Building Regulations Approval
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Building regulations approval is required for almost all building work including:
- house extensions
- internal alterations to a house
- change of use to living accommodation
- removal of load-bearing walls
- new bathrooms, showers, toilets or drains
- loft conversions
- cavity wall insulation
- new chimney or flues
- new windows in walls or roof
- re-roofing with roof covering that are substantially heavier or lighter than the original roof covering.
Exemptions from Building Regulations
Not all new buildings are subject to building regulations approval and including greenhouses, some porches and conservatories. Porches and conservatories are exempt but they must comply with the following conditions:
- built at ground level
- single storey
- floor area of less than 30 square metres
- there is a door separating the new building from the main house
- the roof and walls of a conservatory are mainly translucent
- the glazing complies with Part N of the regulations.
This glazing requirement is comparatively new and is intended to protect people from serious injury if the glass is broken. The glass is required to break safely i.e. in small pieces or be in small panes or be protected.
Although the above exemptions to porches and conservatories mean that building regulations are not required, there is still an obligation on the owner to ensure that the new building does not cause any danger to health or safety or affect any escape routes required under the fire regulations.
Building Regulations for Garages
Building regulation approval is required for the construction of some garages and carports. All attached garages and single-storey detached garages with a floor area of over 30 square metres require approval. Detached garages with an area of less than 30 square metres that are constructed mainly of non-combustible material or more than one metre away from the nearest boundary do not require building regulations approval. Similarly, carports that are open on two sides and are less than 30 square metres floor area do not require approval. Converting a garage into living accommodation requires approval.
Building Regulations Overview
Several important changes were to building regulations were made recently. Among the changes were new requirements for glazing and insulation and advice on these changes should be obtained from your local Building Control offices.
The Building Control service must be notified in advance if any work is to be carried requiring approval. The work will be inspected during construction and a Completion Certificate issued on satisfactory completion. This certificate should be retained by the householder to show any future owner of the property that the work was approved. Although it is not mandatory to have plans drawn up, it is usually worthwhile for other reasons such as tendering purposes. If you are in any doubt, you should consult a professional or contact your local Building Control offices for advice. To apply for approval you need to send in either a Full Plans submission or a Building Notice submission. You will need professional advice on which is appropriate for the work to intend carrying out.
For a Full Plans submission, you will have to pay a Plan Charge on submission and an Inspection Charge after the first inspection. For a Building Notice submission, you will be required to pay the Plan Charge and the Inspection Charge on submission.
The fees for building regulation approval vary in different local authorities and the figures set out in the following table include VAT and should be regarded as indicative only.
Building Regulation Fees
|Type of Building Work|| Building Regulations |
Plan Charge ()
| Building Regulations |
Inspection Charge (£)
|Building Notice |
|Garage or carport up|
to 40 square metres
|Garage or carport 40|
to 60 square metres
|Extension up to 10|
|Extension 10 to 40|
|Extension 40 to 60|
The building regulation fees for loft conversions are usually regarded as the same as those for extensions with a minimum fee of about £360.00 because of the complexity of this type of work.
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"You make no mention of a Building Notice rather than Full Plans. This is open to a lot of interpretation and makes people wonder why anybody would pay for an Architect or Arch Designer when you can start work immediately. No mention is made of the many pitfalls of such a course of action."