You need to apply for building regulations approval for most building work. New structures will generally need building regulations approval, but changes to an existing building, such as removing a wall or a chimney, will also probably need approval.
Complying with building regulations and obtaining planning permission are separate matters, so if you already have planning permission, you also need to check whether you need building regulations approval.
To help you decide if you need a Building Regulation Application and a Planning Application, please visit the interactive Planning Portal visual guide.
Some building work does not need building regulations approval:
- Conservatory: A conservatory must be constructed mostly of transparent or translucent materials (typically at least 75% of the roof and 50% of the walls). It must be attached to the house at ground storey level and have a floor area not exceeding 30m2. Any opening between the conservatory and the house must be fitted with a door or doors. Certain glazed panels need to be safety glass.
- Detached garage: A garage must contain no sleeping accommodation and have a floor area not exceeding 30m2. It must be at least 1m from any boundary or else be substantially built with non-combustible materials.
- Porch: A porch must be used for no other purpose and have no permanent opening into the house. It must not exceed 30m2 in floor area. Certain glazed panels need to be laminated or toughened glass.
- Carport: A carport must be open on at least two sides and have a floor area not exceeding 30m2. Please note that doors do not count as an open side.
- Covered way or yard: A covered way or covered yard must be attached to a house and have a floor area not exceeding 30m2.
- Detached building - non residential: A detached building must contain no sleeping accommodation and have a floor area not exceeding 15m2.
- Detached building - residential: A building regulations application is not required for a residential building provided it: is detached, has a floor area of under 30m2, contains no drainage or cooking facilities, is made substantially from non combustible materials if within 1m of any boundary, and the sole use of the building is ancillary to the main property. Any electrical installations or other controlled services or fittings would need to comply with the building regulations.
If you are planning work near the boundary of your land, to a wall you share with a neighbour, or close to a party wall, you may have additional legal requirements under the Party Wall Act 1996. See the Party Wall Act explanatory booklet for more information.
If you have any doubt about whether you need building regulations approval, please contact us for advice before starting work.