Building Regulations

Just about all building projects need Building Regulations approval regardless of whether they need planning consent.

Planning permission is about deciding whether you can build at all and, if so, what your new home will look like. Building Regulations however are about the structural aspects and safety of the building.

What are Building Regulations?

The Regulations are very detailed, and can be read in full on the Communities and Local Government website. (link to

To summarise, your project will need to comply with these documents:

Part A: Structure

Part B: Fire Safety

Part C: Contamination and damp

Part D: Toxicity

Part E: Sound

Part F: Ventilation

Part G: Hygiene

Part H: Drainage

Part J: Fuel

Part K: On-site Safety

Part L: Conservation of Fuel and Power

Part M: Access

Part N: Glazing

Part P: Electrics

The Building Regulations are profiled in Approved Documents, which are updated quite often. As well established, highly knowledgeable builders the team at R&B are well aware of the latest building regulations and act on them accordingly so you know you’re in safe hands.

When is approval required?

You will require Building Regulations approval if you intend to carry out any new structural work or alterations to your home.

It’s these elements themselves that require the approval:

  • Drainage
  • Electrics
  • Cavity wall insulation
  • Heat-producing appliances

When does the work not need approval?

For most minor works or like-for-like replacements you do not need Building Regulations approval. Some smaller buildings like conservatories which aren’t going to be used for sleeping in are also exempt. Check with your council’s planning department for a full list.

Being inspected

At various stages during the building work, an inspector will come and check that what is being carried out is safe and up to standard. The inspection stages are:

  • Excavation work to make the foundations
  • The concrete used for the foundations
  • Oversite
  • The damp-proof course
  • That foul water drains trenches are open
  • That surface water drains into the open trenches
  • Occupation prior to completion (second fix)
  • Completion

Completion certificates

When building work is finished and the inspector is happy, a completion certificate will be provided. It’s an important document to keep hold of along with your planning permission as you will need to show it if you ever put the property on the market. It is also needed for releasing final funds from lenders, to get a warranty certification and so that you can reclaim VAT (if applicable).

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