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Building Regulations

Building Regulations are set out by the Department for Communities and Local Government. The regulations exist to ensure the health and safety of people when they are in and around buildings. They apply to most new builds and renovations, including domestic, commercial and industrial. You will need to gain Building Regulations approval before beginning any work.

This page details regulations in England and Wales. Scotland has its own set of building regulations. Click here to find out more about Scottish Building Standards.

When do I need to comply?

You will need to ensure you comply when you are:
  • ​​​​Putting up a new building
  • Adding an extension to an existing building
  • Significantly altering a building (i.e. converting a loft into a living space)
  • Changing the use of a building (changing a commercial building to a residential one)
  • Installing services or fittings (hot water cylinders, replacement windows, toilets)
There is some work that doesn’t require compliance. The building regulations department of your local council will be able to advise you about requirements and procedures you need to follow in your project.

What do I need to do?

If you need to comply to regulations, you’ll likely need to use one of these building control services:
  • Your local authority building control service
  • An approved inspector’s building control service 
Whichever you choose, an inspector will check the compliance of the work. This is subject to fees.

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.

The responsibility of compliance falls to the person who will actually carry out the building work. If you are doing the work personally, then the responsibility is yours. If you are hiring a builder, then the responsibility falls to them. If you own the building, it will be you who is served an enforcement notice if work does not comply. So it is important to confirm compliance before beginning. 

Building Regulation compliance is different to acquiring planning permission. Read our page about planning permission for more information.

If you would like to read more about Building Regulations in England and Wales, please visit the Government Planning Portal Website.