Building control frequently asked questions

Q. I want to build an extension to my home, do Building Regulations apply?

A. Yes, but a porch or conservatory built at ground level and under 30 sq.m. in floor area is exempt, provided that the glazing complies with the safety glazing requirements of the Building Regulations (Part K) and thermal separation from the main dwelling is maintained, and the space has independent heating. You can speak to a Building Control Surveyor for further information on safety glazing etc.
It is advisable to ensure that a conservatory is not constructed so that it restricts ladder access to windows serving a room in the roof or a loft conversion, particularly if that window is needed as a means of emergency escape in case of fire.

Q. I want to build a garage extension attached to my home, do Building Regulations apply?

A. Yes, but a car port extension, open on at least two sides and under 30 sq.m. in floor area, is exempt. You should ensure a car port does not interfere with the proper working of a low-level flue from an oil or gas appliance.

Q. I want to build a detached garage under 30 sq.m. in floor area, do Building Regulations apply?

A. No, the building will be exempt from the regulations providing it is:-·

  • under 30 sq.m. in floor area;
  • single storey and does not contain any sleeping accommodation.
  • built substantially of non-combustible materials or built at least 1 m from the site boundary.

Q. Will the Building Regulations apply to an internal alteration within my home or other type of building?

A. Yes, very likely. The regulations specify what forms of alteration amount to ‘material alteration’ and are therefore ‘Building Work’, taking account of the potential for the proposed work to adversely affect compliance of the building with specific requirements.

On this basis the regulations are very likely to apply if your project:

  • will involve alterations to the structure of the building (for example; the removal or part removal of a load bearing wall, joist, beam or chimney breast)
  • will affect escape or other fire precautions, either inside or outside the building
  • will affect access or facilities for disabled people.

On the assumption that the regulations do apply, all the work involved in the alteration must comply with all the appropriate requirements.

Q. Do I need approval for Electrical Work?

A. The Part P Regulations concerning electrical work apply mainly to dwelling houses and flats, including new circuits serving gardens, outbuildings such as sheds, detached garages and greenhouses. The design and installation of electrical installations associated with these dwellings falls under the Building Regulations.

The rules have been introduced to:

  • reduce the number of deaths, injuries and fires caused by faulty electrical installations
  • prevent cowboy builders leaving electrical installations in an unsafe condition

If you do not follow the Building Regulations:

  • electrical work undertaken may not be safe
  • you may have difficulty selling your home if you are not in possession of the correct certificates
  • we may insist you put right faulty work

Q. What are my Options?

A. A Building Regulation will not be required if the work is undertaken by an electrician registered under the Competent Person’s Scheme. 

The schemes below can be contacted to find which electricians in your area, are registered with their organisation as a Competent Person.

Contact one of the Competent Person’s Scheme organisers:

Please note that in the case of applications already submitted for extensions and new dwellings, a Completion Certificate will not be issued unless:-

A certificate is produced from a competent electrical installer to prove compliance or,

An additional charge is paid when work is being undertaken by a ‘unregistered' electrician, Building Control will arrange for a competent electrician to undertake the inspection and selected testing on behalf of the Council to confirm your work complies with Approved Document 'P' of the Building Regulations.

Work carried out by unregistered electricians

Where work is being carried out by an unregistered electrician on a DIY basis you may need to submit a Part P Building Notice to us. This will incur a charge to cover the cost of employing a competent electrician, who will then carry out the relevant testing and issue a certification to the Council confirming the work was found to be in compliance with Approved Document 'P' of the Building Regulations.

Please Note

If your project involves the construction of a new bathroom, kitchen or a new dwelling, then most electrical work will need to comply. Please discuss this with your appointed builder or electrical installer at the earliest opportunity to avoid problems at a later stage.

Electrical work advice

Q. Why should I use an installer who is registered with a competent person scheme?

A. View the competent person register (external link) for more information.

  • Members of schemes can deal with all the new rules for you
  • Members are qualified to carry out electrical work
  • Members will give you a certificate to confirm their work follows the new rules
  • You will not have to pay Building Control charges
  • You will have the option of taking out an insurance-backed guarantee for the work
  • You will have access to a formal complaints procedure if you are not happy with the work.


Last Updated on Wednesday, October 4, 2023