Building Regulations Explained

Building Regulations

Are you thinking about carrying out building work at your property? Maybe you are planning a beautiful extension or conversion, or even replacing your windows. There’s loads of helpful information and inspiration around to help you plan and create your dream home, but there’s not so much when it comes to the topic of permissions and the regulations that surround the work.

The first step to take once you have decided on what work you want to complete on your property would be to find a designer, architect or certified installer to help you prepare the plans and the finer details. They will be there to help with the requirements that surround the work, and to give you a better understanding of these, we have created this blog to answer some of the most common questions that we’ve heard when it comes to Building Regulations.

What are Building Regulations?

Building Regulations refer to a set of minimum requirements for the design and construction of a building that are there to lawfully protect the health, safety, welfare and convenience of the users in and around it. These mandatory regulations are made under the Building Act 1984 in England and are often changed and updated. So, if you are embarking on your home improvements project, it’s always best to keep up to date with the requirements of the building and planning regulations. It’s also a good idea to seek advice before you start any building work. You can approach your local authority’s building control team who will be able to offer their advice on your project and ensure that it will meet building regulations.

Planning Permission or Building Regulations?

If you are planning major building work such as an extension or conversion, it may be the case that you need both Building Regulations along with Planning Permission. This is because both are separate sets of requirements that have different processes. Internal building work, for example, will need Building Regulations, but might not need Planning Permission, however an extension will more than likely need both.

What’s the difference?

Planning Permission basically refers to how a building looks and where it’s positioned, which determines what you can build, and Building Regulations control exactly how it must be built. These are in place to make sure that the work is structurally safe and sound. Planning Permission is in place to make sure that the environment is protected in the public interest, and if something is built without the right permission, you may be forced to put things right to comply. However, there are certain changes to your home that can be made without the need for Planning Permission. These are called permitted developments and you can find out whether your project is included here in the Planning Portal.

Will my project need Building Regulations?

It’s always best to check and seek advice from your local authority to see whether your project will need Building Regulations, Planning Permission or both, especially if you’re in doubt. This is also something your designer, architect or installer can help with.

For certain improvements to your home and building work such as replacing your windows and doors, that’s where Competent Person Schemes come in. If you choose an installer that is part of a Competent Person Scheme, you won’t need to get approval yourself as they can self-certify that their work complies with building standards and are able to deal with any issues that may arise.

Choosing a Certass certified installer ensures that they are qualified and skilled to carry out your project to the highest standards, which comply with current Building Regulations. Once the project is complete, they will self-certify the work and you will be issued with the Building Regulations Compliance Certificate that you will need to keep in a safe place!

Finding a certified installer in Your Area

It’s super easy to find a Certass certified installer in your local area with our Online Directory. All you need to do is search your address and it will list the installers that are closest to you.