What are Building Regulations?

The exact building regulations vary from region to region in the UK. Generally, the regulations pertain to the safety, security, and overall structural strength of a building; they cover requirements such as minimum room sizes, fire safety, electrical safety, insulation, ventilation, plumbing, and damp proofing. The Department for Communities and Local Government’s website provides detailed guidance on the national regulations in the UK.

In order to get building regulations approval in the UK, building projects must be submitted to and approved by the local authority or a designated building control body, such as an Approved Inspector. The local authority or building control body will assess the building project against the requirements set out in the Building Regulations and, if approved, provide a final certificate.

It depends on the scale of the build as to whether building regulations are required. For example a small outbuilding or porch may not require building regulations and structural engineering calculations. Larger builds such as large extensions or new build houses always require building regulations approval. 

Depending on the scale of your build and the final design there are a 2 options to obtain building regulations approval.

1. Building Notice with basic plans
2. Full building regulations drawings and structural engineering calculations

Option 1 is quick, easy and cheap (a few hundred payable to the council) and often builders can arrange this.

Option 2 is most suitable for larger developments as the cost of fixing a build retrospectively far out weighs the cost of getting the drawings and calculations right at the start.

It also depends on your builder and how skilled they are, some are very comfortable building from architect drawings only while others require full building regulations drawings and structural engineering calculations in order to even quote the build.

If a building project is built without obtaining the necessary Building Regulations approval, the risk is that the building may be found to not be compliant with the standards expected in the Building Regulations. This may lead to enforcement action such as the local authority requiring the building to be demolished, or altered to make it compliant, as well as fines and other legal consequences. It is therefore important that any building projects undertaken in the UK obtain the necessary Building Regulations approval.

If you would like a quote for building regulations for your project or have any questions please do Contact Us for a free no obligation consultation.

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