So this is the fourth and final part of our series on the building regulations.

So far we’ve looked at what the regulations are and how you go about making sure your building complies with them

Today we’re going to look at who you need to apply to and what happens after that.

Who do I apply to?

With planning applications, you have to go to the Local Authority for approval. This used to be the case for Building Control too. However, since the nineties this is no longer the case.

Nowadays you have the choice between going to the Local Authority, or, an Approved Inspector. An approved inspector is essentially a private building control company.

There is some debate as to which is the best way to go. Different people will make arguments for each side, however, I don’t think it’s possible to say that one is inherently better than the other across the board.

My advice would be to talk to your architectural designer and builder. They are the people who will the most contact with whoever you choose, and they may have a preferred company. As with most things, a pre existing working relationship is often a real advantage when it comes to getting building control approval.

One peculiarity of the system to be aware of if appointing an Approved Inspector is the “initial notice”.  While the Local Authority will not be involved in your project, the Approved Inspector has to notify them that the work is starting and that they have been appointed to deal with the building control aspect. This notice period is 5 days long and no building work can start during this period, if it does then the Local Authority can, if they wish, reject the notice and the responsibility for providing the building control service will revert to them. This means that if you are intending to use an Approved Inspector, then you will need to get them appointed at least a week (preferably more) before the work starts.


Making the application

If you’ve appointed your Architectural Designer to produce drawings for a “full plans submission” then typically they would make the application on your behalf, this may be online via the planning portal, or via email depending on who you are applying to.

If you’ve decided to go down the “Building Notice” route, then either you or your builder will need to contact your chosen organization. The exact information they need will differ from one to another, but they will be able to tell you exactly what they need. Typically, though they will need to know basic information such as the site address and contact details for you as well as details of the project.


Completion Certificate

 As discussed above, the building control officer will visit the site during the works to ensure the works are being carried out in accordance with the regulations. Once the works are finished, the building control Officer will make his final inspection, and if he finds that everything is ok he will issue the “Completion Certificate”.

This is an important document. Should you come to sell the property at a later date, the buyers solicitor will almost certainly demand to see it and will make life difficult if you can’t produce it, so make sure you get it and keep it safe!

So that’s it, were done with this series. With any luck you’ve found it useful!

Remember, if you’ve got a project you’re looking to get started, get in touch!