The approval process

The approval process

The way to obtain approval will depend on whether you choose to use the Building Control services of a Local Authority or an Approved Inspector, either of these is known as the Building Control Body or BCB.

If you choose to use an Approved Inspector then you should jointly notify the Local Authority that the Approved Inspector is carrying out the building control function for the work. This notification is called an "Initial Notice".

If you choose to use a Local Authority, the procedures are set out in the Building Regulations. Some of them relate to pre-site procedures and others relate to procedures once work is underway on site.

The BCB will make statutory and routine inspections as the work progresses to ensure compliance with the building regulations and other allied legislation.

If you are carrying out building work you are required, under the Building Regulations, to give the BCB notice of when the work has reached a particular stage. The local authority will explain about the notification procedures which the regulations require you to follow at various stages of the work

They are not obliged to call at every stage, and discretion will often be used. The statutory time scales required for notification range from 24 hours to five days. The more notice you give however, the more likely it is that they will visit your site at a time that suits your planning. These are the inspection stages:


• Commencement
• Foundation Excavations
• Foundation Concrete
• Covering of sub base to floors (i.e. hardcore)
• Damp proof course
• Drains, prior to backfilling
• Drains after backfilling
• Occupation (of new building)
• Completion

Some BCBs also ask for notification at additional stages, such as
• First floor joists
• Roof construction
• Fire precaution works

Once the completed project has been inspected and all works comply, a Completion Certificate will be issued. This should be kept safely as it will be required if you decide to sell your property at a later date.


  • Forests Forever
  • British Woodworking Federation
  • Secured by Design
  • Wood Window Alliance
  • Timber Trade Federation
  • Timber Decking & Cladding Association
  • Federation of Master Builders

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