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Architectural Services produce all the building regulations drawings, specifications and structural calculations (via 3rd party Engineers that we work with daily) required to obtain Building Control approval. We will act as your agent and submit the application to Building Control and liaise with them to gain approval.


Most extensions, conversions and structural alterations require building regulations approval for the work being carried out. Building regulations promote standards for most aspects of a building's construction, energy efficiency in buildings, the needs of all people, including those with disabilities, in accessing and moving around buildings. They are separate from planning permission and for some developments you may need planning permission and building regulations approval.



Before any building work starts it is advisable to always check with the local planning authority whether building regulations approval is required. We can do this for you and handle the whole submission and approval process.


Building regulations apply to building projects in England and Wales. They set out:


  • what constitutes building work

  • requirements for material and workmanship

  • water and energy efficiency requirements

  • requirements for testing and commissioning of services

  • types of buildings that may be exempt from building regulations

  • requirements for the technical performance of building work

  • aspects of building design and construction ranging from structural matters, fire safety, and energy conservation to hygiene, sound insulation, and access to and use of buildings

  • relevant procedures that must be followed


Building regulations standards are applied and enforced through the Building Control system and are supported by technical guidance documents. These technical documents - known as approved documents - provide guidance for meeting the requirements of the regulations.


Building work can be inspected by either

  • The local authority

  • An approved private Building Inspector

At Architectural Services we have been working closely with an approved private Inspector for 12 years. This is our preferred approach as the Inspector knows us and the Engineers we work with very well, which ensures a consistent approach to the building works. We are, however, very happy to work with the local authority or any other approved private inspector if required by yourselves or chosen builder.


There are 2 different types of building control approval.


1. Full Plans

This is the usual way forward as it involves having the plans checked and approved before the work starts, to avoid any costly errors and corrective work on site by not being fully up to speed with the ever-changing regulations. This is typically used for extensions, loft conversion, new builds etc.


An application deposited under this procedure needs to contain plans and other information showing all construction details, preferably well in advance of when work is to start on site.


The Building Inspector will check the plans and consult the water authority regarding any drains that may be close to the proposed development. If there are drains within 3m of the proposed extension then a build over agreement with the water authority may be required.


If your plans comply with the building regulations you will receive a notice stating that they have been approved. A full plans approval notice is valid for three years from the date of deposit of the plans.


2. Building Notice

If the work is uncomplicated (such as a simple garage conversion or internal structural alteration) and you are happy that your builder has a reasonably good understanding of the regulations, then you can use a Building Notice form. The advantage of the building notice procedure is that detailed drawings are not formally required for approval, although some details such as structural calculations may still be required.


Plans are not required with this process so it’s quicker and less detailed than the full plans application. It is designed to enable some types of building work to get under way quickly; although it is perhaps best suited to small or basic work.


There are also specific exclusions in the regulations as to when building notices cannot be used in relation to domestic work, a building notice cannot be used:


  • For work which will be built close to or over the top of rain water and foul drains shown on the 'map of sewers'

  • For commercial properties such as a care home where the fire authority need to be consulted

  • Where a new building will front onto a private street


A 'building notice' is valid for three years from the date the notice was given after which it will automatically lapse if the building work has not commenced.


Building control inspections

Depending on the project, the inspector will carry out a number of inspections. For example, for an extension they are likely to want to see:


  • Foundations – ensuring they are dug to a satisfactory depth

  • Oversite / damp proof course – to check the preparation for oversite concrete

  • Damp proof course – checking the DPC has been laid correctly

  • Drainage – checking how the drains have been laid before being covered

  • drainage - testing the drains for water tightness

  • Roof and floor Insulation – checking the thickness and installation of insulation

  • Roof – checking the roof structure

  • Completion – final check once works complete (where any electrics/gas have already been signed off). This final inspection is often forgotten and is vital to ensure you receive a completion certificate for the work.


If you have a project that you would like assistance with, get in touch with us for a free no obligation discussion today.

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