If you are looking to build a new property or extend your existing home, the law in the UK states that you must first get building control approval before you to start on your project.
Building control approval is essentially when the Building Control Body in your area carries out an inspection to ensure that your planned project adheres to building regulations. During building control approval, your technical drawings will be reviewed, and the site of your construction work will be inspected. Your building site will be continuously visited to ensure that your project adheres to building regulations.
At the end of the day, what you are aiming to get from the Building Control Body is a completion certificate when your project is finished.
When you need approval
The first thing you need to do when embarking on a new project is to check that you actually need building control approval before breaking ground. It is important to note that building regulations approval is different from planning permission and you might need both to proceed with your project.
You will definitely need building control approval if you plan to replace fuse boxes and connected electrics; install a bathroom that will involve plumbing; change electrics near a bath or shower; put in a fixed air-conditioning system; replace windows and doors; replace roof coverings; install or replace a heating system, and add radiators to a heating system.
Four steps to getting building control approval
To obtain building control approval, there are four steps you must take.
The first thing you need to do when applying for building control is to choose whether you’re going to go through your local council or use a private approved inspector. You can find out more about these two options here.
The next step is to submit your building regulations application. You can do this either by submitting a full plans application – this includes your drawings, specifications, and calculations for the project – or by submitting a building notice. To get advice as to which application you should go for, contact us.
Next up is to get to work on your project and ensure that the entire process complies with building regulations. A building control surveyor will come and inspect the work at various stages and will provide guidance to your builder.
Lastly, a building control surveyor will visit the site of your project for the completion visit. The purpose of this inspection is to ensure that the new structure meets the building regulations before it is occupied. If the surveyor is happy with the work, they will issue you with a completion certificate.
Fees and costs
The cost of your building control application will depend on whether you go with your local Building Control Body or if you choose a private approved inspector. What you will pay depends on the type of work involved, the number of dwellings in the building as well as the total floor area. Generally, you’ll be required to pay anything from £650 to £1,550.
To get expert advice and a comprehensive quote for all your structural design and engineering plans, contact us.