What are Building Regulations

Building Regulations, like planning conditions, are statutory requirements that must be satisfied in order for construction to be carried out. They are laid down by Parliament and are aimed at ensuring adequate standards of building work are met, mainly concerning the health and safety of those in and around the building both during construction and for future occupancy.

The legal requirements are detailed in "Approved Documents", containing both practical and technical guidance. Approved documents are available for purchase from HMSO  bookshops or can be researched, along with other Building Regulations information, at reference libraries or your local authority offices.

You should submit a Building Regulations application prior to commencement of construction. A Building Inspector will then assess your proposals and, if they conform, issue an approval.

Following approval, the inspector will carry out a number of inspections at various stages of construction right through to completion whereupon they will issue a completion certificate.

Getting Started

As it often takes some weeks to organise temporary supplies it is advisable to contact the relevant authorities well in advance of commencing construction. If you are running the site yourself, this will be up to you to arrange. The site will require temporary services, such as power supply for tools and lighting and water supply for use when mixing materials and for cleaning and washing purposes. The site must also have WC facilities and somewhere protected from the elements for workmen to eat and take breaks. It is also a good idea to arrange to have a site office with a telephone connection.

Authorities to contact...

  • Sewage Works
  • Local Electricity Board
  • Telephone Company
  • Local Water Company

Alternatively, you could avoid contacting the first three service authorities by replacing them with: A chemical toilet, A generator, A mobile phone 
However, you will almost certainly need a fresh running water supply.

Typical Building Regs Inspection Stages (Typical Notice Due)

  • Commencement - 48 hours prior to inspection
  • Excavation of foundations - 24 hours prior to inspection
  • Concrete foundations - 24 hours prior to inspection
  • Damp proof course - 24 hours prior to inspection
  • Hardcore oversite - 24 hours prior to inspection
  • Structural timbers - 24 hours prior to inspection
  • Drain connection with sewer - 24 hours prior to inspection
  • Drains inspection - 24 hours prior to inspection
  • Drain backfilled and ready for test - within 5 days
  • Final Completion or occupation before completion - 5 days prior to inspection
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