8 Feb 2012: Building Regulations

The Building Regulations exist to ensure that buildings are safe and sound, and to ensure energy efficiency and accessibility.

Most building work requires Building Regulations approval and there are three ways to obtain this:

  1. Through a ‘competent persons’ scheme
  2. By way of a Building Notice
  3. By submitting a Full Plans submission.

Some work can be deemed to comply with the regulations if it is carried out by a person registered with an appropriate ‘competent persons’ scheme,  Examples of these schemes are FENSA (window installations), Gas Safe (for gas installations!) and electrical installations.  You should check that your tradesman is registered with a suitable scheme and obtain a certificate on completion.

For building work to residential buildings, a Building Notice can be submitted.  This is simply a notification to Building Control that work is about to be started.  A Building Control Officer will then make inspections to try to determine if it complies with the regulations.  This is suitable really only for small and simple work.  If any of the work is done not in accordance with the regulations, then the work will have to be ‘undone’ and rebuilt.

For other work, a Full Plans Building Regulations application will be required.  This consists of drawings, similar to any planning application drawings, but with more detail (for example sections) showing how the building work is going to be carried out.  The drawings are accompanied by notes describing how the work will comply with the regulations, and possibly structural engineer’s calculations and an assessment to show how it complies with energy efficiency requirements (SAP or SBEM assessment).

Other things to check are whether you need planning permission, whether the Party Wall Act applies, and checking where the drains are.

For free advice and information please click on the links or contact us on 01202 237377 or info@sutherlandsurveyors.co.uk.


Daniel Sutherland