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Conforming to Building Regulations

Building regulations set the standards for the design and construction of buildings to ensure the safety and health for people in or about those buildings.  They also have a role to play in ensuring that buildings cater for people with disabilities and maximise fuel and power efficiency.  Any building work must comply wit building regulations so it is worth finding out how this might affect your project before you start work.

Building regulations are separate from the planning process and getting planning permission does not mean you meet building regulations.  You will need you obtain separate approval to show that your project meets the standards set by building regulations.

There are two routes for getting Building Regulation approval.  You can either use the services of the Local Authority or of an Approved Inspector.  You might find that if the work you are doing is fairly minor the contractor may be able to self certify his work. 

It is important at the outset to establish with your builder whether he will be taking responsibility for ensuring the work complies with the Building Regulations. You should also establish whether the builder will liase with the Building Control Service you have decided to use. 

It is not unusual for Building Control Inspectors to carry out a site visit to check whether the work complies with the Building Regulations as it progresses.  An example of this is where you require new foundations.  The depth of these will depend on (amongst other things) the nature of the ground upon which the building is being built and also proximity to trees.  There are many other building regulations which might apply to your project so it is worth discussing this with your builder and the Inspector.       

It important to comply with Building regulations as they are there for good reason (e.g. to make sure your property is safe and won’t harm you or others!) and in addition, there are penalties for non-compliance.

Open foundations of an extension
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