What are the Building Regulations?
Building regulations are approved by Parliament and set out certain standards that must be met during the design and construction of building work carried out in domestic and commercial premises. For further guidance see Building Regulations
Are the Building Regulations the same as Planning Permission?No. Town and country planning legislation is completely separate from the building regulations. Planning permission may be required for the work you intend to carry out and should be obtained prior to submitting an application to building control.
Irrespective of the need to obtain planning approval, you may still also need to submit a Building Regulation application. Similarly, the Building Regulations are a completely separate matter from the Party Wall etc. Act 1996.
When is Building Regulation Approval Required?
Building Regulation Approval will usually be required for any new building or structure, or proposed alteration to an existing building if it includes:
- The erection or extension of an existing building
- Alterations to the structure of an existing building
- Any Alterations that would effect means of escape from a building
- The removal of sanitary facilities
- The installation or adaptation of plumbing, drainage or any form of mechanical ventilation
- The installation of heating appliances other than electric heaters
- The installation of cavity wall insulation into a building
- Works that include underpinning of a buildings foundations
Further guidance on what requires can be obtain from the Interactive House
Do I need to inform you if I want to demolish a building?
Only if the building or part of a building is in excess of 50 cubic metres. Please see Demolitionsfor further guidance.
How do I report a dangerous structure?
If you wish to report a dangerous structure or require further information on who STG deals with dangers structures in the Gravesham, Medway or Swale area please see our Dangerous Structures page for further guidance
Do I need Building Regulations approval for the replacement of windows?
If you are not using a FENSA or CERTASS registered installer building regulation consent will be required. For further guidance please see the replacement windows page
Do I need Building Regulations Approval for the erection of a conservatory?
Consent will be required if the conservatory does not meet the exemption criteria. For guidance on this please see the Conservatory & Porches help sheet
Do I need Building Regulation Approval for a porch?
Consent will be required if the porch does not meet the exemption criteria. For guidance on this please see the Conservatory & Porches help sheet
Do I need approval for a loft conversion?
Yes. Consent is required for all loft conversions. For guidance on this please see the Loft Conversions help sheet (477 kb)
Do I need approval for a detached garage?
You may require consent. For further guidance on this please see Detached Garage help sheet (35 kb)
Do I need approval to convert my garage?
Yes, you require consent. For further guidance on this please see Garage Conversion help sheet (35 kb)
Do I need approval to build a garage extension to my house, shop or office?
Yes, but a car port extension built at ground level, open on at least two sides and less than 30m2 in floor area, is exempt.
Do I need approval to build an extension to my house?
Yes however, a porch or conservatory built at ground level and less than 30m2 in floor area is exempt provided that the glazing complies with the safety glazing requirements of the Building Regulations (Part N).
Do I need approval to make internal alterations to my property?
Yes, if the alterations are to the structure, such as the removal or part removal of a load bearing wall, joist, beam or chimney breast
You also need approval if, in altering a house, work is necessary to the drainage system or to maintain the means of escape in case of fire.
Do I need approval to carry out repairs to my property?
No, if the repairs are of a minor nature e.g. replacing the felt to a flat roof, re-pointing brickwork, or replacing floorboards.
Yes, if the repair work is major in nature e.g. removing a substantial part of a wall and rebuilding it, or underpinning a building.
Forming a storage area within an existing roof space
Where it is proposed to board over either the whole or part of a roof void, irrespective of whether a loft ladder and/or a rooflight is to be installed at the same time, Building Regulation approval will be required, unless it can be proved (either by reference to the tables in Approved Document A or by calculation) that the existing ceiling joists and, if appropriate, ceiling binders can safely accept the increased dead and imposed loading.
Do I need approval to convert my house into flats?
Yes, even where construction work may not be intended. The regulations define this as a "material change of use" and specify the requirements with which, as a result of the change of use, the whole or part of the building must comply (e.g. those concerned with escape and other fire precautions, hygiene, sound insulation, energy conservation, and contaminants including radon). The whole or part of the building may therefore need to be up-graded to make it comply with the specified requirements.
Do I need approval to install fittings and appliances within my property?
1.Is an approval needed to install or alter the position of a WC, bath, etc
No, unless the work involves new or an extension of drainage or plumbing.
2. How about to install or alter the position of a heating appliance?
Gas:Yes, unless an approved installer under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1984 supervises the work.
Solid fuel: Yes.
Electric: Yes further guidance is available from our Electrical Installationspage
3. Or to alter in any way the construction of fireplaces, hearths or flues?
Yes, further guidance is available on wood burning stoves from our Wood Burning Stoves help sheet
Do I need approval to carry out electrical works on my property?
Yes New safety regulations came into effect on 1 January 2005. From then electrical installations in dwellings became a "controlled service" under the Building Regulations. Further guidance is available from our Electrical Installations page
What works require consent under the building regulations?
The following works require an application under the Building Regulations:
New buildings, Extensions to buildings, Alteration to a building
- Altering the internal or external structure of a building including:
- The removal of a load bearing wall or partition
- Re-roofing a building
- Insertion of insulated material in external cavity walls
- Underpinning a building
- Alterations to means of escape in case of fire
- Alterations to the fire safety of a building in respect of:
- Internal fire spread - structure and linings
- External fire spread - walls and roof
- Access and facilities for the fire service.
- Alterations to access and facilities for the disabled
- Installation, extension or alteration of a service e.g.
- Installation of septic tank drainage system
- Installation of boiler and chimney/flue pipe
- Installation of fittings and appliances such as WC's, showers, baths etc. including associated drainage.
Material change of use
This is when you intend to use a building or part of a building for a different purpose from that for which it is currently being used. It includes changes to form the following:
- A dwelling
- A flat or flats - including maisonettes
- A hotel or boarding house
- An institutional building
- A public building
- A building the proposed use of which will be subject to Building Regulations and which was previously was an exempt building
If, for example, you replace the existing slates on your roof with new concrete tiles you will be adding extra weight to the roof structure, increasing the amount of dead load on the building. Your existing roof timbers may not be adequate to support that extra weight and it may be necessary to strengthen the roof structure before the new tiles are laid.
Even replacing existing tiles with new lightweight tiles for slates may necessitate an application under Building Regulations, since the increase in wind uplift pressure on the lighter roof may mean you have to tie it down with vertical restraint straps.
Removal of an Internal Wall
Many internal walls provide support loads from walls, floors or roof structure and quite possibly all three. If a wall, which you intend to remove, is load bearing, you will need to support all the loads placed on it with a beam in place of the removed wall.
What are the Approved Documents?
The Regulations are supported by Approved Documents which contain practical and technical guidance on ways in which the requirements can be met. For further information see our Building Regulations page
How do I apply for Building Regulations?
If you intend to carry out building work, unless the work is exempt, you must seek approval for that work. For guidance on how this can be done see see our Building Regulations page
How long does it take for an application to be approved?
You have the option on the full plans application to give STG Building Control Partnership five weeks or two months in which to make a decision. STG Building Control aims to check an application within 15 working days.
Providing that no amendments need to be made to your plans and a decision can be given. If amendments are required, the decision time will depend on how long you take to return the amendments required.
Can I apply for retrospective approval for works already carried out?
Occasionally building work may have taken place that should have required building regulations consent. Retrospective consent may be obtained if the work was carried out after 11 November 1985. For further guidance see our Submitting an Application page (regularisation section)
Do I have to pay for the services of STG Building Control?
The levels of fees payable relate to the type of work involved.
- Table A lists the fees for construction of, or conversion work, to create new housing
- Table B lists the appropriate fees for extensions, loft conversions and garage conversions
- Table C lists the fees required for re-roofs and replacement of thermal elements, replacement windows and doors and electrical installations.
- Table D lists the fees required for all other domestic and all commercial work.
A Full Plans application may involve a two-stage payment - Plan fee must be paid when you submit your application, and an Inspection fee is payable once following the first inspection. A Building Notice Fee is the same as that payable for a Full Plans application plus an inspection on site. The Building Notice Fee is payable when you submit your application to us.
Are there any penalties for contravening the Building regulations?
If you contravene the regulations by building without notifying the Local Building Control Authority or by carrying out work which does not comply, the Partnership can prosecute. For further guidance please see our Unauthorised Works page
Do my neighbours have the right to object to what is proposed in my Building Regulations Application?
No. However, whilst there is no requirement in the Building Regulations to consult neighbours, it would be prudent to do so. Objections may be raised under other legislation, such as planning permission or The Party Wall Act 1996. For further guidance on The Party Wall Act see our Party Wall Act page
What is the minimum headroom I am allowed in my development?
Strangely there is no longer a requirement for minimum headroom within rooms it is considered that market forces would dictate acceptability; however there are 2 instances when a minimum of 2 m headroom is required.
This in a domestic situation occurs over a flight of stairs and its associated landing, at the top and bottom of the flight. This often leads to problems in loft conversions where headroom is restricted. Where headroom is restricted on one side only, & it is within a loft conversion, an allowance can be made whereby the minimum height of the stair on one side of the stair would be 1.8 m with a minimum headroom height of 1.9 m at the centre of the stair.
In a non - domestic situation there are requirements to maintain escape routes and the minimum headroom within an escape route is 2 m.
What is the Party Wall Act?
This Act of Parliament concerns anyone planning to carry out, or who is affected by, a neighbour's plans to carry out building work by providing a framework for preventing or resolving disputes about party walls, boundary walls and excavations. For further guidance on The The Party Wall Act see our Party Wall Act page
How can I get information about work carried out on my property, or a property I propose to purchase?
STG Building Control can carry a Property History Search on a property, for further information see our Property History Search page
Can I view plans of works carried out on my property?
STG Building Control has historical for guidance on who or what can be viewed see Viewing and Copying Policy