Building Regulations exist in England and Wales* to control the quality of the design and construction of buildings and changes made to them. Primarily these regulations are in place to ensure the safety and health for people in and around those buildings, but also to ensure access for the disabled and in cases of emergency as well as energy conservation and sanitation. (* Different regulations apply to Scotland and Northern Ireland).
Building Regulations differ from planning permission inasmuch as regulations are the standards to which a building (or alterations to a building) must conform, once you have the planning permission to proceed with the building work. For more information on planning permission, please click here.
Not all domestic construction or alterations are subject to building regulations (although they still might require planning permission). For example, summer houses, garden sheds, conservatories and carports do not need building regulation approval, subject to certain criteria on size, construction and position relative to boundaries being met. However, it is always better to check with a local tradesman before planning any major job to confirm whether your plans require building regulation approval before you start. Even some jobs which you may consider to be minor (such as adding an electrical socket in a kitchen) may require building regulation approval.
The requirements with which building work should comply are contained in Schedule 1 to the Building Regulations (2000 and subsequent amendments) and are grouped under the fourteen “parts” below. To help you determine whether building regulation approval is required, please click on the “part(s)” which are most relevant to your proposed building work.
- Part A – Structure (includes 2004 amendments)
- Part B – Fire safety (2006 edition – for buildings other than “dwellings” please click here)
- Part C – Site preparation and resistance to moisture (2004 version)
- Part D – Toxic substances (includes 2002 amendments)
- Part E – Resistance to the passage of sound (includes 2004 amendments)
- Part F – Ventilation (new edition – effective 1st October 2010)
- Part G – Sanitation, hot water safety and water efficiency (2010 edition)
- Part H – Drainage and waste disposal
- Part J – Combustion appliances and fuel storage systems (new edition – effective 1st October 2010)
- Part K – Protection from falling, collision and impact (includes 200 amendments)
- Part L1a – Conservation of fuel and power in new buildings (new edition – effective 1st October 2010)
- Part L1b – Conservation of fuel and power in existing buildings (new edition – effective 1st October 2010)
- Part M – Access to and use of buildings (particularly relevant to handicapped access)
- Part N – Glazing – safety in relation to impact, opening and cleaning
- Part P – Electrical safety
Please note that starting a building or alteration project without the appropriate building regulation approval may make the property owner liable for a fine and the cost of remedial action – which may also include the demolition of the property. Furthermore, making unapproved alterations to a property may also invalidate your home insurance policy and make the property subsequently difficult to sell.
If you are in any doubt regarding whether you need building regulation approval before commencing any job, please contact one of the local tradesmen available in our Tradesmen´s Directory to consult their professional advice, or alternatively use the “Post-a-Job” facility to leave a message on the message board and one of our highly rated tradesmen will get back in touch with you.