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A guide to Building Regulations

Updated: Feb 26, 2021

Building regulations Overview-

The Building regulations are a set of statutory documents, Part A to R which set minimum construction standards for design and building work. These documents apply to most buildings, extensions and alterations to existing properties. They include details about material and workmanship standards, structural requirements, fire safety, energy conservation, ventilation and access and use of buildings.

Building Regulation approval relates to the specifics of how a building should be constructed and is not the same as planning permission which relates to whether developments should go ahead or not. If you have any hesitation on what permission you require please contact you local council.

Do you need Building Regulations for your project?

Anyone wishing to carry out building work which is subject to the Building Regulations, and is legally required to make sure it complies and gets approval from Building Control. Building work as defined in the Building Regulations includes; constructing a new building, extending altering an existing one, providing services and/or fittings within a building such as a washing and sanitary facility, hot water cylinders, foul water and rainwater drainage, replacement windows and fuel burning appliances of any type.

Certain types of small extensions are exempt, but it is always best to check with a Building Control body (such as Cornwall Council Building Control).

Should I use my Local Authority or a Private building inspector?

There are two types of Building Control service available: Building Control provided by your local authority (LA) or Building Control provided by privately approved inspector (AI). There is a charge for either.

Building regulations remain the same no matter if you use your local council or a private body and therefore your project will receive the same rigour and advice from either the local authority or independent building control inspector.

How do I get approval?

There are two routes to approval: Full Plans or a Building Notice.

A full plans application will need to include a completed application form, the correct fee and a detailed set of plans. Once the submission is deemed fit for purpose, you will be issued a pre-construction plans approval notice stating that they have been approved.

Once works start on site Building Control will inspect the work to ensure compliance at particular stages.

Once building work is finished the project has to go through a completion inspection for and a completion certificate will be issued. This is a vital piece of paper and will be needed if you want to re-mortgage or sell your home in the future.

Although we would not generally recommend it unless there are pressing circumstances, building notices can used for small domestic DIY alterations, and require only a completed application form and the correct fee. Moreover, you can start work two days after your notice is submitted. You do not get a formal approval as you do with full plans.

How long does it take for approval?

For full plans, you can expect a decision within 5 to 8 weeks.

You will receive the completion certificate within eight weeks completion of the building works.

What to expect from Webber Architecture when employing us to do your building regulations drawings?

When employing us to do your ‘Full Plans’ Building Regulations application. We will produce a detailed set of drawings, calculations, and specifications describing the construction of the work. They are used to demonstrate that your design complies with Building Regulations. We will liaise with Structural engineers to design details and junctions to ensure the safe function of your property. The specifications describe details of materials, construction products, fixtures, and fittings.

At Webber Architecture we are passionate about creating highly detailed drawings which fulfil all legal requirements and make the lives easier for your builders and subcontractors while on site, providing them will the necessary information required for the job.

These drawings and specifications will also be used to obtain quotations from builders, therefore our level of rigor allows builders to price with confidence.

If you would like to see any full examples of our building regulations packages, please contact us and we would be happy to email some project examples over to you.

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