The Building Regulations cover most types of building work. For example, new buildings, extensions or alterations to existing buildings, loft conversions, the installation or alteration of drainage or combustion appliances, structural alterations and some changes of use all require the submission of a Building Regulation application.

There are some works to which the regulations do not apply, please refer to the section on Exempt Buildings and work

If you are unsure whether any work will require a Building Regulation application please contact Building Control for guidance.

There is a very useful interactive guide on the Planning Portal website that gives details of building regulation requirements on many common types of house alterations and extensions. See the following link - interactive house guide

Building work is defined as:

  • The erection or extension of a building.
  • The provision or extension of a controlled service or fitting in connection with a building. This includes sanitary equipment, unvented hot water storage systems, foul and surface water drainage, and combustion appliances.
  • The replacement of a window (or a door with more than 50% of its area glazed).
  • The replacement of a heat-producing appliance or a hot water storage vessel.
  • The insertion of insulating material into the cavity wall of a building.
  • Work involving the underpinning of a building.
  • Any alteration to the building or part of a building if it affects the structure, fire safety, or the access and use of the building.
  • Any alteration to a controlled service or fitting.
  • A material change of use of a building (or part of a building) to:
    • A dwelling
    • A flat or maisonette (including a change in the number of dwellings within a building)
    • A hotel or boarding house
    • An institution (nursing home, hospital, etc)
    • A public building (theatre, school, place of public worship, etc)
    • residential rooms (hotel rooms, student rooms, residential homes, etc) including a change in the number of rooms within a building
    • A shop
  • work relating to the energy status of the building.
  • work relating to thermal elements of the building - eg walls, floor and roof.

A ‘building’ is defined in the Building Regulations as "a permanent or temporary building but not any other kind of structure or erection and a reference to a building includes reference to a part of a building".

Type of work to which the Building Regulations apply

You will require approval for:

·        The erection or extension of a building


·         Structural alterations to a building


·         Any alteration which could affect the fire safety, or the access and facilities for disabled people, of the building


·         The provision, alteration or extension of a controlled service or fitting, such as drainage or combustion appliances


·         A material change of use of a building or part thereof


·         Replacement windows, or doors with more than 50% of its area glazed


·         Many types of electrical work in dwellings


·         Work on thermal elements of a building eg walls, floor and roof


Some examples of the above works are:

·            Conversion of a loft space into a room(s)

·            Conversion of a dwelling house into flats

·            Conversion of a garage into a room(s)

·            Conversion of a barn into a dwelling

·            Internal alterations of a structural nature

·            Installation of cavity insulation

·            Installation of appliances and fittings for an unvented hot water system a WC, bath, basin, sink etc.

·            Underpinning of foundations

·            Replacement roof covering

·            Electrical work in dwellings and gardens of dwellings


Limitation On Requirements

There is an important limitation that applies to all the building regulations with the exception of the requirements for conservation of fuel and power and access and facilities for disabled people. This limitation ‘shall not require anything to be done except for the purpose of securing reasonable standards of health and safety for persons in or about buildings and any others who may be affected by buildings or matters connected with buildings’. The limitation makes it clear that building regulations make no provision for property protection or the quality of finishes to works.

Building work must be carried out with appropriate and proper materials which should be used or fixed in a workmanlike manner.

Proper materials include materials that bear an EC Mark in accordance with the Construction Products Directive of the EC or conform to a harmonised standard or European technical approval, a British Standard or British Board of Agrément (BBA) Certificate or other equivalent specification issued by a member of the EC.

Building Regulations

The building regulations currently cover the following areas:-

A: Structure

B: Fire safety

C: Site preparation and resistance to contaminents and moisture

D: Toxic Substances

E: Resistance to the passage of sound

F: Ventilation

G: Hygiene

H: Drainage and waste disposal

J: Combustion appliances and fuel storage systems

K: Protection from falling, collision and impact

L: Conservation of fuel and power

M: Access to and use of buildings

P: Electrical Safety Q: Security

R: Physical Infrastructure for high speed electronic communications networks

Regulation 7: Materials and workmanship

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