British Building Regulations

By law, the majority of construction work in the UK needs to be carried out in line with British regulations. These set of rules were introduced to ensure that new buildings are stable and structurally sound. With the exception of the tragedy surrounding Grenfell and the terrible loss of life. Despite the continual threat to those in high rise buildings. Cladding aside – our trades in the UK – adhere to some of the worlds more demanding building regulations.

Although these regulations can cause many construction companies issues in the early planning phase, and an application for British regulations is usually a statutory requirement. Britain has some of the most demanding and safety design building standards in the world.

Below we have a handy guide which includes all of the necessary information that you may need when you come to apply for British Building Regulations.

When Do you need Approval from Building Regulations? 

If you want to carry out any new structural work or alterations on your home, you will need approval from the British Regulations.

Although in some rare cases experienced professionals can self-certify their work, other areas that also need British regulations approval include:

  • Drainage
  • Heat-producing appliances
  • Cavity wall insulation
  • New electrics

What Are the Building Regulations that I need to comply with?

Once you have got your planning approval, you then need to ensure that your design complies with all of the technical aspects of the regulations.

The British regulation documents include various manuals that cover all related topics from fire safety to communications.

In order to make sure that your project fits the criteria, you will need to hire a building inspector to assess your plans.

How Much Does a Building Regulations Application Cost? 

There are many fee calculators online that can help you work out the exact cost depending on your specific requirements.

The overall cost will vary depending on various factors including the type of work, how big your project is and how many visits to the site will be required.

It’s also important to note that as well as your initial application fee, you will also need to cater for plans to be drawn up. These can range from between £1,000 and £4,000 depending on the size of your project.

Types of Building Regulation Applications

There are two main ways to obtain building regulations approval, a full plans application or a building notice.

A building notice allows you to carry out work without any prior approval, whereas a full plan requires you to submit plans and documents to be approved.

What is a Full Plan Application?

The majority of construction projects will require a Full planning application.

To start the full plans application process, you will need a completed application form, an accurate fee and a set of detailed plans that explains clearly how your project will meet the regulations.

You should also have your planning drawings readily available and included in your application. Your application will either be approved, refused or in some cases – approved but with certain conditions.

What is a Building Notice Application?

7The other option is known as a Building Notice. In this case, no plans are needed to be submitted for a building notice, although you do have to complete an application form and have the correct fee.  

Put simply, you’re promising in advance that you will comply with the British regulations throughout the project. Hence, this route is commonly used for smaller work and DIY projects.

Although this may be feasible for smaller projects, it can be a much bigger challenge for larger work. If, during a site inspection something contradicts what is in your initial application – you will be told to stop your work immediately and re-construct the error, which can prove very costly to your trade.

Both options require a building control inspector to visit the site at various stages throughout the project, to ensure that the work being carried out complies with regulations and if you opted for a full plan’s application, you will receive a certificate of complete once the project has finished.

Who Grants the Building Regulations Approval?

There are two options you have when submitting for building regulations approval. You can either choose to go with a local authority inspector (from your local council) or an approved inspector from a private building inspection company.

Both inspectors will check your plans for compliance and carry out regular site visits when required.

However, only an inspector from your local authority has the power to enforce anything against your company.

Completion Certificate After the work is complete and the inspector is happy with the finalised project, they will issue a certificate of completion. If you ever want to sell, this document is extremely important and should be kept safe along with the original drawing plans.

Reading:

The Building Regulations 2010 https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2010/2214/contents/made

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