If you are doing construction on your house, whether building a new house or renovating the old one, it is important that you understand how the building regulations in your country work. You could read the authority’s website or consult a professional architect to walk you through the journey.
Even though builders take care of the building regulations approval to make sure their work runs smoothly, the client must be aware of what is happening. After all, they are the project owners.
It is also good to know that some minor projects are exempted from the regulations, which means that you do not have to seek approval. Unfortunately, knowing when one needs to seek building regulations approval is a concern for many people. This article will clarify when and how to seek these approvals so that your building project not only runs smoothly but avoids issues.
When Do You Need Building Regulations Approval?
If you have a project that amounts to major construction, the authorities require you to seek building regulations approval before commencement of the project. Whether you are from the UK, where building regulations are very strict, or any other part of the world, you will need approvals for the following projects;
- When building a new house – One thing you should know is that building regulations for a new house set minimum standards for the design and construction. So, when building a new house, either residential or commercial, you should seek approvals for your drawing plans and construction of the project. It is better to work with a professional architect, as we are going to see later. The approvals will also look at the safety of the finished structure during the occupation, and this should reflect on the drawing plans.
- When extending an existing house – You can extend your house if you need extra space. Extensions, with an exception of a few as listed by your authorities, will require building regulations approval. Most people work with architects not only to draw the design but also to help in seeking the approvals and supervision of the project. Extending walls for more than eight meters for a building will most likely require permission approvals. But a professional architect will help you go through this process.
- When doing house conversions – Do you want to do a loft conversion, or any other alteration of your house to create an extra room? You will probably need to apply for building regulation permissions. However, some house conversions are minor and do not need approvals. Again, it is better to check with the authorities or work with a professional consultant like an architect who will provide all-around services.
- Doing major house remodeling projects – Installing a new bathroom, kitchen, any other major renovation project in your house? You need to check if you need building regulations approval. However, some may not require it while others will do. Many states require these approvals to ensure that the minimum standards are met. So, check to ensure that you are taking the right path.
- When working on a project touching fire safety, drainage and plumbing, you might need to seek building approvals. This is also for the sake of the safety of those staying in the house. Again, liaise with a professional to know whether you need it or not.
If you have any other construction project, consult widely or research so that you are on the safe side. The authorities will not forgive you if you are in the wrong. The fine can be costly and time-consuming.
Who Will Help You Seek Building Regulations Approval?
Going through the journey of seeking building regulations approval alone is not easy, no matter how small the project is. For new home construction, conversions, or extension, a professional architect will work with you to draw building plans and supervise the project fulfillment. But this is not the only function they do. Many also help clients to go through the building regulations approval application and follow-ups.
If you do not believe it, check the Humphreysandsons website to see all the services they offer. Seeking building permissions and approvals is one of them, on top of making professional and creative plans and drawings.
Apart from architects, there are also real estate agents who do such services at a fee. They act as consultants, and this means working on your behalf to get all of the relevant approvals. Check on the web to the local building consultants you can use since they understand the local building regulations in a better way.
The Process of Getting Building Regulations Approval
Getting building regulations approval is a process. Whether you are doing it yourself or using a consultant, it is important for you to know the process. It will help you make the right decisions. Here is the process:
- Getting a building control surveyor – Before making the submission, you need a surveyor to assess your project and make a report. These are inspectors, and they work best with popular architectural firms to ensure that you qualify for permissions. In many states, you may work with local authorities’ inspectors because they are affordable or free.
- Applying for building regulations approval – This is the most crucial process of building permission seeking. Include all of the required documents, especially the building plans and drawings. If you make a mistake, the authorities may reject your application, which means a delay on your project. However, professional architects and real estate agents will help you go through this. So, choose these experts well to have a smooth process.
- Building – As soon as you get the building regulations approval, you have the green light to start the construction. You should never attempt to start before the approval is acquired, even if you are sure it will go through. In the meantime, you can source the materials you will need. This gives you enough time to compare prices and vet potential constructors.
The process of seeking building regulations approval is not that easy. But if you have the above insights, you are in a position to make informed decisions. Those who are new to such projects should work closely with consultants to avoid making costly or risky mistakes.