Most building projects have to comply with building regulations. For example, you will need to comply if youare planning a new building, to extend or significantly alter an existing one (e.g. building a new extension tothe side or rear of an existing dwelling or converting a loft space into a living space). You may also need tocomply if you want to install services or fittings in a building, such as replacement windows, toilets, sinks, orhot water cylinders, or if you change the use of a building, since the new use may mean it does not complywith the appropriate regulations.
If you are unsure whether the work you want to do needs to comply, contact the building regulationsdepartment of your local council or talk this through with an Architect. They will also be able to advise youregarding the requirements that apply to the work you want to carry out and what procedures you need tofollow. At Ask My Architect we will be in a position from the outset of the project to guide you on what willrequire approval and the type of information that will be required to achieve this.
If your project is subject to the building regulations you must, with some exceptions, use one of two types ofbuilding control services:
- Your local authority building control service
- An approved inspector’s building control service
In either case, an inspector will check on the compliance of the work and a charge or fee will be payable basedon the size of the project. The Inspector will assess the Architectural & Structural Information prior to visitingsite at key stages to view the primary structure, first and second fix and final sign off, the number of visits willdepend on the size of the project. It is important to check that your builder is inviting the inspector to site atthe correct times. Beware that if elements of the structure are covered up prior to inspection it is the right ofthe inspector to demand that they are opened up for inspection which can be costly and time consuming.
The primary responsibility for complying with the regulations belongs to the person carrying out the buildingwork. So if you are carrying out the work personally the responsibility will be yours. If you are employing abuilder the responsibility will usually be that of the contractor’s, but make sure you confirm this position at thevery beginning. If you are the owner of the building, it is ultimately you who may be served with anenforcement notice if the work does not comply with the regulations. At Ask My Architect we always assumeresponsibility for making the necessary application to Building Control to ensure this does not delay the projectfrom moving forward on site.