How to Make a Building Regulations Application
Any building project to create something new or to alter or extend an existing building will usually need to comply. Any person carrying out building work needs to ensure that work complies with the regulations. There are some types of work which will be exempt from the Building Regulations and an application will not be necessary. See Exemptions.
There are also procedures that need to be followed and notifications given to the local authority before, during and on completion of the project.
Building Regulation applications must be made to the local authority where the work is being carried out. See the LABC guidance on How to submit an application.
PLEASE NOTE: You will need to obtain the correct application forms as each local authority produces its own forms.
There are two options when submitting an application for building works:
The Full Plans application is the most common type of application local authorities receive for building works. It requires detailed drawings to be submitted together with the relevant fee for the work being undertaken. The plans are checked and an approval notice is issued before work commences.
This process can take up to 8 weeks dependant on the project, but in most cases it will be completed well before this.
The Building Notice is a simpler procedure generally used for minor works such as the removal of an internal load bearing wall, but cannot be used for commercial developments. A big advantage is that it allows work to start 48 hours after submission of the application as there is no plan checking involved before work begins.
For clarification on which application type would be suitable for your project and for information on the fees to be paid, speak to your local building control office.
Electronic plans submissions can be made to some local authorities using Submit-a-Plan.
What happens after the application is submitted?
Once you are ready to start work on the project you will need to have various stages of construction inspected by the local authority building control surveyor. This needs to be discussed and agreed between you and the surveyor. A completion certificate will be issued when all stages have been inspected and meet the regulations.
The Building Regulation completion certificate is an important document, as it tells you that the work you have had carried out, meets the minimum requirements of the Building Regulations. The certificate will be required if or when you come to sell your property, or if you raise a secured loan or mortgage against your property.
Forgot to make an application?
The lack of a completion certificate can affect your ability to use or sell a property. It may also affect your insurance and may put you at risk of legal action. However, if you have carried out work without a Building Regulations application you can apply to your local authority for a Regularisation Certificate.
Regularisation applications (applied to work carried out after 11 November 1985) can be a lengthy process, especially if extensive work is required to bring a building back up to standard. A Regularisation application must be made to the local authority where the work was carried out. You will need to provide full details and plans showing the work that was carried out along with payment of the relevant charge.
Once this information has been provided you may be required to open up and uncover the work so that it can be inspected and checked by the building control surveyor. Provided that the work is satisfactory a Regularisation Certificate will be issued.
The regulations cover all aspects of construction and are constantly reviewed. The guidance documents referred to as 'Approved Documents' contain practical ways and explanations of how to comply with the functional requirements of the Building Regulations.
These 'Approved Documents' are separated into 20 parts:
- Part A - Structure
- Part B (Volume 1) - Fire safety (Dwellings)
- Part B (Volume 2) - Fire safety (Buildings other than dwellings)
- Part C - Site preparation and resistance to contaminants and moisture
- Part D - Toxic substances
- Part E - Resistance to the passage of sound
- Part F - Ventilation
- Part G - Sanitation, hot water safety and water efficiency
- Part H - Drainage and waste disposal
- Part J - Combustion appliances and fuel storage systems
- Part K - Protection from falling, collision and impact
- Part L1A - Conservation of fuel and power in new dwellings
- Part L1B - Conservation of fuel and power in existing dwellings
- Part L2A - Conservation of fuel and power in new buildings other than dwellings
- Part L2B - Conservation of fuel and power in existing buildings other than dwellings
- Part M (Volume 1) - Access to and use of buildings (Dwellings)
- Part M (Volume 2) - Access to and use of buildings (Buildings other than dwellings)
- Part P - Electrical safety - Dwellings
- Part Q - Security - Dwellings
- Part R - Physical infrastructure for high-speed electronic communications networks
- Regulation 7 - Materials and workmanship