It is common practice that any new domestic or commercial building work will need a building regulation approval. This is the case even if the work doesn’t require planning permission. We’ve rounded up all the important information regarding building regulations, why you need to adhere to them, and how much they cost.
What are building regulations?
Building regulations are very important as they help guarantee that new buildings, conversions, renovations and extensions are going to meet the necessary health and safety requirements. They ensure the project meets a minimum standard across a variety of key factors such as ventilation, accessibility, structural work, fire protection, electrical and gas safety, and more. If the regulation minimum is not met, you may be charged a monetary fine and the work may need to be re-done to ensure it meets the necessary requirements.
How much do building regulations cost?
The cost of building regulations is dependent on the size of the work, type of project, number of visits to the site required, among other factors. Whether you’re a commercial developer or homeowner will also impact the regulation charge, with the price itself covering the cost of the entire service.
If you wish to determine your cost, you can make use of fee calculators on local authority websites to give you an indication. If dealing with private approved inspectors, you will need to establish the cost with them directly.
When do I need building regulation approval?
If you are executing the building work personally, then it is vital you understand how the regulatory system operates, as you are responsible for ensuring it is done correctly and in compliance with the necessary regulation rules. Alternatively, if you are hiring a builder to complete the work, then the responsibility will usually be theirs – although you must confirm this before any work is carried out.
While some building projects do not need regulations, it is most likely you will need the regulations if your building work involves:
- Extending or altering an existing building
- Creating a new building
- Adding new services or fittings to a building that would require the necessary health and safety checks. For example, heat-producing appliances and new electrics.
Before beginning any work, you should seek professional advice or refer to the Government guidelines ‘Regulation 3 of the Building Regulations’ which states the complete definition of the term ‘building work’. This should give you clearer guidance on whether your project must need building regulation approval.
How do you get building regulation approval?
The building regulation approval is commonly granted through either a local authority building control (LABC) or a private approved inspector from a government-approved building inspection company. There are two ways to submit your approval: a full plan submission and a building notice.
A full plan will involve submitting a completed application form to building control alongside the application fee. This form of submission guarantees that the building work drawings will be thoroughly checked over and approved by a building inspector so that it is in full compliance with the building regulations.
A building notice is usually applicable to smaller projects and essentially involves you stating in advance that the building regulations will be adhered to. There is, however, more risk involved with this option as it is not required to submit your plans to be checked over and you, therefore, may have overlooked vital planning requirements. Failing a site inspection would be extremely disruptive to the project’s progress and potentially expensive too.
How long does the building regulations approval take?
A full plan application will see an approval decision reached within five weeks, or a maximum of two months. However, you may be asked to make further changes to the plans if they are deemed unsatisfactory, and therefore extending the time of approval. As a building notice is more likely to be used for smaller projects and involves site inspections as the project occurs, the approval time is significantly quicker with workable to commence approximately two days after a submitted application.
How much do building regulation drawings cost?
The cost of a building regulation drawing can vary depending on the size of the building work, and the exact LABC figures can be found on local authority websites. For example, you can typically expect to pay at least £1,000 for larger work such a new house, but less than £500 for a smaller project like a loft conversion.
Please remember that this article is only a guide, and you should seek professional advice before carrying out any building work of your own. Bruckland Development specialises in sourcing land, gaining planning permissions, designing and constructing luxury homes. Our team can create detailed plans to meet your specifications.