Building regulations approvals are needed for certain types of work to a property.
They are in place to ensure the safety and sustainability of a building.
If you do not get the correct approval, you could be fined or made to undo the work.
Find out the types of building regulations approval, which one you need, and how to get it to avoid any extra costs.
What are building regulations?
Building regulations are needed for new properties or for making changes to your current property.
They are to ensure the building is safe, sustainable, and accessible.
Building regulations must meet health and safety regulations, energy efficiency and sustainability rules, accessibility rules, and to make sure they comply with fire safety.
A building control approver will make regular checks to ensure the building is meeting the requirements.
The land or property owner is responsible for getting building regulations approval otherwise you may face a fine or penalty. You could also have to undo any work you have done or face issues when you try to sell the property.
Do I need building regulations approval?
You may need building regulations approval or planning permission or both depending on the work you are doing to the property.
Some types of projects you may need building regulations approval for are:
- Any structural or stability projects
- For damp-proofing and insulation
- Electrical or gas installations
- Ventilation, heating, and cooling
- Drainage and waste
- Fire safety measures
- Building extensions, porches or conservatories
- Converting spaces into rooms such as a loft or garage.
Who gives building regulation approval?
Your local planning authority at your local council will give building regulation approval.
Why it’s important to have building regulations approval
Making changes to a property is already a big investment and takes a lot of your time. Getting building regulations approval may seem like an added task that is going to cost you more money.
But building regulations approval will actually save you money. It prevents any issues with the work being carried out to ensure it will last and you don’t have any unexpected and expensive repairs down the line.
It also ensures the occupants are safe from any accidents, structural failures, or any other risks.
Building regulations also ensure your property is energy efficient which means it’s more comfortable for the occupants and it helps to lower energy consumption and keep your bills down.
Is building regulations approval the same as planning permission?
No building regulations approval and planning permission are not the same.
Building regulations are designed to make sure the property is safe whereas planning permission involves the way the building work appears when it is completed and its impact on the surrounding environment.
You may need one or the other, or you may need both.
You can check with your local planning authority if you are unsure or you can get in contact with us.
The types of building regulations approval
There are two main types of building regulations approval:
- Full plans application
- Building notice application.
You can also apply for retrospective approval under certain circumstances. This is when the work has already been carried out without permission.
But, this does not mean you should go ahead without permission and apply for it later because you may not get it and may have to undo all your work.
Full plans application
Full plans application is when copies of the plans are submitted with your application, so inspectors can check if they comply with regulations.
This application is submitted before any work is starts on the property.
Your plans will then be checked by your local authority, and you will get a decision usually within five weeks whether it is approved or not.
If your plans are not approved, you may have to make changes to them or provide more details.
Building notice application
For a building notice application, you do not need to submit plans which means this is quicker than a full plans application.
A building notice application is for certain types of projects, usually smaller works.
How long is it valid for?
A building approval is valid for three years from the date of deposit of your plans. If the work is not carried out within this time, you will have to apply again.
How long does it take to get building regulations approval?
It should take no more than five weeks to receive a decision. It can be quicker to use a private approved inspector such as Building Consents Ltd
How much does building regulations approval cost?
The cost of your building regulations approval will depend on the type of work you are carrying out and the number of inspections required.
For most conversions, renovations, or extension projects, it generally costs less than £1,000. While it may seem like a high fee simply to get a stamp of approval, it could save you much more if your work isn’t carried out properly. Both in terms of finance but also safety.
What is the building regulations approval process?
You can hire a professional architect to create the plans for your project.
You will then need a building control approver to check the plans meet all requirements and they will also check the site.
The building control approver informs your local council about the work and five days later you can begin.
A building control approver will make regular inspections and issue a completion certificate when the work is finished.
Hiring an approved inspector
You can hire an approved inspector to oversee your project which will save you a lot of stress.
Make sure you hire a qualified inspector with experience in building control for the type of property you are working on, whether public or private.
Building regulations approval made easy
At Building Consents, most of our building control surveyors have an HNC, HND, or degree in a related field and are accredited members of a professional body such as the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
Contact us today for advice on your building project.