Building Regulations and Warranties

The Department for Communities and Local Government is responsible for Building Regulations, which exist principally to ensure the health and safety of people in and around buildings. These regulations apply to most new buildings and many alterations of existing buildings in England and Wales, whether domestic, commercial or industrial. However, Scotland has its own system of building regulations which are not covered here: We have put some links at the bottom of the page to the relevant sites where you can find more information.

Your project will almost certainly require Building Regulations approval before you can commence with construction.

What You Are Required To Do

Most building projects have to comply with building regulations. For example, you will need to comply if you put up a new building, extend or significantly alter an existing one (eg converting a loft space into a living space). You may also need to comply if you want to install services or fittings in a building, such as replacement windows, toilets, sinks, or hot water cylinders, or if you change the use of a building, since the new use may mean it does not comply with the appropriate regulations.

If you are unsure whether the work you want to do needs to comply, contact the building regulations department of your local council. They will also be able to advise you about the requirements that apply to the work you want to carry out and what procedures you need to follow.

Find Your Local Council

If your project is subject to the building regulations you must, with some exceptions, use one of two types of building control services:

  • Your local authority building control service
  • An approved inspector's building control service

In either case, an inspector will check on the compliance of the work. A charge or fee will be payable.

The primary responsibility for complying with the regulations belongs to the person carrying out the building work. So if you are carrying out the work personally the responsibility will be yours. If you are employing a builder the responsibility will usually be that firm's ? but make sure you confirm this position at the very beginning. If you are the owner of the building, it is ultimately you who may be served with an enforcement notice if the work does not comply with the regulations.


Complying with building regulations is a separate matter from getting planning permission for your work. In the same way, receiving any planning permission is not the same as taking action to ensure that it complies with building regulations.


Other useful links may be found at: