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Are you thinking about extending the size of your home? Read on for more information on how building regulations work….
Whether you’re planning to build your new home or your new office building, know that you’ll have to comply with the latest building regulations. The regulations are a set of standards that address all buildings in the UK. They ensure that the building provides enough safety for the people who inhabit it. Moreover, the newest building regulations also factor in the accessibility that the building provides for people with disabilities. Both the building owner and the builder himself are responsible for meeting the standards set by the regulations.
There are 2 types of regulations: type A – which refers to the structural aspects of the building, and type B – which addresses the electrical aspects. Complying with these standards will ensure that your building provides the safety, health, and welfare of the people who work or live inside and close to its surroundings.
Furthermore, you should consider hiring a professional commercial cleaning service after builders. While you could do this yourself, or ask the builders to clean up after themselves, neither you nor the builders will do the best job. Property cleaning after builders should be done by professionals.
When should I file for Building Regulations approval?
Building Regulations don’t refer only to new buildings. You have to obtain permits even if you’re creating modifications to an already existing building. Below you will find a list of projects that will require approval from the Local Authority Building Control office.
- The erection of a new building
- The extension of an existing building
- Any alterations that involve the modification of the building’s structure, fire resistance, or general access ways
- Any addition or replacement of windows to an existing building; only applies is the contracted builders aren’t registered with FENSA
- Any insulation projects that address wall cavities
- Any foundation underpinning project
- Any thermal element renovation project
- Any change in the building’s main use (eg. transforming an office into a house)
- Any changes that will affect the building’s energy status
These are only a few of the changes that you will have to obtain a permit for. You should always consult your Local Authority Building Control office for more details.
Am I responsible for meeting the standards of the Building Regulations?
You are, if you’re the owner of the building. Although the builders should ensure that their work is within the standards of the Building Regulations, you’re ultimately responsible for your own building. If the Building Regulations inspector finds that your building isn’t compliant to the latest regulations, you’re the one who’s going to receive a notice, not the builders.
How do I get the approval?
Filing for approval is the least worrisome part of the job. You can address one of the two Building Control Bodies: approved inspectors or the Local Authority Building Control (LABC) office. The approved inspectors are actually private companies that have been approved by the local authority to carry out the regulations service. You can also contact the LABC online and submit your application there.
If you’ve filed your application through an approved inspector, you must also notify the LABC office. If you’ve directly contacted the LABC office, there are 3 pre-site application types that you will use:
A full plan application – through which you will submit all the architectural drawings and information needed and wait for a formal decision.
A building notice – through which you’ll only submit a part of the information, however, the work on your building will be regularly inspected. You will receive your approval at the end of construction.
A regularisation application – you’ll use this if your building has already been completed beforehand without any approvals from the LABC.
What if my building doesn’t comply with the latest regulations?
Naturally, because the regulations comply with nationwide laws, you will be subject to fines and legal notices, should your construction not need the requirements of Building Regulations. If your building doesn’t comply with the regulations you will not receive your approval certificate. Besides the fact that your building will be unsafe for its inhabitants, it will also be marked with a contravention, and will appear in the local land searches when you try to rent or sell it.