Once you have received your ‘Planning Permission’, your next dealing with the local authority will be in securing ‘Building Regulation Approval,’ or ‘Building Regs’ as almost everyone calls them.
There are two aspects of this to consider:
- Building Regulations
- Structural Calculations
Building Control is an important part of the building process. Planning Permission primarily addresses the appearance, shape and form of a building. Building Regulations deal with how the work is built.
Most building work we undertake on properties falls under building control and you will often receive a request for a Building Regulation Application after a successful Planning Approval.
- Building Regulations or Control is a totally separate matter from obtaining planning permission but is equally important. In its most simplistic terms it is the inspection of the standard of your works built by your builder ensuring they meet current standards and legislation. The inspections are undertaken by a Local Authority Building Control (LABC) Division or a private sector Approved Inspector Building Control (AIBC).
- In both instances we can help! The 'Full Plans Application' is our preferred route to achieving approval. Here we take our design drawings (which are often the planning approved drawings) and add lots of construction detail. We also produce a full set of construction drawings showing all the necessary information to demonstrate that the project will be within the requirements of The Building Control Division. The same drawings are submitted to the local authority for their approval.
- The approving body will check the plans against their own building standards required by the Building Regulations and identify any problems.
- Once plans have been approved, the same authority will attend the site and carry out inspections at regular intervals during the construction phase. The advantage of the 'Full Plans Application' is everyone involved on site will know in advance exactly what is required, so there will be few or no surprises.
- We also prefer this option as any issues are more likely to arise earlier rather than later in the project. It’s far easier to deal with them then.
The Buildings Regulations Process
Full Plans Route
This is the route described above. Once your plans have been submitted by us it normally takes between 5 and 8 weeks for building control to carry out the required checks and to notify us formally that our application and drawings have been approved. This time includes the submission of any further information that building control may require, such as structural calculations.
The authority's charge for the application is generally paid in two instalments. Normally 25% of the authority's fee will be paid when the application is submitted and the remainder will be invoiced to you when works starts on site.
Full Plans Approval prior to engaging a builder can be beneficial as when obtaining quotations or tenders more accurate pricing can be achieved because of the extra detail in the plans you can provide.
Full Plans Approval prior to engaging a builder can be beneficial as when obtaining quotations or tenders more accurate pricing can be achieved by the builder as drawings show much more in-depth detail.
Building notice is an alternative route to gain Building Regulation Approval. It provides the same approval as a Full Plans Application but here you leave it to your builder to call upon the Inspector when he has reached a particular stage which needs to be approved.
The advantage to building notice is domestic works can start within 48hrs of notification. The inspection criteria is identical for Building Notice as is for Full Plans and the fees are almost the same. 'Building Notice' is a good option if your builder is willing to make all the various design changes, decisions and handle items such as the structural engineering calculations.
- The disadvantage of a Building Notice is that unforeseen problems and errors may lead to elements of the structure having to be taken down/removed or replaced. For this reason, if you are not using a main contractor or projects manager and generally allowing sub-contractors to undertake the works we suggest you use the full plans route.
If you are not using a main contractor or projects manager and generally allowing sub-contractors to undertake the works we suggest you use the full plans route.