Your home will need to comply with Building Regulations – you literally have no choice; obtaining building regulations approval is your permission to build – the planning application approval alone simply means that in principle you can build a home that matches the approved plans. You may have acquired a plot that comes with full planning approval, but not with any building regulations approval – so our partners can take the drawings that you inherited with the acquisition of the plot and get the necessary work undertaken, usually all for a fixed fee.
These days Building Control is no longer carried out only by the local authority. Unlike planning, Building Control services can be carried out by a number of private companies too, and many have experienced a much smoother process using a private firm. Ultimately, the choice is yours but you should be guided to some extent by whomever is preparing the work for you.
The process is quite straightforward. In simple terms it means adding some detail to the drawings and developing a ‘build specification’ that demonstrates to the person checking the details that your proposal complies with the Regulations. For example, your drawings will need to show smoke detectors, any windows that may be used for escape, the correct type of staircase. The build specification will explain how you intend to build it (i.e. timber frame structure with masonry external skin and slate roof, for example), the type of foundations being used, the thermal performance and so on.
You need to know…
Building Regulations applications can take between four and six weeks before they are approved. Sometimes, they will be approved with conditions – just like planning applications.