When do building regulations apply?
Any person carrying out building work that falls under the categories set out below has a responsibility to comply with the Building Regulations. This can apply to the client, owner, constructor, designer, supplier, etc.
Building Regulations apply when any of the following are carried out:
- erect or re-erect a building or part of a building
- extend a building
- carry out external or internal alterations to a building that affect structural, fire safety, thermal performance and disabled provisions
- convert a roof space
- re-cover roofs or reclad a building
- carry out underpinning
- change the use of a building or part of a building
- replace windows and doors
- insert cavity insulation
- install unvented hot water systems
Building Regulations cover the provision, extension or alterations of:
- washing and sanitary facilities and fittings
- sanitary pipework
- foul and rainwater drainage
- sewage treatment plants and cesspools
- boilers, flues, chimneys and hearths
- fuel storage installations
- hot water storage and controls
- electrical installations to dwellings
- thermal elements
Some types of building work may be carried out without submitting a Building Regulations application. The main types of works that are exempt are:
- porches – if not used for any other purpose, e.g. does not contain a sink or w/c, is built on the ground, less than 30m², is separated from the dwelling by a suitable door and Regulations
- conservatories – built on the ground, less than 30m², attached to the dwelling but separated by a suitable door. NB An application would be required for any new or enlarged structural opening
- garages or small detached buildings less then 15m² with no sleeping accommodation
- gor single storey detached buildings less than 30m² with no sleeping accommodation and either more than 1m from the boundary or constructed of non-combustible materials
- greenhouses and agricultural buildings
- carports –open on at least two sides
- covered ways
- detached buildings not normally used by people
- temporary buildings – if they are to remain no longer than 28 days
- construction site and sales office.
Please note that any glazing or fixed electrical installations would need to comply with the applicable parts of the Building Regulations. For a complete list of exemptions please refer to Schedule 2, 3 and 4 of the Building Regulations or check the Planning Portal website.
These exemptions cover:
- detached garages having less than 30 square metres in floor area, and constructed of non-combustible materials
- detached summer house having less than 30 square metres in floor area, and containing no sleeping accommodation and constructed of non-combustible materials
- timber sheds are also exempt providing they are less than 15 square metres, or if between 15 and 30 square metres are positioned a minimum of one metre from the boundary.