Almost all building work is subject to Building Regulations approval. For anyone who fails to comply with these stringent regs, it can prove costly in both economic terms and time. Below you can find a few vital sources of guidance that are there to help you get your building control approval the first time around.
Conduct Appropriate Research
Carrying out research is arguably the most essential part of your project, and therefore investing time at this early point in the process should help the project run far more smoothly. Understanding the difference between building control and planning permission is vital, as is knowing your responsibilities. Planning permission is about how a building looks, whereas Building Regulations make sure your home is structurally and environmentally safe.
The good news here is that there’s a whole host of excellent information and guidance available online to help you navigate the process. If you’re in any doubt or need reassurance, then your local authority or Approved Inspector can assist you.
Take note; Building Regulations are subject to change so accessing the most current, authoritative content is important to bear in mind. Approved Documents, for example, can be amended or updated.
What are Your Responsibilities?
Generally speaking, if you are planning to carry out building work, Regulation 3 of the Building Regulations states that compliance with the regs must be adhered to at all times. To understand this more, it means that the regulations will probably apply if you want to:
· Erect a new building
· Extend or alter an existing building
· Provide services and/or fittings in a building such as washing and sanitary facilities, hot water cylinders, foul water and rainwater drainage, replacement windows, and fuel-burning appliances of any type.
If you are planning on employing a builder to complete your project, it’s important to be clear about whether they’ll be taking responsibility for compliance with Building Regulations or not and who will be handling the liaisons with the local authority or Approved Inspector.
Your Building Control Body (BCB) (either your local authority or Approved Inspector) will be able to advise you on the expected process for your project and will likely need to advise and inspect the site at a range of stages during the project’s development. Don’t forget to ascertain whether you also need planning permission for your project before you start work.
Have You Submitted the Correct Application?
When you get to the applications, there are three main options available for building control applications;
· Full plans
· Building notice
· Regularisation (a retrospective application relating to previously unauthorised works).
The type of application will affect what supporting documents are required, expected timelines and fees, to name but a few defining factors. Full plans applications for an extension or new building require a map detailing the proposed works, and it is important to ensure that the map you submit is compliant. A common reason for both building control and planning permission applications being rejected is failing to comply in this area. Save yourself time and money by choosing an accredited provider.
It’s important to remember to stay in touch with your BCB throughout the process. They will monitor the progress with regular inspections and help ensure you get your final certificate without frustrating snags along the way.
If you’re looking professional services to help with your project, our team of qualified scaffolders, Tiverton can help you when the time is right.
Image: David Wright under Creative Commons.