Building regulations contain the rules for building work in new and altered buildings to make them safe and accessible and limit waste and environmental damage. People carrying out building work must usually arrange for their work to be checked by an independent third party to make sure that their work meets the required standards. In some cases the installer can certify themselves that their work complies.
Building practices, technology and construction techniques are constantly evolving. We need to make sure that building regulations are fair, efficient, up to date and effective.
Yes, if it’s a new home or involves almost any new building work (such as a new wall), or structural alterations, such as a loft conversion. Projects that are exempt from Building Regulations include:
So in general, if it’s structural work, it needs approval.
The Regulations are very in-depth, and can be read in full on the Communities and Local Government website (communities.gov.uk), but in brief, your project will have to comply with the following documents.
They are recognised by lettered Parts.
The Building Regulations are profiled in Approved Documents, which are updated fairly regularly. New ‘Parts’ are published periodically – for instance Part P changed in 2006; Part L was updated again in 2014.
You will need initially to select who is going to carry out your Building Regulations inspections and approval. The local council’s Building Control department is the most common arbiter of Building Regulations in the UK, but several private companies carry out the same task. You have got two routes to get approval:
What if I needed Building Regulations approval but didn’t get it at the time? All is not lost. You’ll need to go down a route known as regularisation, where an inspector will come out and inspect the work as best as he can. Because a lot of the work might be covered up, you’ll need to uncover the work requested, and put it right at your own expense. You’ll pay a little over what you would pay for a Building Notice fee.
Part L – Energy Efficiency This is the part of the Building Regulations that is certainly the most active and the one that is at the forefront of the fight against climate change. It specifies minimum requirements for heat loss through walls, roofs and floors (by way of U values) and as the requirements get more stringent, you’ll need to pump your new building full of more and more insulation.
Part J – Fuel Work on gas appliances must be carried out by an approved tradesman registered with Gas Safe. They will self-certify all relevant work and issue you with an individual certificate. Part P – it is self-certified by ‘approved’ contractors. So you’ll need to check your electrician is Part P registered, so that he can issue a certificate.