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1. What are Building Regulations?

Building Regulations are Government legislation controlling the physical construction of all building projects covering foundations, drainage, damp-proofing, floors, walls, roofs, staircases, insulation, plumbing, electrical and fire protection etc.

Note:- All applications require a Building Regulation Plan Fee. see Qu.2

BEWARE:- Not all Drawing Services/Architects deal with Building Regulation Applications.

2. What is a Building Regulation Plan Fee?

This is the fee paid to the Council upon the depositing of plans for the Building Control Officer to ensure that all relevant Regulations are included on the plans.

3. Are there any other Building Regulations Fees required?

Yes. Building Regulation Inspection Fees are payable to the Council upon the start of the approved building project and are invoiced approx. 7 days following the Building Control Officer’s first visit.
The payment covers all of the Officer’s visits.
If the building project never commences no fee is required.


Note:-  Where extensions do not exceed 10 square metres or where building work costs do not exceed £5,000 Inspection Fees must be paid with the Plan Fees upon the submission to the Council.

4. Do all Building projects require a Building Regulation application?

Yes. The only exceptions are currently conservatories [with toughened or laminated glass] and entrance porches.

5. How long does the Building Regulation last?

Work must be commenced within 3 years of the approval date before a re-submission is required.

6. How quickly must I complete the building work?

Once started there is no limit to when building work must be completed.

7. How often does the Building Control Officer visit?

Statutory law requires the Officer to inspect all foundation work stages, damp-proofing, floor joists, roof timbers, installation of steel beams, all drainage and a final inspection. A telephone call to the Council before 10 a.m. will normally ensure a visit that day.

8. What happens if I do not have a final inspection?

When you wish to sell the property it will appear on the Local Authority Search carried out by the Buyer’s solicitor and could delay the sale.

9. Who is responsible for the Building Control Officer’s visits?

Normally it is the Builder who arranges for the visits but beware ultimately it is the homeowner’s responsibility if the inspections are not carried out.

10. What happens if my building project is close to trees?

In clay subsoil the minimum depth of foundations is 1.00 metres.
Deeper foundations will be required depending on the type of tree, its mature height and their distance from the building work.
All trees extract moisture from the ground, which can undermine the stability of the structure.
Trees with a high water demand include Elms, Eucalyptus, Oaks, Poplars, Willows and Leylandii.
Trees with low water demand include Beech, Birch and Magnolia.
All other trees are moderate water demand.
Generally no foundations need to be taken deeper than the local water table.

11. How do I choose a reliable Builder?

Always the million dollar question!
Recommendation from relatives, friends and work colleagues are always best.
Look for Building work being carried out close-by.
Are they there everyday? Are they tidy? Are they considerate? Would your neighbour recommend them?
The local Check-a-trade is a good source.
Three quotations is always best, but the cheapest builder is not always the best builder!
If they don’t turn up at the appointed time DO NOT chase them.
If they don’t submit their quotation on time DO NOT chase them.
Enquire about current and recently completed projects. Contact their previous customers.
Trust your instincts.
Detail all of your requirements and make sure the builder quotes for them.
Changes will often result in costly extras.

12. What if my builder criticises the Building Control Officer’s requirements?

The Officer is there to protect YOUR interests in ensuring the building work is carried out to the required standard. They are always approachable, should you have any concerns.