Once Planning Permission has been granted we will begin to produce a set of detailed construction documents in preparation for a building regulations application. Building regulations are rules laid down to ensure the mimimum design and construction standards are being achieved. These cover all manner of subjects such as fire and other forms of safety, insulation, the drainage system, and access.
Building control officers do not supervise work on your behalf. Their role is to ensure the minimum standards of the building regulations have been adhered to. Depending on the scale and type of project we will determine the correct and most appropriate application, if an application is required at all. We will generally submit what is called a Full Plans Submission to the local authority. In this case you submit a full set of detailed plans, pay a fee and the building inspector visits the site at the various stages of the build and inspects the work as it proceeds. This must be done a minimum of 5 weeks before building work commences.
As an alternative, we can submit what is a called a Building Notice. This is a statement which must be submitted at least 48 prior to when you intend to start the building works, informing the council that you will be complying with the building regulations. This process is generally only used on very small projects, since there is an element of risk involved, as you are not building to a set of approved plans.
The local authority base their fees on the costs of the work involved, such as site inspections.
The amount that they charge will depend on the:
- Type of work involved. e.g Domestic, Commercial.
- Number of dwellings
- Total proposed floor area
DO I NEED BUILDING REGULATIONS?
Competent Registered Person
For some types of building work it is possible to use a contractor who is registered on a ‘competent person’ scheme instead of submitting a building regulations application.
Greenhouses are exempt providing they are not used for packing, retailing or exhibiting.
Building Regulations is required when constructing a new attached garage.
Detached garages do not require Building Regulations approval if they are single storey under 30m2 floor area. It must contain no sleeping accommodation and be built of non-combustible materials – no less than 1m from the boundary of a property.
Covered Yard or Walkway
A covered walkway of yard does not require Building Regulation if it is less than 30 square metres in area.
A cart port must be open on at least two sides and be less than 30 square metres floor area to avoid Building Regulations approval.
Conversion of Garages and Internal Alterations
Any internal alterations that involve alteration to the structure of a property, for example removing a load bear wall, will require Building Regulations. The conversion of a garage will require Building Regulations approval. The existing structure must be brought up to date with regards to building standard, including thermal and sound insulation.
Conservatories or Porches
A conservatory will be exempt from Building Regulations as long as it is is less than 30 square metre and built only at ground level. At least 50% of all the walls must be translucent or transparent, and 75% of the roof must be transparent. The conservatory must be separated from any other habitable part of the property using external quality doors or windows and any heating or cooling systems must have independent controls.