Your best laid plans for a new-build

What do Building Regulations mean you can and can’t do when you are building a house?

Building Regulations in the United Kingdom are an essential part of any construction development. What is deemed permissible and what is not has a huge impact on the extent to which properties can be altered. It also covers new-build properties with the most up-to-date legislation. 

Building Regulations, or Building Regs, are amended every few years, as new technologies and regulations come into play. They cover almost every aspect of a building, its design and its construction components. They range from glazing safety, structure and sound transfer to ventilation, sanitation, hygiene and water efficiency. One notable exception is gas supplies to properties, which is dealt with under separate legislation.  

Digital communications

In 2017 a section was introduced to cover ‘High Speed Broadband Infrastructure’, which acknowledged the rise in prominence of digital telecommunications at home and at work. From 2005 ‘building work’ now includes any work on household electrics. Many changes have been made in the last two decades on how energy loss from properties impacts on the environment. This shows how construction experts, scientists and engineers have become more aware of how energy can be conserved (more efficient methods of heating within properties) and retained (with better insulation included in the building fabric).    

Getting planning permission

For planning permissions to be granted, plans will have to be submitted to the local council’s planning portal and building control, to be assessed and either passed or refused. During the work being carried out, a building control officer or building inspector will visit the work at various stages of completion. This is to ensure the workmanship and materials meet the quality and standard required. For example, foundations or footings will be checked. This is to make sure they comply with the depth and strength required for the base of the building and that the ground quality is strong enough to support the building load.

What’s exempt from Building Regulations?

There are some exemptions from Building Regulations. These include buildings not frequented by people. Other exceptions to the rules include buildings that are dealt with by other legislation (i.e. building used for the manufacture of explosives, or related to nuclear power), greenhouses and other agricultural buildings, small detached buildings (such as garages and garden sheds, that are less than 30 square metres and don’t include sleeping accommodation), temporary buildings erected for less than 28 days. Even some extensions may be exempt, such as conservatories and porches less than 30 square metres in floor area.

Approaching any building project is best done with the collaboration and advice of experts. Whatever the size of your project, CB Homes will be able to steer you in the right direction. The team will tell you who to contact, when, and help to define what is and what’s not allowed.