Frequently Asked Questions
About the Building Regulations
What work is exempt from Building Regulations?
Whilst most building work requires Building Regulations approval, there is some work that is exempt and does not require an application or inspections. The most common exemptions are:
a) SMALL DETACHED BUILDINGS
Any single storey building under 30m2 floor area, that is not used for sleeping and is at least 1 metre from any boundary if built of combustible material. If the floor area of the building is kept under 15m2 then it can be built within 1m of the boundary.
b) SOME SMALL EXTENSIONS
A conservatory, porch, covered way or carport open on at least two sides providing the floor area does not exceed 30m2.
The conservatory should have a translucent roof, be substantially glazed, be thermally separated from the rest of the building and either unheated or have heating that is independent to that in the main building.
It is considered that the size of the porch should be in proportion to that of the main building, should be thermally separated from the main building and usually covering a front or rear door only. It should not be used as a habitable room.
Any glazing should meet the requirements in respect safety glazing.
The above exempt buildings may also need to meet the requirements of Part G (cold/hot water supply) and Part P (electrics)
More information regarding exempt buildings can be found at:
I need some advice on if I can submit a Building Notice for my work?
A building notice is intended for simple domestic building work and assumes that the applicant/builder is fully conversant with the requirements of the Building Regulations for the proposed project.
A Building Notice cannot be used where
- the building is subject to The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRO)
- where it is built over or within 3m of a sewer
- where the building opens onto a private street
When a Building Notice is used, the form must be accompanied by the appropriate Building Notice fee and a location plan if the work involves a new building or extension.
My neighbour is carrying out work close to my boundary. What does this mean to me?
Any work carried out on over very near to a boundary is covered by The Party Wall Act.
The Party wall Act is a civil matter and CNC Building Control do not control or administer this legislation.
We can appoint (at the parties expense) a “third surveyor” to mediate, if the appointed party wall surveyors for each side reach an impasse.
Further guidance on the Party Wall Act can be found at
Do I need to follow the Approved Documents to comply with the Building regulations?
The legal presumption is if you have followed the guidance in the documents, this is evidence that your work has complied with the Building Regulations. However the guidance in the documents is not statutory and does not have to be followed. If you wish to design and construct your building work in another way, you may do so providing you can show that it complies with relevant regulation requirements.
The guidance in the Approved Documents will be taken into account when considering whether your plans of proposed work, or work in progress, comply with particular requirements.
Are there any penalties for not complying with the building regulations?
Yes, if CNC consider the work does not comply with the regulations it has powers to order you to take down or alter the work. In the case of serious and persistent contraventions, you could be fined for failing to comply.
What can I do if I have already carried out work without permission, is it too late to apply?
If the work was carried out after November 1985 you can apply retrospectively for a Regularisation Certificate. You may have to expose some areas of work for inspection to establish compliance with the Building Regulations in force at the time the work was carried out. There are some areas that the Local Authority may exclude from the Certificate because it is impossible to determine adequacy without substantial damage.
If the work was completed prior to November 1985 the work cannot be regularised.
To see if we can give you retrospective approval please contact us
What happens if I don’t comply with the regulations?
Work carried out without Building Control Approval is classified as unauthorised. The Local Authority has powers to take legal action to require an application to be made and you may have to expose some areas of work for inspection to establish compliance with the Building Regulations. You could also be fined for failing to comply and/or pay to have offending work altered to meet Building Regulations. In extreme cases work may be required to be taken down.
The most serious problem will be the effect on any future house sale. Approval Notices and Completion Certificates are now needed as standard as part of conveyance so you may experience problems selling additionally your house insurance could be invalidated.
What do the regulations cover?
The Building Regulations cover the erection of new buildings, the extension or alteration of existing buildings and the provision of a controlled service or fitting (e.g. drainage, heat producing appliances) and where certain changes of use to a building occur.
There are certain minor building works that do not require approval. Please contact us for specific information regarding your project
The Building Regulations are arranged in Approved Documents, covering the following:
- A Structure
- B Fire safety
- C Site preparation and resistance to contaminants and moisture
- D Toxic substances
- E Resistance to the passage of sound
- F Ventilation
- G Sanitation, Hot Water Safety & Water Efficiency
- H Drainage and waste disposal
- J Combustion Appliances and Fuel Storage Systems
- K Protection from falling, collision and impact
- L Conservation of fuel and power
- M Access to and use of buildings
- P Electrical safety
- Q Security
- R Physical Infrastructure for High Speed Electronic Communications Network
- Regulation 7 – Materials & Workmanship
Who administers the Building Regulations?
The Building Regulation Control can be administered by Local Authorities, private sector and Approved Inspectors; however only Local Authorities have powers to enforce the regulations. All service providers must keep to the Building Control Performance Standards document which lays down a suggested framework for level of service provision
What is the difference between Planning Permission and Building Regulations?
Planning Permission rules determine whether you are allowed to go ahead with a building project whereas the Building Regulations set standards for the design and construction of buildings to ensure the safety and health for people in or about those buildings.
What are the Building Regulations?
A majority of building projects are required to comply with the Building Regulations which ensure the health and safety of people in and around all types of buildings. They also cover energy conservation, and access and facilities to buildings ensuring they can be used by everyone.
Building Regulations ensure buildings are habitable, safe, dry and warm, when building or making alterations to your property and set the standard for the design and construction of buildings.
The Building Regulations are made under powers provided in the Building Act 1984, and apply in England and Wales. The current edition of the regulations is The Building Regulations 2010, these form the basis for the approved documents and supporting documentation.