lie or are SEI and the LA's not enforcing it enough.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 102 ✭✭brianmacl


    parka wrote: »
    I know a few shop keepers doing BER assessments


    I hate these comments. I have now heard people mentioning shop keepers, hair dressers and something else that is not associated with property.

    I would really like to know:
    is this true?
    do they have a background in construction or property other than their current proffession?
    If not can someone please report them to SEI and get the training company in loads of trouble!!!

    But maybe it is glorafied stories, what if I said I know a photographer that is doing assessments? people would say that this is just wrong but the photographer is actually running a bussiness taking pictures of property doing floor plans and BER certs, and has worked as an estate agent for 6 years. He has completed the residential and land agency cert, which includes a module in construction studies and is about to finish third year in a BSc Hons in property studies where about 1/4 of the degree is construction studies. at which point he is able to start his APC's to become a chartered surveyor. maybe the photographer isn't that under qualified.


  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 17,923 Mod ✭✭✭✭DOCARCH


    brianmacl wrote: »
    ......shop keepers, hair dressers............is this true?....

    It is true I'm afarid, I know of an accountant BER assessor!


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 102 ✭✭brianmacl


    DOCARCH wrote: »
    It is true I'm afarid, I know of an accountant BER assessor!


    I know an accountant assessor too, but he has a degree in property studies and worked as an estate agent for the best part of a decade. The questions I would like to know the anwser to is, How did they become assessors? and are we sure that they have no property backround?

    There are alot of Estate agents, builders, engineers and architects who are working at other things at the moment and they are all able to be BER assessors but does an accountant who never did any of these things have the right to become an assessor? no

    I am wondering how many of these stories are out there to discredit the system? how many stories have a second side such as the Accountant who was an estate agent and has a property related degree or the photgrapher who has studied building construction and worked in propety for 5-6 years. Is there an architect who set up a home supply shop that is also doing BERs and this is the reason people are saying that they know an accountant or photographer or shop keeper that do BER certs.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,433 ✭✭✭sinnerboy


    Many took "the BER" course simply to learn DEAP - to design to comply with B Regs - not to become BER assessors.

    Some like me , then registered to offer BER certs as part of the overall architectural service

    I am in 2 minds as to whether to stay on that register now . I am fed up of turning down ( 2- 3 per week ) resentful inquiries mostly from people begrudging having to pay anything to rent or flog their building .

    It will be more cost effective use of my time to do the initial design stage DEAP assessment and later near works completion farm off the SEI / BER cert to someone who can't command a sensible fee for it

    Brian - hats off to you - you argue your case well and I genuinely wish you well

    But I return to something you will have heard me say before

    Punter 1 - wants cert quick and cheap because they are quickly and literally losing interest in their property . There is possibly a role for an assessor here who is not a construction profesional

    Punter 2 - want an assessment before cert and expert advice on what to do with their property that they wish to hold on to . Their is no room for anything other than architects , technicians, engineers or surveyors with YEARS of experience of refurbishment works . Absolutely no room AT ALL


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 102 ✭✭brianmacl


    sinnerboy wrote: »
    Many took "the BER" course simply to learn DEAP - to design to comply with B Regs - not to become BER assessors.

    Some like me , then registered to offer BER certs as part of the overall architectural service

    I am in 2 minds as to whether to stay on that register now . I am fed up of turning down ( 2- 3 per week ) resentful inquiries mostly from people begrudging having to pay anything to rent or flog their building .

    It will be more cost effective use of my time to do the initial design stage DEAP assessment and later near works completion farm off the SEI / BER cert to someone who can't command a sensible fee for it

    Brian - hats off to you - you argue your case well and I genuinely wish you well

    But I return to something you will have heard me say before

    Punter 1 - wants cert quick and cheap because they are quickly and literally losing interest in their property . There is possibly a role for an assessor here who is not a construction profesional

    Punter 2 - want an assessment before cert and expert advice on what to do with their property that they wish to hold on to . Their is no room for anything other than architects , technicians, engineers or surveyors with YEARS of experience of refurbishment works . Absolutely no room AT ALL

    I partly disagree with you on Punter 2: do you not think that anyone with a good understanding of construction and common sense can look at a 3 bed semi do an assessment and then tweek the data in DEAP to show that making changes such as putting down 200 - 300mm of attic insulation the house goes from an e to a d rating and then by changing the current boiler to a new boiler that is 90+% effeicient the house will go from a d to a c3, if you also change the heating control system and perhaps change 90% of the lighting to energy efficient bulbs the house will get a c1 raing. then one points out the grants that are available for this work. If I were to go beyond that and had loads of cash to splash I am sure I would contact an architect or engineer and look at other ideas including solar panals other renewables.....


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 67 ✭✭parka


    brianmacl wrote: »
    I hate these comments. I have now heard people mentioning shop keepers, hair dressers and something else that is not associated with property.

    I would really like to know:
    is this true?
    do they have a background in construction or property other than their current proffession?
    If not can someone please report them to SEI and get the training company in loads of trouble!!!

    But maybe it is glorafied stories, what if I said I know a photographer that is doing assessments? people would say that this is just wrong but the photographer is actually running a bussiness taking pictures of property doing floor plans and BER certs, and has worked as an estate agent for 6 years. He has completed the residential and land agency cert, which includes a module in construction studies and is about to finish third year in a BSc Hons in property studies where about 1/4 of the degree is construction studies. at which point he is able to start his APC's to become a chartered surveyor. maybe the photographer isn't that under qualified.

    Sadly it is true and no they have no background in construction. Sadly, if there is money to be made you always get chancers (a lot of them). Again it comes down to the providers of the courses and if they are making money then they don't really care who they train. I know a few people who went to the UK to get the training done (quicker and cheaper)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,433 ✭✭✭sinnerboy


    brianmacl wrote: »
    I partly disagree with you on Punter 2: do you not think that anyone with a good understanding of construction and common sense can look at a 3 bed semi do an assessment and then tweek the data in DEAP to show that making changes such as putting down 200 - 300mm of attic insulation the house goes from an e to a d rating and then by changing the current boiler to a new boiler that is 90+% effeicient the house will go from a d to a c3, if you also change the heating control system and perhaps change 90% of the lighting to energy efficient bulbs the house will get a c1 raing. then one points out the grants that are available for this work. If I were to go beyond that and had loads of cash to splash I am sure I would contact an architect or engineer and look at other ideas including solar panals other renewables.....

    Brian - I'll give you that one . That's a very reasonable and sensible approach


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 102 ✭✭brianmacl


    sinnerboy wrote: »
    Brian - I'll give you that one . That's a very reasonable and sensible approach

    I like your use of a highlighter ;~)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,433 ✭✭✭sinnerboy


    :D


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 11 ecosid


    Hello Guys, I would just like to respond to the issues regarding who is doing the certs and what the charges are. I am an assessor and have completed ovr 60 certs both new and existing(Building and engineering background I might add) I can testify my price is not cheap per assessment. The problem I have came across is, I am of late pricing against assessors who are not registered for vat.As this is not illegal or anything but at the moment this guy quoted me €200 for a 2000sqft house "no vat sure Im not registered". This upset me greatly as my chargeable vat is half his overall cost.
    It sounds like a rant and it kinda is. I am trying to run a company that means I have to charge vat. Do I de-register to compete. And dont get me started on the price of the cert in the first case.:mad::mad::eek:


  • Subscribers Posts: 41,586 ✭✭✭✭sydthebeat


    ecosid wrote: »
    Hello Guys, I would just like to respond to the issues regarding who is doing the certs and what the charges are. I am an assessor and have completed ovr 60 certs both new and existing(Building and engineering background I might add) I can testify my price is not cheap per assessment. The problem I have came across is, I am of late pricing against assessors who are not registered for vat.As this is not illegal or anything but at the moment this guy quoted me €200 for a 2000sqft house "no vat sure Im not registered". This upset me greatly as my chargeable vat is half his overall cost.
    It sounds like a rant and it kinda is. I am trying to run a company that means I have to charge vat. Do I de-register to compete. And dont get me started on the price of the cert in the first case.:mad::mad::eek:

    there are ways to become exempt from VAT... ie set up an independent company whos earnings wont exceed the vat limit....

    but the problem is only being pushed on to income tax on your earnings....

    what i would be worried about is the guy who doesnt charge vat, but doesnt declare his/her earnings... if they declare their earnings they will be subject to income tax at usual rates thus higher prices will occur...


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,477 ✭✭✭topcatcbr


    sydthebeat wrote: »
    there are ways to become exempt from VAT... ie set up an independent company whos earnings wont exceed the vat limit....

    Are all registered companies liable for VAT.

    I think it is only sole trader who dont have to register for VAT if earning are below the VAT limit.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,477 ✭✭✭topcatcbr


    ecosid wrote: »
    Hello Guys, I would just like to respond to the issues regarding who is doing the certs and what the charges are. I am an assessor and have completed ovr 60 certs both new and existing(Building and engineering background I might add) I can testify my price is not cheap per assessment.

    Fair play. If you have done over 60 so far you are doing somthing right. If you are registered for VAT i will assume your turnover is greater than €38000 PA. Some one who is not registered for VAT is turning over less than this.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 11 ecosid


    topcatcbr wrote: »
    Fair play. If you have done over 60 so far you are doing somthing right. If you are registered for VAT i will assume your turnover is greater than €38000 PA. Some one who is not registered for VAT is turning over less than this.

    Thats correct Topcatcbr. Last years turnover was this, but this year obviously wont be . The problem of late has been the competition from the before mentioned assessors (€200 per 2000sqft house) . I have costed this again and again, and while these people will not see business next year it appears neither will I. My belief and also from watching the threads there is a quality that must be upheld in assessments and this cannot be achieved at prices like these. The BER is already the laughing stock of the country where local politicians and even Joe Duffey allege every housewife and school teacher are now certified. I have spent a large amount of money on this and see it as my future. Hence it comes back to the vat, how can legitimate companies who offer services including Ber eg Air tightness and thermal imaging carry on offering Ber when I have to charge Vat and others dont. This will only drive Ber down a worse avenue.:(:(:(


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,477 ✭✭✭topcatcbr


    I realy do sympathise with you and agree that there are serious issues with this.
    Just so you know I am not registered for VAT. I am fulltime employed as an Arch Tech. I was hoping to use this as a segway into opening up a small Arch Tech practice in a couple of years. I do pay all taxes i owe on any earnings i make doing BERs. I also have done over 60 so far. i did approx 40 last year including the HESS which i was involved in. I am fully insured PI PL and Employers. I have very small overheads but have spent too much on advertising. I was hoping to earn enough that i would have to register for VAT but at the moment this is not likely to happen for some time yet. I will not regester for VAT untill i have to. This is the reality of things. It is a fact that the prices have fallen through the floor. The only way i can stay competitive is to have overheads as low as possible this includes not registering for VAT. I do not see this as being the main problem though as it only makes a small difference the way income tax is set up. I PAY 41% on every euro so the VAT would only account for 59% of 21.5%.

    The main problem as i see it is the no of people doing it and hoping to make a fulltime living through it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,489 ✭✭✭No6


    This is how it works topcat, get laid off, sign on, get trained for free by FAS, register and do whatever BER certs you can get at a low low cost(while of course still signing on!!) declare nothing and pocket the lot!! How many are at this one wonders!!!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 102 ✭✭brianmacl


    No6 wrote: »
    This is how it works topcat, get laid off, sign on, get trained for free by FAS, register and do whatever BER certs you can get at a low low cost(while of course still signing on!!) declare nothing and pocket the lot!! How many are at this one wonders!!!


    With tax take down and social welfare up I would suggest there is a great chance that revune and welfare will be keeping a serios eye out for anyone guilty of tax evassion or benafit fraud. as all assessors are registered with SEI and the first time anyone does a cert is known by SEI all revenue and welfare need to do is get in touch with SEI and cross check.

    AS revenue are already cross checking such things as land lord tax evassion such as people claiming to be FTB or owner occupiers and then renting properties out within 2 years or forign Land lords. I would say there is a good chance they will clamp down on this and prosecute people.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,489 ✭✭✭No6


    I sincerely hope they do brian, but you'd have to wonder how or if many of the low low BER guys are at this???


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 102 ✭✭brianmacl


    No6 wrote: »
    I sincerely hope they do brian, but you'd have to wonder how or if many of the low low BER guys are at this???


    There will be fair numbers at this. But when they end up getting done by revenue and the welfare and get fines greater than the amount they earned and may even have to go bancrupt loose their home get suspended sentances...... soon enough people will get the message and the people who hire them won't have anyone to stand over the cert that they have.

    GO on Revenue and Welfare, stamp this out ;)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 11 ecosid


    Hi NO6 , I dont really care who is doin it really , I would like to know HOW they are doin it.The all of my certs being existing require me to drive to the houses , Measure (thoroughly), Complete the calculations, Sei contribution, Insurances,then print ,store and file these reports for ten years.

    How can this all be done for €200. I would argue this point untill I am blue in the face.:rolleyes::rolleyes:


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 102 ✭✭brianmacl


    ecosid wrote: »
    Hi NO6 , I dont really care who is doin it really , I would like to know HOW they are doin it.The all of my certs being existing require me to drive to the houses , Measure (thoroughly), Complete the calculations, Sei contribution, Insurances,then print ,store and file these reports for ten years.

    How can this all be done for €200. I would argue this point untill I am blue in the face.:rolleyes::rolleyes:


    If you are claiming the scratcher and not paying tax as well as no insurance well it is possible. €200 gives €165 cash in hand after SEI fee and petrol... hopefully these guys will get done.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 247 ✭✭bg07


    I am thinking of doing the course for the commercial BERs with Chevron. But I am not sure if it would be worth my while. I’m pretty sure that there is not much point doing the domestic one any way.

    How much would one normally charge for something like a standard shop unit?

    Is there much demand?

    As an engineer who has recently been made unemployed and who is now claiming social welfare is all I need the following?:-
    • Do course (obviously)
    • Get insurance (how much roughly does this cost?)
    • Declare any earnings to social welfare office
    • Set up as sole trader and make a tax return once a year

    Is there anything else I need to do?


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