When it comes to looking after, maintaining and making improvements to your home, we know that you want the best. But how can you be sure what you are doing is allowed? The last thing you want is to carry out expensive building work to then be told rip it all back out, or face a hefty fine.

Before you embark on a journey of home renovations it’s important to know about planning permissions, building regulations and the steps you need to take to get the work done.

Building regulations

There are two types of building regulation. Building notice is needed for things such as relocating a bathroom. This is to keep the local authorities up to date with what you are doing, and they will visit the site to check everything is in order, partly to make sure that there is no risk to the structure of the building.

The second part is for major works to your home, such as if you build an extension. For instances like this a full plan will need to be submitted and approved before works can be carried out. An inspector will visit the site and it is likely that a structural engineer will also visit to ensure all works are within structural regulations. You can find more information here:

www.communities.gov.uk

Permitted development rights

These are the changes and additions you can make to your house. There are also exceptions if you live in an area of natural beauty, world heritage site and similar areas including the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads. If you are unsure about your property it is important to check as your local council can withdraw some of the permitted development rights and stop any work from being done. For more information you can look here atwww.planning.gov.uk

This guide by channel 4 is really useful as a quick reference tool:

Do I Need Building Regulations?

YES

  • Installation of a new boiler.
  • Converting the loft to be used as a room that has windows, a permanent stairway and electricity.
  • If you’re making structural changes such as removal, or part removal of load bearing walls.
  • If you have to remove and rebuild a major part of a wall.
  • If you’re re-roofing and using a different material (heavier or lighter).
  • Replacing windows or external doors.
  • Having cavity wall insulation

NO

  • You’re building a detached single storey building which does not exceed 30 sq metres that contains no sleeping accommodation.
  • You’re building a shed or detached single-storey building less than 15 sq metres in size which has no sleeping accommodation.
  • Extending a building by adding a conservatory, porch, covered yard or carport that’s open on at least two sides.
  • If you’re carrying out minor repairs that don’t involve structural alterations or changes in room layouts and you’re replacing like with like.
  • If you are only using the loft for storage you can convert without seeking regulations.

If you would like any advice on fitting kitchens, bathrooms, under floor heating, boiler maintenance and much more, get in touch today. We have lots of experience in commercial and domestic work and are city and guilds qualified.

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