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Building regulations approval

Do I need building regulations approval?

Building regulations set minimum standards for the design and construction of buildings to ensure the safety and health for people in or about those buildings.

They also include requirements to make sure that fuel and power is conserved and facilities are provided for people, including those with disabilities, to access and move around inside buildings.

Meeting the requirements of the building regulations is the responsibility of the person carrying out the building work and, if they are not the same person, the owner of the building.

  1. What projects need approval?

    The following types of project will need building regulations approval:

    • The erection or extension of a building
    • An alteration, such as removal of a wall, creation of an opening or work which will temporarily or permanently affect the ongoing compliance of the building, service or fitting with the requirements relating to structure, fire, or access to and use of buildings
    • Installing replacement windows using a builder or window company which is not FENSA registered
    • The installation or extension of a service or fitting which is controlled under the regulations
    • The insertion of insulation into a cavity wall
    • The underpinning of the foundations of a building
    • When you want to change the building's fundamental use
    • Renovation of a thermal element
    • Change of a building's energy status

    More information about how the regulations apply to different kinds of building projects can be found on the Planning Portal website.

  2. Are there any exemptions?

    If your building work only consists of the installation of certain types of services or fittings (for example some types of drainage, fuel burning appliances, replacement windows, WCs, electrical installations and showers) you can employ an installer who is registered to self-certify the work. This means you will not need to formally apply for Building Regulations approval.

    For more information, see self certified building work.

    There are also occasions where buildings, extensions and alterations you carry out do not require building regulations approval.

    For more information, see exempt work.

    We recommended that you check to see if planning permission is still needed.

  3. How do I apply for approval?

    Before you carry out building work, you or your agent (architect, builder or surveyor) must let us know by either submitting full plans for approval or through the building notice procedure.

  4. Project guidance

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