You need to apply for building regulations for most construction projects. This includes new buildings, extensions, conversions and alterations. You may need building regulation approval even if you don't need planning permission. 

The following building works may require building regulation approval:

  • building or extending a building
  • changing the internal structure of a building
  • installing or adding new heating and hot water systems, toilets, electrics, windows and doors etc
  • changing the use of a building (such as the conversion of a house into two or more flats)
  • adding cavity wall insulation
  • underpinning a building

The following building works won't require building regulation approval:

  • Conversatories*
  • Porches*
  • Carports
  • Covered yards and covered ways*
  • Agricultural buildings*

*subject to exemption criteria.  

Visit the Planning Portal for further information and advice on Building Regulations and the latest government policy.


Some building types and work do not need formal building control approval and therefore are exempt from needing to make an application.

These include:

  • detached buildings housing machinery or plant which people do not visit except for maintenance or repair
  • some greenhouses and agricultural buildings
  • small detached buildings under 30m2 where no sleeping accommodation is provided
  • extensions of a building by the addition at ground level (ie on its own foundations) of conservatories, canopies, porches, covered ways and car ports, all with a floor area not exceeding 30m2. There are specific exemption criteria for these latter types - please refer to the Building Regulations to confirm the exemption.

The construction and distance from boundaries are controlled in some cases. See schedule 2 of the regulations for details.

Please contact us for advice if you are not sure whether you need building regulations approval.

Page owner: Lindsay Goodman. Last updated: 18/06/2018 15:27