SMD Architects produce all building regulation drawings, specifications and structural calculations required for obtaining Building Control approval. 

We will act as your agent and submit the application to Building Control and liaise with them to gain approval.

We can provide you the full building regulation drawings and construction specification packages whatever the size, from small projects as house alterations and extensions to large project as new buildings and conversions.

What are Building Regulations?

Building Regulations are minimum standards for design, construction and alterations to virtually every building. The Regulations are designed to make sure the applied changes to your property are appropriately meeting requirements for health, safety, welfare, convenience and sustainability standards. The Regulations consist of a series of technical requirements on structural setup, fire and electrical safety, ventilation, and several more.

For reading and downloading details of all regulation documents, please visit: 

What is a Building Regulation Approval?

To comply with the Building Act 1984 and the subsequent statutory instruments known as the Building Regulations, Building regulations approval is required to construct certain structures in the United Kingdom. The approval process depends on whether a Local Authority Building Control service or an Approved Inspector Building Control service is being used.

  • If you choose to use an Approved Inspector then you should jointly notify the Local Authority that the Approved Inspector is carrying out the building control function for the work. This notification is called an "Initial Notice".

  • If you choose to use a Local Authority, the procedures are set out in the Building Regulations. Some of them relate to pre-site procedures and others relate to procedures once work is underway on site.

Must I have a Building Control approval?

If your proposed alteration falls under the range (some examples are quoted below), you are legally obliged to obtain an approval or a prosecution will follow, possibly with unlimited fines for unauthorised works.

The government website offers an easy explanation document if you would like to find out more: 

We here quote from the document link above for several examples of the alteration range that are Required and Not Required for a Building Control approval:

Works that DO require notification to the Building Control Body:

  • Installation of a new or replacement heating system or boiler, regardless of fuel type;
  • Installation of a new or replacement oil tank;
  • Installation of a bathroom if new plumbing is installed or existing plumbing is altered;
  • Installation of a fixed air conditioning system;
  • Addition of a radiator to an existing heating system (may not need notifying in some circumstances);
  • Installation of a new or replacement fuse box (or consumer unit) or any new electrical circuit connected to the fuse box, and alterations to electrical installations around a bath or shower;
  • Replacement of window and door units;
  • Replacement of roof coverings on pitched and flat roofs.

Works that DO NOT require notification to the Building Control Body:

  • Most repairs, replacements and maintenance work (except replacements of combustion appliances, oil tanks, electrical fuse boxes or glazing units, which do need to be notified);
  • Additional power points or lighting points or any other alterations to existing electrical circuits (except around baths and showers);
  • Like-for-like replacements of baths, toilets, basins or sinks.

The examples above are not necessarily covering all the situations for Dos and Don'ts, please contact your Local Planning Authority for Building Control Department for more information. Alternatively, we offer consultation and Building Control services to make your process much simpler. Working with our expert team in Building Control, our wealth of knowledge and experience in all types of building projects will ensure you a peace of mind across the process.

How do I apply for a Building Control approval?

You can choose to apply through your Local Authority Building Control service or to go with an Approved Inspector for the Building Control.

In either case, a fee will be payable depending on type of building and construction budget.

You will need a set of detailed drawings as a critical document for the application, and usually the package is prepared by the project architect. For most cases, any large or new-build would require a Full Plans application, which includes full details of the proposed works and it is to be submitted and approved before the commencement of works on site.

On the other hand, aBuilding Notice is to be submitted for smaller developments or alterations made to an existing building. Both types are subject to site inspections at certain points of the construction, the required number of inspections is based on a list of works involved.

After the works are completed, you will receive a Building Control Certificate as a proof of satisfactory works completed at the property, and it is essential to obtain this Certificate as it will prevent any unexpected Enforcement Letters from Local Authority (if later on they find any Health and Safety problems to the development) and help increase your property value.

If you are a first timer, this process could be painstaking; you also probably have come to know the difficulty in liaising with all parties in the application process if you have been through the process before. While enjoying years of fruitful collaborations with the LA and Building Control inspectors, we are confident in providing you the most easy-access service to help you complete your final step of the development. It is our aim to strive for your satisfaction and safety while balancing good design and quality spaces transformed at your property.

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