If you are considering a house extension or some type of modification to your existing home then both building regulations and planning permission might be necessary. The best people to talk to about what might have to be approved are a recognised and approved architects firm like architects for home at Ivor St, London NW1 9PL.
Building Regulations are normally necessary whenever an extension is being considered which takes up more than thirty square metres of floor space or it is simply a porch, detached garage or a conservatory.
Building Regulations apply to every building in England and Wales (Scotland has separate but similar regulations) and set standards for both the design and construction of all buildings which are meant to make them safe and healthy places to use and live in. These days the regulations also include minimum standards of energy conservation and the provision for people with physical disabilities if the building is meant to be used for the general public.
A good builder, architect or professional house extension designer will make sure that any plans for an extension will be able to meet approval for compliance and ensure that both any work completed meets the standards required set by the regulations. Most construction work on extensions will require inspection by government appointed inspectors at some point before a certificate of compliance is granted.
At the beginning it is often a mistake to confuse planning permission and building regulations approval as one and the same thing which it ois not. You may have to get both planning permission for a proposed extension as well as approval for the building construction under the building regulations, although these days the requirements for planning permission have been substantially relaxed and compliance with building regulations are often the only requirement of a new building unless the existing building was of conservation value and has been listed or he building is in a sensitive area as far as conservation values are concerned.
To get planning permission or compliance with the Building regulations, either you, the builder or your architect needs to take a copy of the plans of the proposed extension along to the relevant planning department of your local authority as well as filling in an application fee and paying a fee.
Surveyors will examine the building plans to make sure they match the standards set and will also make periodic inspections throughout the work to ensure that the proposed work is actually taking place and they are satisfied that the work standards matches that required. This includes such things as foundation depths, damp proofing and the installation of drainage and new sewerage connections as well as insulation in walls and roofs. After the final inspection, a certificate of compliance will be issued as long as everything is satisfactory. You should hold on to this certificate as it might be required if and when you sell your property somewhere down the track.