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Building Regulations: A Quick Guide

Building regulations can be a real maze for most people. There are reasons for them, protecting the health and safety of you and the people around you being a primary one, but they can cause serious headaches.

They’re also not to be confused with planning permission. These are two separate pieces of legislation and many projects will require both, or one or the other.

The general rule of thumb is that you’re subject to building regulations if you’re building, extending or making structural alterations.

Sheds, greenhouses, conservatories and porches are generally exempt but it’s well worth checking with the local authorities.

What do building regulations cover? 

How do I comply?

Route 1: Submit full detailed plans to your local planning department. Building control surveyors will look them over and make sure everything’s in order. If it is, you’ll get a notice of approval.

Your builder will also have to regularly update the council on how the work is going, and you’ll be subject to inspections to ensure everything is up to scratch. A final inspection will be made at the end and, as long as everything meets regulations, you’ll get a certificate of compliance.

Route 2: This is more suited to structural alterations or small additions to residential property. In this case, you need to complete a building notice form outlining your proposal, and provide a scale block plan. It won’t take long to gain approval – usually a day or two.

Again, the builder will have to keep the council in the loop during construction and inspections will be carried out.

This blog is only intended as an introduction. Obviously you won’t want to navigate this kind of thing on your own, so your builder or architect should be able to advise where necessary.

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