Building Regulation Frequently Asked Questions - Answered

Does my building work need approval?

What happens if I have already started or completed work without approval?

Do I need Building Regulation approval for a conservatory?

Do I need plans drawn up for my building work?

How can I arrange for a Surveyor to inspect my building works?

How long does a Building Regulation Approval last for?

What happens if the Building Regulations are updated before I complete my project?

Do I need Building Regulation Approval for a carport?

Do I need Building Regulation Approval for an attached garage?

Can you recommend a Builder or Architect?

Do I need Building Regulation Approval to make repairs or internal alterations to a building?

Do I need Building Regulations Approval for replacement windows?

Do I need Building Regulation approval to convert my garage? 

Do I need Building Regulation Approval to convert my loft?

Do I need Building Regulation Approval to Insert Insulation into a Cavity Wall?

Do I need Building Regulation Approval to Install WCs / showers / washbasins or sinks?

Do I Need Building Regulation Approval to install or replace a hot water cylinder?

Do I need Building Regulation Approval to install, replace or alter a fuel burning heating appliance?

Do I need Building Regulation Approval to underpin foundations?

Do I need Building Regulation approval to build or alter a garden or boundary wall?

Do I need Building Regulation approval to install solar panels on my property?

Can I obtain a copy of the Building Regulations documents?

 

Does my building work need approval?

The Building Regulations control most types of building work.  See Work to which the Building Regulations apply for further information.

There are certain types of building work that may be carried out without notifying the Building Control Service. See Exempt Buildings & Work for further information.

Advice - It is always prudent to obtain written confirmation from the Council that your proposals do not require approval prior to commencing any work.  Any exemptions relate solely to the Building Regulations. Planning Permission  or Listed Building Consent may be required even if the work is exempt under the Building Regulations.

What happens if I have already started or completed work without approval?

You may submit an application for Regularisation. Following acceptance the works will be inspected and you may be asked to open up some work and/or carry out tests to prove compliance. After satisfying Building Control that compliance has been achieved a Regularisation Certificate will be issued.

See Applying for Building Regulations for further advice.

Do I need Building Regulation approval for a conservatory?

If the conservatory meets the following criteria:

  • The internal floor area is less than 30m²,
  • The roof is a transparent or transluscent material (glass or polycarbonate sheets),
  • It is built at ground level (i.e., not over an undercroft or a balcony),
  • Any glazing complies with the requirements of Part N (Glazing - Safety in relation to impact, opening and cleaning),
  • The conservatory is an addition to the building, rather than an extension to it (i.e., it should be separated from the remainder of the building with external doors, windows and walls),

then it is exempt from the Building Regulations.

If you are building over or within 3m of a public sewer, you are still required to obtain consent from Wessex Water.

Work on or near your boundary with a neighbouring property will still be subject to the provisions of the Party Wall Act.  This is civil legislation not controlled by the Council.

Even though your proposed building maybe exempt from the building regulations you should still take all reasonable steps to ensure that it doesn't adversely affect the existing building. For example, the conservatory shouldn't block any boiler flues, or be built under an escape window from a loft conversion.

Do I need plans drawn up for my building work?

If you apply for a Full Plans approval you will need to provide the Council with plans. If you apply for Building Notice acceptance you do not initially need to provide any plans other than a site location plan.

However, the Building Control Surveyor may request plans, details or calculations at any stage of construction.

We recommend that you seek professional advice when contemplating construction work and plan drawing.

See Making an application for further information.

How can I arrange for a Surveyor to inspect my building works?

If you want works relating to a building regulation application inspected just call 01225 477517 or email building_control@bathnes.gov.uk  If you call by 10am we can definitely arrange for a visit the same day but many times we will still be able to visit the same day even if you call later.

How long does a Building Regulation Approval last for?

Once your application has been approved, you have three years in which to commence the works. Once works have commenced (and we have carried out a commencement inspection) the application will last indefinitely.

What happens if the Building Regulations are updated before I complete my project?

Only the Building Regulations in force at the time your application was made will apply.

Do I need Building Regulation Approval for a carport?

No, as long as it is built at ground floor level, the floor area does not exceed 30m2 internal floor area and it must be open on at least two sides. 

Do I need Building Regulation Approval for an attached garage?

If the garage is to be attached to the main house then yes because it is classed as a type of extension.

Can you recommend a Builder or Architect?

As a local authority we are unable to do this; however, we have provided links to the National Federation of Builders, The Federation of Master Builders and the Royal Institute of British Architects. We also have the names of builders and designers who have previously won our Building Control Awards. 

Do I need Building Regulation Approval to make repairs or internal alterations to a building?

It is very likely that you will need permission to make alterations to your home or any other building. Building regulations are very likely to apply if your project will: 

i. Involve alterations to the structure of the building (e.g. the removal or part removal of a load bearing wall, joist, beam or chimney breast);

ii. Will affect escape or other fire precautions either inside or outside the building;

iii. Will affect access or facilities for disabled people.

On the assumption that the regulations do apply, all the work involved in the alteration must comply with all the appropriate requirements. 

Whilst some minor works may not require approval it is best to contact us to make sure. Please also be aware that if you live in a Listed Building even the most minor of alterations may require Listed Building consent.

Do I need Building Regulation Approval for replacement windows?

Replacement windows are subject to building regulation approval.   This does not include replacing broken panes of glass or repairing sections of the frame, it is the complete replacement of the frame and glazing. 

If you are considering having your windows, and glazed doors, replaced you need to determine whether the company you are using is registered with a Competent Persons Scheme (CPS) such as FENSA, CERTASS or BSi.

If you are considering using a contractor who is not registered under a CPS scheme an application will be required and the work will be inspected.  There is a standard all inclusive fee for this type of application.

Do I need Building Regulation approval to convert my garage?

If you are going to construct a new doorway/opening then yes you do.  If you will be making the room habitable then yes it will need permission too because you will have to put thermal insulation in and ventilation to the roof which will have to comply with parts F and L of the Building Regulations.

Do I need Building Regulation Approval to convert my loft?

If you will be making the room habitable then yes it will need permission too because you will have to put thermal insulation in and ventilation to the roof which will have to comply with parts F and L of the Building Regulations. We have a guide to loft conversions on our website available to assist you with applications for loft conversions.

Do I need Building Regulation Approval to insert insulation into a cavity wall?

The regulations specifically define this as 'Building Work' so yes you would. They apply because we need to make sure that the insulation material is suitable for the wall construction and, in the case of some foam insulates, the risk of formaldehyde gas emission is safely assessed. However, the application is normally dealt with by the insulation installer.

Do I need Building Regulation Approval to Install WCs / showers / washbasins or sinks?

If the installation of the fitting or fittings will involve alterations to, or new connections to, a drainage stack or an underground drain then yes they do. You should also check with us to find out how much information is required about the fittings you intend to use. If you employ an installer registered with a relevant Competent Persons Scheme, you will not need to involve the Building Control Service.

Do I need Building Regulation Approval to install or replace a hot water cylinder?

In both unvented and vented systems the answer is yes. For either type of system your installer should leave you with a completed installation record and commissioning certificate.

Do I need Building Regulation Approval to install, replace or alter a fuel burning heating appliance?

All Gas appliances

Yes, but if you employ a Gas Safe registered installer with the relevant competencies to carry out the work, you will not need to involve the Building Control Service. (Please note the Gas Safe Register is the new hallmark for gas safety in Great Britain and replaces the CORGI gas registration scheme as the official gas safety body).

Oil appliances

Yes, but if the building is no more than three storeys and you employ an installer registered with a relevant Competent Persons Scheme such as OFTEC (Oil Firing Technical Association Limited) to carry out the work, you will not need to involve the Building Control Service.

Solid fuel appliancessuch as wood burners

Yes, but if the but if the insaller is registered with a relevant Competent Persons Scheme such as HETAS, APHC, BESCA, Certsure, NAPIT, OFTEC & Stroma you will not need to make a building regulation application. Your installer will self certify that their work complies with building regulations and will notify the Council about their installation.

Do I need Building Regulation Approval to underpin foundations?

The regulations specifically define this as 'Building Work' so yes you will. The requirements will be applied so as to ensure that the underpinning will stabilise the movement of the building. Particular regard will need to be given to the effect on any sewers and drains near the work.

Do I need Building Regulation approval to build or alter a garden or boundary wall?

No, but you should, of course, make sure that the work is done safely to avoid accidents.  You may however require Planning Permission or Listed Building Consent so please contact the Planning Section using the details below.

Do I need Building Regulation approval to install solar panels on my property?

The installation of a solar panel to a building will generally require a building regulation application. The issues requiring approval are:-

  • The increased loading on the roof and the ability of the existing structure to take the additional load. (Part A) In some cases additional strengthening may be required to the roof.

  • Any penetrations through the roof covering will need to comply with Part C of the building regulations (resistance to moisture).

  • Any alterations/additions to the heating or hot water system will need to be carried out by a competent person and certification will need to be provided.

  • All electrical work required to meet the requirements of Part P (Electrical Safety) must be designed, installed, inspected and tested by a person competent to do so. Prior to completion, the Council should be satisfied that Part P has been complied with.  This may require an appropriate BS7671 electrical installation certificate to be issued for the work by a person competent to do so.

    There are now a number of self certification Competent Persons Schemes (CPS) in operation whereby the installers self certify their work for compliance with the building regulations and then notify the Local Authority. It is advisable for you to discuss this with your installer to see if they are a registered member of such a scheme and that they are covered by the CPS to certify compliance with all necessary building regulations.

Can I obtain a copy of the Building Regulations documents?

The Building Regulations and associated guidance (Approved Documents) can be viewed at:

i. public libraries;

ii. online at http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/buildingregulations/

Your rating: 

Your rating: None Average: 2.5 (4 votes)
To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.