Friday , 20 July 2018

Do I need Building Regulations Approval? Some FAQs

In this post we look at some of the frequently asked questions when work is being carried out to an existing property. This will give an overview as to the requirements, but also links to further reading and resources.

It is possible to make some alterations to your home without gaining permission, provided the work does not affect the appearance of the building externally. Beyond this, most building works require either planning permission or building regulations approval, or both prior to any building work commencing. It is important that you consult with a professional, and study the regulations, consult with your local authority to ensure you are gaining the necessary approvals.

Properties that are listed, or in designated areas such as national parks, conservation areas or areas of outstanding natural beauty, often have specific requirements and it is therefore recommended to seek advice from your local authority prior to carrying out any works.

 

Are building regulations approval required for a conservatory?

No, building regulations approval is not required for a conservatory provided any glazing and electrical installations comply with the regulations, and that it is built at ground level with a floor area less than 30m2. It must also be separated from the house by doors, windows and walls of external quality. The heating system must also be independent with separate heating controls in order to prevent the requirement for building regulations approval.

However, approval will be required for any new structural opening that connects the conservatory to the existing house, even if the conservatory is exempt from approval requirements.

Further reading:

Planning Portal Conservatory Guidance

Approved Documents

 

Are building regulations approval required for a loft conversion?

Yes. If you are planning a loft conversion you will be required to get building regulations approval. Some of the key points are that will need to be considered under the building regulations are:

  • Suitable sound insulation between the new loft room and the rooms below
  • Safe escape from fire
  • Stability of the structure, including the existing roof and floor loading requirements
  • Safely designed stairs

Another consideration is whether your proposed work falls within the Party Wall Act 1996. Further reading below.

Further Reading:

Planning Portal Loft Conversion Guidance

Planning Portal interactive guidance

Approved Documents

Party Wall Act

Are building regulations approval required for a shed or outbuilding?

No, building regulations approval is not required if the floor area is between 15m2 and 30m2, providing that it contains no sleeping accommodation, and is at least 1m from the boundary or constructed of suitably non combustable materials.

If in doubt it is advisable to contact your local building control before commencing work.

Further Reading:

Planning Portal Outbuildings Guidance

Approved Documents

Are building regulations approval required for solar panels?

Yes. If you intend to mount solar panels on your house, or in a building within the grounds of your house, building regulations approval will most certainly be required.

It is important to ensure the existing roof can carry the weight of the panels or if any strengthening work would be required.  Any electrical work must be carried out by an approved contractor.

Further reading:

Approved Documents

Are building regulations approval required for a wood burning stove?

Building regulation approval is required for the installation of a new wood burning stove, where a new flue is required. This is in regard to ventilation and general safety. Installations should be carried out by a suitably qualified installer.

Further reading:

Approved Documents

Are building regulations approval required for a new bathroom / wc / en-suite?

If you are planning a new bathroom, wc or en-suite where there wasn’t one there before, building regulations approval will be required. Particular attention needs to be given to any new drainage or electrical works, structural stability and fire safety.

Further reading:

Approved Documents

Planning Portal Kitchen and Bathroom Guidance

Are building regulations approval required for internal alterations?

Yes, building regulations approval will be required if you intend to remove any internal walls, or make any openings in internal walls. Considerations need to be taken with regard to fire safety, load bearing walls, sound insulation, structural support and ventilation. If erecting new internal walls there needs to be adequate separation in terms of fire resistance and thermal insulation between any habitable room and remaining space. If your alterations would affect joists, beams or chimney breasts approval would be needed. If your building is listed or in a conservation area it is likely building regulations approval would be required.

Further reading:

Approved Documents

 

Are building regulations approval required for a garage conversion?

Building regulations approval for the conversion of a garage is most likely required. It depends on the end use of the garage, whether it will have sleeping accommodation, bathroom facilities and so on. It is advisable to contact your local authority to assess approval requirements.

Further reading:

Approved Documents

What building regulations do I need for an extension?

Most extensions require building regulations approval. It is likely an extension to an existing house will contain a number of elements that fall within the Building Regulations Approved Documents some of which are listed below:

  • doors and windows
  • structure
  • drainage
  • electrics
  • foundations
  • external walls
  • flooring
  • kitchens and bathrooms
  • roofs
  • ventilation
  • to name a few

Another consideration is whether your proposed work falls within the Party Wall Act 1996. Further reading below.

Further reading:

Approved Documents

Party Wall Act

 

NOTE: This post is for information only, all Building Regulation Approved Documents must be checked and consultations taken with a professional prior to carrying out any work. This guide refers to English Building Regulations, note that Scottish, Northern Irish and Welsh regulations will differ.

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Approved Inspectors

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