Do I need Building Control

Building Control - an explanation

Building Regulations are minimum standards for design, construction and alterations to buildings in the UK. Any project you undertake must adhere to them.

The following information, taken from the My Builder website

What are Building Regulations?

Building Regulations are designed to ensure buildings are safe, structurally sound, and water and energy efficient. They must also be constructed in a way that allows access for people with disabilities.

They are grouped into 15 technical categories, from A to Q, known as 'approved documents'. These are:
Part A: Structural safety
Part B: Fire safety
Part C: Site preparation and resistance to contaminants and moisture
Part D: Toxic substances
Part E: Resistance to sound
Part F: Ventilation
Part G: Sanitation, hot water and water efficiency
Part H: Drainage and waste disposal
Part I: Heating and appliances
Part J: Protection from falling, collision and impact
Part K: Conservation of fuel and power
Part L: Access to and use of buildings
Part M: Glazing safety
Part N: Electrical safety
Part O: Security

A full breakdown of The Building Regulations 2010 can be found here.

What's the difference between Building Regulations and planning permission?

Planning Permission decisions are focused on whether development should go ahead or not - considering the appearance of buildings and the impact development will have on the wider environment.

Building Regulations, on the other hand, relate to how a building should be constructed.

What is Building Control?

UK Building Control services work to make sure all buildings are designed and constructed in line with Building Regulations. Your local council should have a Building Control department, where Building Control officers (also known as building inspectors) are usually based. Some Building Control officers are Approved Inspectors working in the private sector instead.

How do I get Building Regulations approval?

If you're undertaking any building or alteration work within your home, you should check whether it needs to be signed off as being compliant with Building Regulations.

Some projects that need to comply with Building Regulations must be signed off by Building Control officers. These include:
1. Extensions
2. Loft conversions
3. Garage conversions
4. Underpinning
5. Cavity wall insulation

If you use a local authority Building Control office, there are three types of application:

Full plans where drawings and other related information are submitted and a formal decision is given. Building notice where minimal information is submitted and no formal decision is given. Work is inspected while in progress and approved on completion.

Regularisation - where retrospective approval is sought for work carried out without Building Regulations approval.

Once work is underway, the Building Control Service will need to make routine site inspections at various stages. Notice should be given to allow Building Control adequate time to inspect the work. If suitable notice isn't given, Building Control may ask for work to be opened up for inspection. Talk to your local Building Control Service for more information about the inspection process. If you use an Approved Inspector from the private sector, you should jointly notify your local authority that an Approved Inspector is carrying out the building control function.

Sign-off by a Competent Person

There is also a group of projects that need to comply with Building Regulations, but can be self-certified and signed off by the installer them self - if that tradesman is registered with a relevant Competent Person Scheme. Competent Person Schemes were introduced by the government to allow individuals and businesses to self-certify that their work complies with the Building Regulations.

What sort of projects don't need Building Regulations approval at all?

You don't need Building Regulations approval for certain exempt projects. These include:

What happens if I don't comply with Building Regulations?

If your local authority considers that the building work doesn't comply with Building Regulations, they won't issue you with a completion certificate.

Unless work is rectified, any contraventions will appear in local land searches if you sell your property. And you may also be subject to enforcement notices and fines.


After the planning permission is approved, or any work carried out under Permitted Development, Smiley Building Services will deal and act on your behalf with the local authorities or private building control company to ensure that your job complies with all building regulations and passes all inspections so that you can receive a Completion Certificate the first time and without any problems.

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