Building Regulations - What You Need For Build

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Check zoning information on the land where you Need For Build. This will help ensure your construction is within regulations and in compliance with neighborhood covenants.

Building Regulations

The rules that dictate how a building is constructed and altered vary greatly from one area to another. These rules, known as the Building Regulations, are governed by local authorities although they often share common draft language in the form of model codes.

These models are compiled by expert bodies such as the International Code Council (ICC) and incorporate existing consensus building standards developed by professional organisations with expertise in specific areas. As new knowledge about engineering, natural hazards or human behaviour arises, the model codes can be upgraded and updated.

All new buildings and many alterations to existing buildings must adhere to the regulations. In addition, building control inspectors will visit the site at key stages of the build to ensure that work is compliant with the requirements. If you fail to comply with the rules, you could face penalties, additional fees or even being ordered to stop construction work. This is why it is always worth checking with your local authority before starting a project.

Planning Permission

Planning permission is the formal document, issued by the council, which allows development at a particular site. It takes into account local and national planning policies as well as the views of statutory consultees.

It’s illegal to carry out most works without planning permission and it can be costly if you haven’t got the necessary approval. It’s often a good idea to discuss your proposals with a residential architect at an early stage so that the design can be planned to avoid any delays obtaining planning consent.

Smaller projects such as garden sheds, extensions and replacement windows don’t need to be granted planning permission but larger developments do. There are some exceptions such as building in conservation areas or if work is likely to affect a listed building. You can apply for planning permission in principle or a full application which offers consent based on a detailed design being provided. You might also have to submit a further application called an Application for Matters Specified in Conditions, which sets out the detail of the scheme such as contamination, highways and landscaping, which must be agreed before work can start.

Building Warrant

Whether you wish to alter, erect, extend, demolish or convert, building work must be carried out with a warrant. This can be obtained either by applying directly or by appointing an agent (see the Related Links section on this page).

In addition to submitting plans and information, structural design certification or calculations may be required and energy ratings may also be requested. Details of precautions taken to safeguard persons and property during construction, as well as keeping a site secure, are also required.

Applications are normally made through the eBuildingStandards portal. Once completed, the portal allows you to submit warrant applications and completion certificates – as well as the associated forms and documentation – in a quick, simple and convenient way.

Building Control

Building Control primarily deals with ensuring that all construction work meets the technical requirements of the building regulations. This relates to minimum standards for health and safety of people in and around buildings, conservation of fuel and power, and access for the disabled.

Most domestic building work and some commercial and industrial works need to comply with the Building Regulations. This includes extensions, loft conversions, converting garages into habitable rooms and changes of use. Building control surveyors will visit the site on a regular basis to ensure that the construction work is progressing to meet the required standards.

It’s important to remember that building control approval is separate from planning permission and it’s the responsibility of those carrying out the building work to ensure that their proposals meet the required standards. We can offer advice on how to achieve compliance, but the final responsibility lies with the person who is carrying out the work. We also provide a service to help self-builders, architects and designers meet the requirements of the building regulations.