Building Regulations apply in England & Wales and promote standards for most aspects of a building's construction, energy efficiency in buildings, the needs of all people, including those with disabilities, in accessing and moving around buildings.
The building regulations apply to most building work, therefore it is important to know when approval is needed.
Building regulations approval is required if you intend to carry out any of the following:
- Erect a new dwelling or extend an existing building (unless it is covered by the list of exemptions following)
- Make structural alterations to a building including underpinning
- A change of use will in certain cases require approval
- Provide, extend or alter drainage facilities
- Install a heat-producing appliance (with the exception of gas appliances installed by persons approved under the Gas Safety Regulations)
- Install Cavity Wall Insulation
- Install an unvented hot water storage system
- Undertaking electrical works to domestic premises.
You do not need Building Regulations approval to:
- Carry out repairs or re-wiring
- Replace a roof covering, using the same roof covering
- Install new sanitary-ware, if it does not involve drainage or plumbing
- Erect a single storey structure at least 1m from the boundary, with a floor area of less than 30m2, so long as it does not contain sleeping accommodation
- Erect any detached structure not exceeding 15m2, again without sleeping accommodation
- Erect a ground floor extension, porch, conservatory, covered way or carport, so long as they are not more than 30m2
The responsibility for checking the Building Regulations have been met falls to Building Control Bodies (BCBs) - either from the Local Authority or the private sector as an Approved Inspector. The person carrying out the work has the choice of where to get approval for the building work.