Can you start building without building regulations?

26th May 2022

Improving your home can be a stressful experience. For many homeowners, it’s just a case of getting it over and done with as quickly as possible with minimal fuss. In pursuit of this, many people hope to side-step building regulations altogether. But can you begin a building project without building regulations?

The short answer is yes, but if the project is later found to not comply with building regulations, the local authority could force the rectification or removal of the building.

To explain this further, let’s take a look at the two main types of building regulation applications…

Full plan applications

Full plan applications are for large building projects. They will outline the exact details of the proposed building works and be submitted to the local authority for approval. This approval should come within 5 weeks of its submission. However, this could be extended up to 2 months if further inspection is required.

After the application is approved, this approval lasts for 3 years. Work must commence during this time. Otherwise, the approval is no longer valid. However, once the building has commenced, the approval is valid forever. You will need to notify the building control body 2 working days before beginning building. Upon completing the project, you will receive a completion certificate within 8 weeks.

You can begin work before building regulations have been approved, but you risk having to cover remedial costs if the project is found to be uncompliant.

Building notice applications

Building notice applications are primarily for small building projects on existing homes. In these scenarios, a building inspector will approve the works as they are being completed. This approval will usually come within 2 working days.

Again, you can begin building before approval has been received, but you may end up having to rectify areas where the building does not comply with building regulations.

Most repairs, replacements, and general maintenance work for your home fall within your rights as a homeowner. In these cases, you won’t need to apply for building regulations in either of these formats.

What happens if you don’t have building regulations?

If a building project is completed and is found to be uncompliant with building regulations, the local authority will implement informal measures to see the project rectified or removed. If cooperation is not forthcoming from the homeowner, the local authority could take one of two courses of formal action:

  • Prosecution with the potential to inflict an unlimited fine on the homeowner
  • Enforced removal of the project at the homeowner’s expense

Furthermore, lacking a building regulations certificate could be a major problem when it’s time to sell the house. Before undertaking any building project, it’s important to check what the building regulations actually are and to ensure that you are in accordance with them. Building regulations are changing again on 15th June 2022, so it’s important that you review those changes before beginning your Summer renovation project.

Safe & efficient home improvements in Woking & Surrey

No matter whether your home improvement dreams include a new conservatory space or a full house of windows, you can trust Sheerwater Glass to deliver high-quality work in line with the latest building regulations. Get a free quotecontact us online, or give us a call on 01932 344 415 to find out more.

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