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What You Need To Know About Building Regulations

Before you ever have any building work carried out at your home, you should firstly check with your Local Authority Building Team if you require building regulations approval, in addition to planning permission.

House Extension - Bi-Folding Doors

You can locate your nearest Local Authority Building Team here.

Please don’t make the mistake of thinking that building regulations approval is the same as receiving planning permission – it isn’t! They’re two totally different things and neither of them should be ignored.

Non-compliance with building regulations could lead to an enforcement notice being served, the handing out of a hefty fine or possible prosecution.

The likelihood of you needing building regulations approval very much depends on what type of work you want to do.  

You will generally need to submit a building regulations application for the below forms of building work:

New buildings

  • All new buildings except agricultural buildings
  • Garages that are not fully detached and under 30 square metres


  • All extensions no matter how small
  • Some conservatories and porches (many are exempt but these must be separated from the house by doors and can’t be heated)
  • Roof extensions, balconies and roof terraces
  • Basements and basement extensions


  • All loft conversions, roof extensions, balconies and roof terraces
  • All garage conversions
  • Barn conversions
  • Subdividing a house into flats
  • Converting flats back into a house


  • Creating a ‘granny annex’
  • Creating a new or ensuite bathroom or cloakroom
  • Installing a new kitchen
  • Taking out a loadbearing wall
  • Taking out a non-loadbearing wall if it separates a room from your hall, staircase or landing
  • New installation or replacement of a heating system or any boiler, regardless of fuel type
  • New installation or replacement of an oil tank
  • Installation of a new bathroom if existing plumbing is altered or if new plumbing is installed
  • Installation of fixed air conditioning systems
  • Installation of additional radiators to some existing heating systems
  • Replacement fuse boxes, any new electrical installation connected to the fuse box and alterations to electrical installations in bathrooms around the bath or shower replacement window and door units
  • Installing roof lights
  • Making windows or doors wider or taller
  • Replacement of roof coverings on pitched and flat roofs even if this is just like for like
  • Replacing your floor


If a building regulations application is necessary for the work you have in mind, you need to complete and submit it via the Building Control Planning Portal. The cost of the application can vary between local authorities and the type of work you want done.   

You will be informed if building regulations approval is granted, or not, in anything between five weeks to two months after the application has been put in. When it is approved, you have a three-year window to commence work. After that time, you will have to submit another application.


You won’t get caught out by building regulations when you appoint Visual for any building work you would like done as we would never ignore this very important requirement.





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