Make Sure You Know the Building Regulations

If you are thinking seriously of having some home improvement or reconstruction work done, then you must take the building regulations seriously while you are drawing up your plans and before you contact or engage a good architect’s firm like architects London. Don’t think that they are a meaningless set of rules that have been drawn up to irritate people and are not worth bothering about. Also, don’t make the mistake of confusing building regulations with planning permission which is an entirely different thing. Building regulations are intended to provide a background that sets out safety standards for everybody – people who work on site, the occupants and neighbours too.

They also help to implement national guidelines on energy conservation and provide reasonable access and facilities for people who are disabled. With certain exemptions and exceptions, compliance with building regulations is required for any new extensions or structural modifications to a building. This includes such things as underpinning, the installation of new windows and doors, removing structural walls or chimney breasts. Certain other modifications such as alterations to drainage or sanitary facilities and even heating and hot water systems and insulation material into wall cavities might also require compliance with the building regulations. Some buildings may not needcompliance with building regulations. These are usually small, isolated buildings in which people are not going to sleep or live in permanently. Garages, carports, conservatories, greenhouses and porches are examples of these exemptions. There are two ways in which you can comply with the building regulations. The first way is to submit all your detailed plans with the appropriate forms which can normally be downloaded off the relevant website.

There will be a fee involved. Surveyors will take a look at the plans and a notice of approval will be issued if everything is up to scratch. The compliance procedure doesn’t stop there as inspections need to be carried out during the construction phase and when building has been completed, then a certificate of compliance will be finally issued which you should store away for the time you may possibly want to sell the property. The second way that compliance can be achieved really is designed for smaller building works and small alterations in existing buildings. The procedure here is to submit a building notice form which has on it proposals and plans. It should only take a couple of days or so to get acceptance for this first planning stage. Inspections still have to be carried out at significant stages of construction and then a final inspection when the project has been completed and a certificate of compliance issued as with the other method already outlined. The only potential snag with this second method of achieving compliance is that there is less assurance that approval is going to be granted after all the work is carried out as the plans have not been submitted and seriously looked at by surveyors in the first place. One may find, at the worst, with doing it this way that one has to make the modifications and changes requested if the inspections are less than satisfactory as building work progresses.

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