Building Control Approval
What is building control approval?
Building regulations are minimum standards for design and construction for virtually every building project - domestic and commercial. Building regulations are developed by the UK government and approved by parliament.
To get building control approval for your extension or loft conversion, you must meet the standards set out in Approved Documents. When you start construction, we can submit the building control application for you, so that your job is registered and an Approved Inspector can visit your job an issue a final certificate when it is complete.
Is building control approval the same as planning permission?
No. Building control approval and planning permission are different.
Building control approval makes sure your extension, loft conversion or internal alterations are carried out to a certain standard set out in approved documents. Building control is needed for most projects.
Planning permission is usually acquired before building control approval. Major changes to existing buildings such as two storey rear extensions, two storey side extensions and larger single storey extensions need planning permission.
Whether a project needs planning permission or not is covered in our planning quick guide.
How do I get building control approval?
Unless otherwise specified in your quote, your completed plans will include specification for your building control application. For more complex projects we will quote for planning permission and building control plans separately.
We can submit your building control application for you. We submit our applications to an Approved Inspector called JHAI, unless you or your builder has a preferred company or would rather use the council.
For us to submit your building control application, we need to know four weeks before your builder is due to start your extension or internal alteration project.
There are two types of building control application - Full Plans and Building Notice.
Building Control Full Plans Application
A Full Plans application is the most common way of applying for building control approval and is the type of application we will most likely submit for you.
As part of our architectural services, the plans provided to you will be suitable to submit to building control with technical information for them and for your builder to meet building control standards outlined in the approved documents.
We will coordinate the application in terms of providing plans and any structural calculations required, as well as any amendments needed by the building inspector.
Once the plans have been submitted and the Initial Notice as been registered by the Approved Inspector, your builder can start work. The inspector will need to visit site at different stages of the build. In the case of an extension these are usually:
1. When the foundations have been dug to check the ground conditions, this is to make sure it is good enough for a normal concrete strip foundation to be used.
2. Once the brick or block work is up to the damp proof course level, to check the damp proofing is done correctly.
3. After the majority of the extension is built to confirm the right steelwork and amount insulation is in.
4. When the extension is completed to check things like extractor fans and energy efficient lighting have been used, they will also sign off the electrical and gas work at this stage when they receive the certificates from the contractors and issue a completion certificate for the job.
Once they are satisfied with the documentation provided and that standards have been met they will issue a Final Certificate.
You can also apply for building control approval by giving a building notice. This is done through the local authority building control service rather than approved inspector.
Plans aren't required for building control approval through a building notice, so the process is quicker. This method is usually suited to smaller projects and with experienced contractors.
You will still need to comply with building control standards or you will risk having to correct any work that doesn't meet them if requested to do so by the local authority. You must also supply any structural calculations or plans if further detail is requested.
Can I extend my home without building control approval?
Some projects don't need building control approval:
- Conservatories with a thermal break (external door) between the existing house and conservatory
- Porches with a thermal break (external door) between the existing house and porch
- Garages, sheds and greenhouses that are less than 15m2 floor area and contain no sleeping accommodation
How much will my building control application cost?
How much your building control application will costs depends on the type of work and how large your project is. We will provide you with an estimated figure for the cost of your building application with our quote after your free initial visit with us.