Do I need building regulation approval?

Guide to Extending Your Home

This guide will take you through the building control process and aims to show you how your project may be affected by Building Regulations. It contains advice on typical building projects such as extensions, garage conversions, loft conversions and cellar conversions.

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Most building work will require building regulations approval. This is a different requirement to planning permission, and must be applied for separately.

Ensuring that buildings are constructed to an agreed standard, the regulations are complex, but are essential to promote accessibility, health and safety and energy efficiency in the home.

Building work that requires approval

Many popular home improvement projects require approval, including conversions, extensions and cavity wall insulation.

The following types of project are regulated:

  • Structural alterations to the building
  • Most extensions to a building including conversion of a loft and garage conversions, but excluding porches and conservatories (see exemptions below)
  • Structural alterations, such as removing a load-bearing wall
  • When installing replacement windows using a builder or window company that is not registered with the relevant Competent Person Schemes
  • Installation of heating, hot water and air conditioning systems
  • Installing additional bathroom fittings
  • Domestic electrical installations
  • Alterations to drainage systems
  • Re-roofing (if it is greater than 25% of the roof)
  • Replacing windows, doors or roof lights
  • Underpinning a building
  • Renovating a thermal element e.g. walls, floors and roofs
  • Changing the energy status of a building
  • Changing the use of a building e.g. barn conversions

Exemptions

Building regulations do exempt some buildings from the need to make an application. These include:

  • Detached buildings housing machinery or plant which people do not visit except for maintenance or repair.
  • Certain greenhouses and agricultural buildings.
  • Small detached buildings under 30 sq. metres where no sleeping accommodation is provided.
  • Extensions of a building by the addition at ground level (i.e. on it's own foundations) of the following: - Conservatories, Canopies, Porches, Covered Ways and Car Ports, all with a floor area not exceeding 30 sq. metres.
  • Temporary buildings that are not intended to remain in place for more than 28 days.

Please visit the planning portal ‘Do you need permission’ website for guides and examples of where building regulations may be required. 

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