Building Regulations (also known as building control) are standards that apply to all buildings to make sure they are safe for the people who are in or around them. The Regulations are a series of Approved Documents covering the technical aspects of construction work. As such, Building Regulations ensure quality in terms of the comfort, safety, and watertightness of the works carried out.
Most building work – whether new, alterations or extensions or change of use – requires Building Regulations Approval. Examples of when Building Regulations approval is required include, but are not limited to:
If you are in any doubt, come to us and we can certainly use our expertise to check this for you.
Once the Building Control Body – generally the council or an approved inspector – has checked the standard of the works, they issue a building regulations completion certificate.
As a landlord, it is your duty to ensure that the work you are carrying out meets the quality standards set out to ensure comfortable, dry housing. If the person doing the work does not comply with building regulations, they could be prosecuted and fined. In addition, your local authority may oblige you to pay for the faulty work to be fixed. In addition, it is worth mentioning that a lack of Building Control approval appears on a land search, and so you will not have one of the compliance certificates you may need when you want to sell your home.
Each local council in England and Wales has a Building Control section, which has a general duty to ensure that the building work done complies with building regulations.
There are two ways you can make a Building Regulations application, either by making a Full Plans application or by submitting a Building Notice notification.
A Full Plans application will consist of detailed plans and full specifications of the construction details, together with the appropriate fee.
A Building Notice is more appropriate for doing simple work to a domestic building. A Building Notice application doesn’t generally require detailed plans or full specifications of the construction details, and an inspection takes place to ensure the quality of the work. Although this is more convenient, you won’t receive the protection and reassurance that an Approved Plan would give you. In addition, the whole process of making sure your work complies with Building Regulations is carried out at the site inspection stage.
It’s worth mentioning that the Government has introduced legislation to allow private Approved Inspectors to check work requiring Building Regulation approval as an alternative to gaining Local Authority approval You are free to choose which type of Building Control Body you use on your project.
Whether you are renovating your home from scratch, converting your property, or simply adding an extension, you will need a structural engineer proficient in preparing the structural drawings, calculations and specifications you’ll need to get your Building Regulations Approval.
Where minor works are done to a property, the tradesperson carrying them out may issue a completion certificate under the ‘competent persons scheme’, provided they are registered installers. Some of the tradespeople that might fall under this scheme might be:
In this case, these tradespeople issue Certificates of Compliance, rather than Certificates of Completion.
Put simply, Planning Permission deals with the appearance of the proposal and the effect it will have on neighbouring properties and the general environment. On the other hand, Building Control deals with the technical and constructional details of building works to ensure the health and safety of people in and around the building.
One thing’s for sure: in most cases, a proposed development may require both planning permission and building regulation approval. This means that you should make two separate applications, including preparing two separate documents and paying two separate fees to have your applications considered.
As a general rule, we seek Planning Permission before making a Building Control application on behalf of our clients. This is because the Building Regulations requirements often have a significant bearing on the final design of a building as well as the external layout of the site.
Here at Urbanist Architecture, we are well qualified to handle both applications for you – from the beginning, we can incorporate the kind of measures the council will want to see at a later stage. As such, we like to look forward and develop the Planning application with Building Control in mind further down the line – this makes the process smoother, more convenient and more likely to get approved – not for nothing do we have such high approval rates!
We strongly advise you to discuss your proposals with experienced residential architects prior to making either planning or building regulations applications. We know from experience that working with the same architecture practice to prepare, coordinate and submit both of your applications can help you move your project forward quicker and easier – to get the results you are looking for.
What’s our secret to rolling out over 30+ success stories a month? Our architects work with our structural engineers to allow us to deliver projects on time and on budget – with all the right paperwork in place! If you would like to join hundreds of successful landlords, start your project by getting your quote today, or call us on 0203 793 78 78. We’d be more than happy to help!