Building Regulation in Practise

Unless the work you propose is exempt, you must gain approval for your proposal from the relevant local authority. This can be done by making an application to the relevant local authority prior to the start of the work. Applications are in two forms: Full Plans & Building Notice.

Full Plans: This is the more generally applicable type of application. It requires that copies of all plans, specifications and calculations be submitted together with the appropriate application forms and fees. When satisfactory, the plans are approved and documentation is issued. Building work will be inspected by the local authority as it progresses.

Building Notice: Straightforward domestic schemes of work come under this application procedure. It only requires a limited range of fundamental information (excluding design plans), an application form and fee. While the Building Control Surveyor will anticipate potential problems and issue guidance, it is ultimately the responsibility of those carrying out the work to comply. Emphasis is laid on site supervision. To further help site assessment and verify compliance, plans and calculations may be called for.

Carrying out the work: Building Control Surveyors will inspect the work at statutory and crucial stages. Persons carrying out the work should liaise with the local authority to match the inspection regime with the contractor’s programme, and also give notice of commencement.

Completion: A final inspection will be made upon completion, so the local authority can issue a Completion Certificate indicating compliance and clearance

Competent Persons: The regulations allow for certain specialist operations to be exempted; self certified; or subject to alternative quality and inspection regimes by accredited persons, such as:

  • Un-vented hot water systems – BBA or NACCB;
  • Gas installations – GasSafe;
  • Replacement windows and doors – FENSA scheme;
  • Solid Fuel Boilers, etc – HETAS;
  • Oil Fired Boilers – OFTEC;
  • Electrical Installations in dwellings – see Part P.
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