What are Building Control Regulations?

Apr 9, 2023glyn

Building regulations include the construction or extension of buildings to ensure they are safe.


What is a building inspection?

A building inspection will involve checking any work you are doing to your property to ensure it meets safety and energy efficient building regulations.


When Do I Need a Building Inspector?

You will need a building inspector if you are making certain changes to your property.

A building inspection is necessary because if you don’t have the changes inspected, it could mean you will have to put it back the way it was which is a lot of expense and hassle for you.

Carrying out inspections is not just to ensure your building meets the correct building regulations, but it is to ensure the property is safe for you and everyone in it.

You will need a building inspector for the following changes:


Building an extension

You need to apply for Building Regulations to add to your property.


For a porch or conservatory

If the floor area is less than 30 square metres, then you do not need permission.


Garage conversion or loft conversion

A conversion to turn a loft, garage, basement, or other area into a room requires Building Regulations. Even if it is only to store items.


New build

For building a new house, you will need permission.


Internal alterations

Internal alterations that mean structural changes such as removing part of a load bearing wall, removing chimneys, or if they effect fire safety, mean you will need permission.


Replacing windows and doors

This can affect fire safety and ventilation, so it requires permission.



If you are replacing your roof coverings, you will need permission.



This can include adding new fittings like fuse boxes, changing electrics in a   bathroom or installing new electrical wiring.



Installing or replacing a boiler, adding radiators, or installing a fuel burning appliance fall under the regulations.



Waste disposal and drainage may require permission.



Installing thermal insulation can also require permission.


What does a building control inspector do?

A building control inspector role involves working closely with any architects, builders, or other workers to ensure the designs meet the regulations. Note that the proper name for what we do isn't building control inspectors, but that’s what everyone calls us! Our proper name is Approved Inspectors.

They will help to keep the project cost effective and carry out site inspections at different stages of the process.

The requirements for a building inspector also include signing off on technical drawings, writing an inspection report, keeping records, and the issue of a completion certificate.


When should a building inspector visit?

A building inspector should visit regularly for site inspections and carry out certain checks which include:



Your building inspector should meet with you to discuss the plans for the project before any applications have been made.



When or if, foundations are needed, your building inspector will need to check the foundations will carry the load of the project.

This needs to be done before the foundations have been created.



Your inspector will need to check the materials and ensure they are suitable for use.



If you need new drainage for your project, an inspector will need to check the alignment and carry out a test if possible.


Before occupation

Your approved inspector will need to check the premises before you occupy it and carry out an inspection.



On completion of the project, your private building inspector will carry out another inspection and issue a completion certificate.


There are many other checks an inspector will make including structural integrity, thermal and sound insulation, woodworking, and many others.


A building inspector may also check electrical issues, or they will get a qualified electrician to do this on their behalf.


Building inspector qualifications

While there is no exact qualification that building inspectors need to have, a lot of employers will want them to have a degree in a related topic such as structural engineering.

They will most likely want any building inspector to be a member of a professional body such as the Royal institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Building inspectors must apply to the Construction Industry council Approved Inspectors Register (CICAIR) which requires them to be assessed every five years.


How much does a building inspector cost in the UK?

Building inspector fees will depend on several factors such as the type of work, the number of dwellings in the property, and the total floor area.

The approval cost of a conversion or extension work will cost less than £1,000 and this means a third party is responsible for checking the work to give you peace of mind.


Who is responsible for getting building regulations?

The person who is carrying out the building work or the owner of the building are responsible for building regulations.

Your building inspector can organise the building regulations for you which is why it is important to choose the right one to ensure you are not held responsible for not conforming with any regulations.


What projects are exempt from building regulations?

Not all home improvements work require permission. For instance, replacing a bath, toilet, attaching a carport, and erecting certain types of porches.


Are planning permission and building regulations the same thing?

No. Planning permission and building regulations or control are different, but you might need both.

Planning permission generally includes how the building work appears when it is complete and its impact on the surrounding area.

Building regulations ensure that buildings are safe.

If you are unsure what permission you need, you should check with your local authority.


Where can I get building regulations approval?

You can apply for building regulations approval from your local authority and hire a private building inspector to do this on your behalf. It can be much quicker to hire a private building inspector, so it could be a good option to speed up your building project.


How to apply for building regulations approval and how long does it take?

To apply for building regulations approval you must contact a building control body (BCB).

There are two types of BCB, a local authority or private.

A private BCB will inform your local authority for you, or you will need to apply to your local authority yourself.


Type of application

There are two types of applications. If you are unsure which you need, ask your private building inspector.


Full plans

These are for larger projects, and you can get a decision within 5 weeks or 2 months.

You will receive a completion certificate within 8 weeks of completion of the work if it applies.


Building notices

Building notices are for smaller projects. You can start the work 2 days after your notice has been submitted to your BCB but you do not get formal approval.


Can I get building regs after work is done?

You can apply for building approval after work has been completed but this isn’t advisable.

If you apply for regularisation (a retrospective application), for work already done without first applying for approval, you may have to change the work or pay a fine.

Work carried out after 11 November 1985 can only use regularisation.

Get a Quote