Do I need Building Regulations approval for my project?   


All extensions and conversions, as well as many other building projects, require building regulations approval and we can support you through the process, potentially saving you time and money.

Check with us before you start building work

As a homeowner constructing or changing a builidng, it's your responsibility to get building regulations approval before work begins.  Without it, you can be liable to prosecution and fines, and building work might need to be redone at your expense if it is poorly carried out.  Neglecting to check with building control can also hold up the sale of your property if you carried ot `notifiable' work without approval.

Building regulations are the detailed technical standards set by the Government to ensure that all homes are built to the required standard and are safe, warm, and dry.  Regulations are constantly being revised and cover important areas such as fire safety, energy consumption and accessibility.

Types of work that need building regulation approval

All extension and conversion projects need building regulation approval, so do many other kinds of work.  Some minor work, such as repairs, don't need this approval and there are some exemptions for things such as sheds and greenhouses so long as they meet certain criteria.  Always check what regulations approval is needed for the building work you have in mind before you start.

You must have approval from building control before carrying out such work.

We can offer guidance on the approval and permissions process.  Talk to us from the start and we can often save you time and money.

Building regulations approval is not the same as planning permission

You might need both.  Planning permission depends on the scale and extent of your project.  We would always recommend you contact your local authority planning department to find out whether you need their permission first.  You can also check for general guidance:


How to apply for building regulations

You can make a building regulations application through our online portal.


Work can be carried out by a Competent Person

Certain types of work, which need building regulation approval, such as installation of windows and doors, boilers and electrical work etc. can be carried out by a Competent Person. This is a person, who is a member of a registered competent person scheme, who is able to self-certify that their work complies with the building regulations and notifies the local authority building control service on your behalf.  If you choose this route, you still need to ensure that this is done properly, as you'll need to provide compliance certificates for the work when you come to sell your home.  Part of the Competent Person's role is to ensure the local authority has a record that the work carried out to your home complied with the regulations.

Types of building regulation application

There are generally two types of building regulations application, and we can advise on which best suits your project and what fees are involved.

Application for approval with Full Plans are the most common type we receive, as they provide the reassurance of an approved set of plans for your builder to work to.  You (or more usually, your agent) submit detailed drawings and the relevant fee for the work you intend to do.  We check these plans and issue an approval notice so that building work can begin.  We issue an inspection schedule of the stages of work we will want to come and inspect, which can depend on the size, scope and complexity of your project, the age and type of home.

The approval with full plans process can take from five weeks or more, but is usually quicker - and your approval notice is then valid for three years. Provided that building work has satisfactorily commenced before the end of this period, and we have inspected it and agreed this with you, you can usually continue through to completion without a time limit, provided you advise of this at the outset.

When the work is done, we'll carry out a final inspection and provided the work is satisfactory, we will issue a completion certificate to show that - as far as can be assessed - it complies with building regulations.

Building notices are a similar and much quicker process for smaller building works such as removal of an internal load-bearing wall, making a new window opening etc.  As there is no formal approval, work can begin 48 hours aftr the application submitted.  Again, we carry out site inspections and issue completion certificate.

In addition, retrospective building regulation applications can be made for work that has already started or even been completed without previously notifying building control.  This type of application is called a Regularisation application and applies to work carried out after November 1985.  This may not be a straightforward process though and can involve uncovering work, providing calculations and other information, nor is it a guarantee that the work will automatically receive a regularisation certificate. For more information about this process, contact our team.

Get our help now

If you'd like to discuss your project before you start, please get in touch with us.

For more information about common building projects please:

Read our Guide to Extending your Home   




Visit the LABC Frontdoor website