Building Regulations information for homeowners

The Building Regulations are intended to protect people's health, safety and welfare in and around buildings. The majority of home extensions, alterations or improvements will require Building Regulations compliance.

It is the homeowner’s responsibility to ensure the works carried out comply, it’s also the homeowners responsibility to rectify should it not meet the minimum standards.

What to expect at the end of the Building Regulations process

A completion certificate will be issued to the applicant once all relevant stages have been inspected and deemed satisfactory. This certificate certifies that the building work undertaken to the property was Building Regulations compliant.

If you’re moving house, or even in some instances re-mortgaging, you will require a completion certificate for any building work undertaken, so avoid the head aches and ensure you have your paperwork in order.

Regulation 17 of the Building Regulations places statutory responsibility to inform the Local Authority within 5 days of completion of building works, so don’t forget to let us know to ensure you get your completion certificate.

Even after the issuing of the Building Regulations completion certificate, the Local Authority Building Control maintains comprehensive site inspection records and details throughout the Building Regulations process. This means that if you require the information at a later date, or a future purchaser of your property requires the detailed information, we have it so don’t worry.

Building works already completed – what are your options

Undertaking building work on your property without sourcing appropriate Building Regulations compliance is a criminal offence, and can be open to enforcement action, you should always source Building Regulations approval to protect yourself and ensure the safety of your property.

We’re aware that sometimes homeowners unintentionally undertake building works without regulations approval as they are sometimes unaware, we will assist where we can to ensure compliance.

If you have undertaken building work which has not been approved by Building Control, you may be able to apply for something called a regularisation. A regularisation certificate is a way of obtaining approval for unauthorised work, but is not a Building Regulations Completion Certificate. If the work is confirmed as compliant with the regulations that were in operation at the time of building following an inspection a ‘Certificate of Regularisation’ will be issued.

Please note: not all building work can be Regularised, Regularisation does not apply to work which was completed before the 11th November 1985. Also depending on the nature and seriousness of any contraventions, legal proceedings may be instituted.

The fee for a regularisation certificate is at 120% of current fee regulations for the work. In circumstances where substantial additional or remedial work is required, an additional fee may be required.

Once we have received your Regularisation request, you can call us to arrange an inspection. An opportunity will be given to carry out any extra work necessary in order for a certificate to be issued.

We may require certain aspects of the property to be exposed to enable the surveyor to establish if works comply, this may include trial hole to inspect foundations, inspection of internal cavity walls etc.

As the Local Authority Building Control, we have a statutory duty to undertake obligations of the Building Act 1984, as a result we should enforce if we are notified of a building regulations not being complied with.

Things to know about a Regularisation certificate:

  • An approved inspector cannot offer this service
  • No building regulation approval is given
  • Remedial work and work of opening up may be required
  • A ‘limited’ certificate may be unacceptable to the purchaser
  • Where a Certificate cannot be issued; there is no refund of the fee paid
  • Where there are serious contraventions you may be required to carry out works of compliance
  • There may be a requirement to notify other Government agencies

How to apply for a Regularisation Certificate

Complete the Regularisation form (PDF, 168KB) and send to enquiries@civicance.co.uk

Inspection types and how to book a site inspection

Building work should be inspected throughout the various stages of your project to ensure that Building Regulations are being complied with.

The inspections carried out by the building control team enable them to see the project as it progresses and advise if anything needs to be amended or considered throughout. The Building Control Surveyor can either meet with the homeowner or the builder on site.

A completion certificate won’t be issued unless the work has been fully inspected to a satisfactory standard.

Whilst the building work is being undertaken, it is still your responsibility to notify us at certain stages of the work to ensure site inspections are carried out.

If you are employing a builder to do the work, it is common practise for them to notify us on your behalf – but you should agree this with them beforehand.

To book a Building Control inspection, call 01270 375256 prepared with the application reference number or the full property address. If you call before 10am Monday – Friday we can visit your property on the same day.

There are various types of site inspections they will be required, this can vary significantly depending on the type of project you’re undertaking.

For example, an installation of windows may only take 1-2 visits, however a new two storey extension will require many more inspections including excavation/footings.

The difference between an Approved Inspector and Local Authority

  • Local Authority Building Control is a public independent body operating under the principle Building Regulations ensuring compliance
  • LABC delivers impartial and professional building control services throughout England and Wales
  • The Local Authority Building Control also has enforcement responsibilities under the Building Act 1984
  • The Local Authority Building Control also oversees the Dangerous Structures function ensuring residents in and around buildings are safe
  • Approved Inspectors operate under different regulation
  • Approved inspectors are companies or individuals authorised under the Building Act 1984 to carry out building control work in England and Wales

Your responsibility as a Homeowner

With all building work or home improvements the owner of the property is ultimately responsible for complying with the relevant Building Regulations, therefore, failure to comply with the relevant regulations can result in the homeowner being liable for any remedial action (which can go as far as demolition and/or restoration).

You should always speak to the Local Authority Building Control if you’re unsure of Building Regulations compliance, or want fully impartial advice. At Local Authority Building Control we have extensive experience and knowledge, but can only help if you contact with us.

We understand there are a number of designs open to you when planning to improve your home, so we ensure you get the design you want but still achieve Building Regulations compliance, working through any issues and providing solutions.

If you’re unsure, feel free to discuss your project with us before starting work on 01270 375256 and email us enquiries@civicance.co.uk. It’s important you make any decisions relating to who delivers your Building Regulations support, don’t let someone else make the decision for you.

Competent Person

The Competent Person Schemes (CPS) was introduced by the UK Government in 2002, to allow individuals and enterprises to certify that their work complies with the Building Regulations as an alternative to submitting a Building Regulations application. A Competent Person must be registered with a scheme that has been approved by The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

A Competent person can be used for

Insulation, Combustion appliances, Electrical installations, heating and hot water systems, mechanical ventilation and air- conditioning system, plumbing and water supply systems, replacement windows, doors, roof windows or roof lights and replacement of roof coverings on pitched and flat roof.

If your project consists of work other than mentioned above, contact us to chat through your project and we’ll be happy to help. You can call us on 01270 375256 or email us at enquiries@civicance.co.uk.

You can also check to see if your contractor is Competent Person Certified.