Do I need building control?

Most building work is subject to the building regulations. The list below is an idea of what type of works do need an application.

  • new buildings: dwelling houses, commercial properties

  • alterations to existing buildings: extensions, loft conversions, conversions, garage conversions, replacement windows and external doors, re-roofing, removal of internal walls, structural alterations

  • alterations to services and fittings: new drainage, electrical works

  • Depending on the type of works you are carrying out, you may also need planning permission.

Exempt buildings and work

Some types of building work is not subject to the building regulations. The following works may be exempt from building regulations providing every item listed is met. 

Conservatories and porches if:

  • they are at ground level

  • the internal floor area is less than 30m²

  • at least half of the new wall and three quarters of the roof is glazed or a translucent material

  • the conservatory is separated from the main house by external quality walls, doors or windows. (Any new structural opening between the conservatory and the main house will require building regulations approval, even if the conservatory itself is an exempt structure)

  • any glazing must be toughened or laminated safety glass

  • an escape window serving a room in a loft conversion is not above the conservatory

  • any heating must be on an independent system with separate temperature and on / off controls

  • new electrical circuits or works are carried out by a part p approved electrician  

Small detached buildings (including sheds/garages) if: 

  • the internal floor area is less than 30m²

  • they are single storey

  • they contain no sleeping accommodation

  • they are at least 1 metre away from the boundary (if not, they must be built of non-combustible material, e.g. masonry or brick)

  • new electrical circuits or works are carried out by a part p approved electrician

Removal of internal walls if:

  • the wall is completely non load-bearing (not supporting the weight of floors, walls, roofs, partitions, or struts). Please note: timber stud walls can often be load bearing. If you are unsure, please ask a competent builder to confirm this.

  • the means of escape / fire regulations are not affected or made worse, i.e. the staircase is not being opened up onto habitable rooms. If you are unsure, please provide us with a sketch of the existing and proposed layout and we will advise you if an application is needed

Removal of chimneys if:

  • the entire chimney is removed, including stacks, so that no part of the chimney remains. (If only part of the chimney is being removed, an application will be needed because structural support will be required)

  • it is not shared with a neighbouring property

Carports if: 

  • the floor area is less than 30m²

  • they are open on at least two sides

Detached greenhouses and agricultural buildings if:

  • no part of the building is used as a dwelling

  • they contain no sleeping accommodation

  • no point of the building is less than 1.5 times its height from any point of a building containing sleeping accommodation

  • the building is provided with a fire exit which is not more than 30m from any point in the building        

  • the primary use of the building is for keeping animals, e.g. a stable with small tack room, or for agriculture. (The building will not be exempt if used for retailing, packing, or exhibiting)

Temporary buildings:

  • a building which will not remain where it is built for more than 28 days

  • builder's site accommodation