Building regulations are the national standards that make sure buildings are safe, warm and dry. Nearly all residential building work – such as home extensions or roofing work – as well as new build will need to be signed off by a local council building control team to make sure it is up to standard.
Building Regulations are applicable for most building projects to ensure the building or extension/modifications are of a minimum construction standard such as heat loss, sound proofing, dampness barriers, fire protection, structural soundness etc. We will explain later what type of work requires Building Control and the methods to follow.
Any building project that aims to create something new or to alter or extend an existing building will usually need to comply with Building Regulations. Also any person carrying out building work needs to ensure that the work complies with the regulations.
There are some types of work which will be exempt from the Building Regulations and an application will not be necessary. These can be small works such as Porches, Sheds or Conservatories.
The responsibility for checking the Building Regulations have been met falls to Building Control Bodies – either from the Local Authority or the private sector as an Approved Inspector. The person carrying out the work has the choice of where to get approval for the building work and in most cases pay for this himself.
How to get approval depends on whether a Local Authority Building Control service or an Approved Inspector Building Control service is being used. You should contact you local Authority for their Building Control details or details of an Approved private Building Control contractor.
When your project commences & after you have arranged and payed for Building Control services, you or your builder will request the attendance of the Building Control person to attend at each stage of building work as directed by the Building Control person.
When the works are finished and fully inspected, any documents for heating, gas, pressurised hot tanks, preservation, electrical, glazing etc will be requested. You building will then be signed off as all works carried out to current Building Regulations.
The local authority has a general duty to see that building work complies with the Building Regulations – unless it is under the control of an Approved Inspector. Only local authorities have the power to enforce standards if things go wrong.
View LABC’s video on ‘What is Building Control?’
Individual local authorities co-ordinate their services regionally and national (and provide a range of national approval schemes) via an organisation called LABC. You can find out more on the LABC website.