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Do building regulations apply?

The building regulations apply to most building work, therefore it is important to know when approval is needed:

Check if building regulation approval is required (opens new window)

What you need approval for

  • installation of replacement doors, windows, roof windows and roof lights (unless the installer is FENSA registered)
  • erecting a new building or extending an existing one 
  • erecting an agricultural style of building where the floor area exceeds 50m² and energy is used to condition the building
  • making structural alterations to an existing building (including underpinning)
  • replacing or renovating an existing thermal element
  • changing the use of an existing building (in certain cases)
  • changing the energy status of an existing building
  • providing, extending or altering drainage facilities (unless the work includes only private above-ground drainage and is being undertaken by a person registered by Gas Safe Register or NAPIT)
  • installing a heat-producing appliance (unless the installer is Gas Safe Registered or approved under the HETAS/OFTEC, NAPIT or the Building Engineering Service Competence Accreditation approval schemes)
  • installing cavity wall insulation
  • installing an unvented hot water storage system
  • installing or replacing electric wiring unless the installer is registered with a Competent Persons Certification Scheme

For heating/hot water or lighting systems, you will need building regulation approval unless the work is done by an installer registered under a Competent Persons Scheme. These installers will self-certify their work, log it with the appropriate body and the information will be emailed to us. Please see the Communities and Local Government website for more information on this scheme.

What you don't need approval for

Please note that works exempt from the Building Regulations may still require planning permission. Should you be in doubt, always contact a Planning Officer.

You do not need Building Regulation approval to:

  • install new sanitary fittings (unless the work involves new drainage or plumbing arrangements)
  • carry out repairs (providing they are of a minor nature, replacing like-for-like)

Exempt buildings and work

The following list outlines the more common types of building work that are exempt from the requirements of  Building Regulations:

Detached buildings

  • A detached single storey building, having a floor area which does not exceed 30m², contains no sleeping accommodation and is a building no point of which is less than 1 metre from the boundary of its curtilage; or is constructed substantially of non-combustible material
  • A detached building having a floor area which does not exceed 15m², which contains no sleeping accommodation


The extension of a building by the addition at ground floor level of:

  • a conservatory, porch, covered yard or covered way; or
  • a carport open on at least two sides, where the floor area of that extension does not exceed 30m², provided that in the case of a conservatory or porch which is wholly or partly glazed, the glazing satisfies the requirements of Part of Schedule 1 (Glazing - materials and protection)


Contact us

For further information and advice email Alternatively, you can phone us on 01243 534681.