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Information and advice

Please find below useful information about Building Control and the process involved in getting your Building Regulations approval.

Click the image below to access the easy to follow Guide to Extending your Home:

Extensions: A homeowner's guide to expanding your living space

What are Building Regulations?

Building Regulations are rules that ensure all new construction, conversions, alterations and extensions are built to a minimum standard and meet certain health, safety and welfare standards.

To demonstrate your work complies with the building regulations, you must submit a building control application, have the work checked and a completion certificate issued.

If you're a homeowner and planning an extension or conversion, you may need a building regulations inspection as well as planning permission. Whereas planning permission is about how a building looks, building regulations make sure your home is structurally safe and efficient. 

You may also need building regulations approval if you're planning to renovate your home. This includes changing internal structures, added new heating and hot water systems, toilets, electrics or windows.

Getting building work approved by Waverley's expert building control team helps ensure that the work is safe and up to building regulations standards as well as protecting you against rogue builders. You should seek our advice before starting any building project - we can help you get it right first time, with minimal stress throughout your project, keeping it on track and saving you time and money.

Check if you need building regulation approval on the Planning Portal's Interactive House.

Starting a building project is an exciting time, but can be pretty daunting to the less experienced. Waverley Building Control has a number of resources and guides available to help you through the process.  

We would recommend you visit LABC Frontdoor. This website offers guidance and advice to homeowners for a range of building projects - you simply search your project type and they list all the relevant information you need. This also covers the building regulations, so you know what you need to consider from that point of view too.  

Local Authority Building Control (LABC) represents all local authority building control teams in England and Wales. Waverley Building Control is part of this national network; meaning you have consistent, authorative advice and guidance. LABC offers technical and customer-friendly advice to both construction professionals and homeowners.

Within our own webpages you will find a number of resources available to you, including:

We encourage you to watch our video which explores starting a project from scratch - so knowing what you need to do for planning permission, building control and then what you should be looking for in a builder. 

Your architect, if you have one, should be guiding through the construction process and requirements, and your builder should be competent and familiar with the building regulations.

Competent Person Schemes were introduced by the Government to allow individuals and enterprises to self-certify their work complies with the building regulations without having to submit a building notice and incur a charge.  These usually covers works such as electrical or gas installations, or replacing windows.

An installer registered with a Competent Person Scheme should notify the local authority of the work and issue you with a certificate of compliance under the building regulations either directly or through their scheme operator.

To find an installer registered with a Competent Person Scheme in your area or check that your chosen installer is with a scheme visit www.competentperson.co.uk and enter your postcode or the name of the installer in the relevant search box.

Not Competent Persons Scheme Registered?

If you do not use an installer registered with a Competent Person Scheme you will need to submit a building notice and pay a fee so that we can arrange inspection of the work for you. See How to apply for Building Control.

Some building types and extensions are classed as exempt under the building regulations. This means an application does not need to be submitted to building control. The most common exemptions are detailed below.  They may still however need planning permission.

Conservatories

A conservatory built at ground level and less than 30min floor area and thermally separated from the existing house is normally exempt provided that glazing and any fixed electrical installations and heating installations comply with the applicable requirements of the building regulations.

Porches

Construction of a porch built at ground level of less than 30min floor area and thermally separated from the existing house, is normally exempt provided that the glazing and any fixed electrical installation comply with the requirements of the building regulations.

Sheds

Construction of a small detached building such as a garden shed or summerhouse in the garden will not normally require building regulations if the floor area of the building is less than 15m2. If the floor area is between 15-30myou will not normally require building regulations providing that the building is either at least 1m from the boundary or it is constructed of substantially non-combustible material.

Garages

The construction of a new attached carport, open on at least two sides, would not normally require building regulations if it is less than 30min floor area. Construction of a non-combustible detached garage less then 30mwould not normally require building regulations approval as long as it doesn’t contain sleeping accommodation. If the construction is of combustible materials the garage must be at least 1m from the property boundary.

More information

Find out more about exemptions in this useful blog from LABC

All exemptions

Full details of all the exemptions can be found in Schedule 2 of the Building Regulations.

If you are still unsure if your project is exempt please contact the building control team for advice. Email: buildingcontrol@waverley.gov.uk

If you are proposing to start work covered by the Party Wall Act, as the homeowner, you must give adjoining owners notice of your intentions as set down in the act. Adjoining owners can agree or disagree with what is proposed and if they disagree, the act provides a mechanism for resolving disputes.

The act is separate from obtaining planning permission or building regulations approval.

More information

Building control has no involvement in the Party Wall Act

See guidance on gov.uk: Preventing and resolving disputes in relation to party walls

Contact a Party Wall Surveyor at the Faculty of Party Wall Surveyors

Organisation and website link What they can help with

LABC Front Door

Information and advice for homeowners

Waverley Borough Council

Services including Planning, Housing, Parks and Countryside, Benefits, Bins and Recycling etc

Surrey County Council

 

Services including Highways, Street Lighting, Traffic signal faults, pavements, Trees, Potholes, Social Care etc

Health and Safety Executive

 

Guidance around topics including chemicals, fumes and dust, site safety, asbestos etc

The Planning Portal interactive house

 

Identify if you need planning or building control for your project

Local Authority Building Control (LABC)

 

Information and advice, including videos of building projects for homeowners and construction professionals

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