Frequently Asked Questions About Building Regulations

What Are Building Regulations?

Building Regulations are a set of national standards that are in place relating to all aspects of a building’s construction.  Building Regulations make sure that buildings are safe, energy efficient and accessible to all people, including those with disabilities.  

Do I Need Building Regulations?

In most cases, any construction work will require Building Regulation approval.

What Work Is Subject To Building Regulations?

If you want to construct a new building, or extend or alter an existing one, Building Regulations will probably apply. They will probably also apply if you put a building to a differing use. Building Regulations approval is completely different from Planning Permission and it does not mean that if you get one you will automatically get the other.

Is Planning Approval The Same As Building Control Approval?

No. Planning deals with issues such as aesthetics, the impact on the environment, traffic and neighbour notification and so on. Building control is concerned with health and safety issues, energy conservation and access and use of buildings, including access for people with disabilities.

Do I Need Both Planning And Building Control Approvals?

In most cases, approval is required from both Building Control and Planning but some minor works may be permitted development under planning law and/or exempt from Building Regulations.

Can I Start Work On My Project Before I Apply For Building Regulations?

No. You must submit your application first.

However, seven days after the application is submitted you can commence work, even if an approval (if applicable) has not been issued.

Do I Need Building Regulation Approval For A Conservatory?

Yes,  if one or more of the following apply;

it does not have a substantially glazed roof

it does not have substantially glazed walls

the floor area is over 30 square metres

it is not at ground floor level

it is not separated from the house by an external quality door

Do I Need To Inform Building Control To Replace My Windows?

Yes, unless you use a company that is registered under the Fensa (Fenestration Self-Assessment) Scheme where they are authorised to self-certify that the work complies with the regulations.

Do I Need Approval To Make Internal Alterations Within My House?

Yes, if the alterations are of a structural nature, involve the removal or part-removal of a load-bearing element (for example, wall partition, joist, beam, chimney breast), or if in altering the house, work is necessary to maintain the means of escape in case of fire.

Do I Need A Smoke Detector In My House?

New houses should have mains operated, self-contained smoke alarms fitted. There is no legal requirement to install smoke detectors in existing buildings but if you are undertaking home improvements they are always recommended.

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