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Building regulations are a set of minimum standards developed by the UK government and approved by Parliament that apply to design, construction and alterations to almost all buildings in the UK.
Building regulations approval is different from planning permission; and even if you did not require planning permission, you will require building regulations for your project.
Building regulations are essentially there to ensure that all buildings are built to a structurally safe standard; from the foundations to plumbing and electrics, and that they conform to modern energy requirements and accessibility.
Unlike planning permission, building regulations are a set of rules that cannot be subjectively altered and so all buildings are judged to the same standards. They are required for new builds, extensions and conversions as well as changes in services and some changes of use. Any alterations made to an existing building may impact on adjacent buildings so this must also be considered within the building regulations.
To get approval for the Building Regulations you can either use the local authority or an approved inspector. Finding a building control officer you can work with will help enormously as they can give you lots of advice; and ask the difficult questions now, rather than later, to help you find the best solution which will save you both money and time in the long run.
Conversion projects can often throw up problems when it comes to meeting Building Regulations, due to the constraints of the original building. But, good design solutions from your architect will normally enable you to comply with the regulations.
Inspectors will inspect at the key stages and assess the work as it progresses, so any faults will be picked up early on in the build and to ensure compliance at particular stages (see table below).
Key Inspection Stages During Construction
Excavation of foundations
Walls built and roof on
When the project is finished, the approved inspector must issue a final certificate to the local authority to say that the work is complete, inspected, and that it complies with the regulations. This also triggers the start of the 10 year structural warranty.
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Granite Building Warranties Ltd is an Appointed Representative of Richdale Brokers & Financial Services Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Granite Building Warranties is a company registered in England and Wales (Company Number 11497543) with its registered office at 1st Floor, 5 Century Court, Tolpits Lane, Watford, WD18 9PX.”