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Building Regulations Explained

26th May 2021 - By Jason Clemmit

Building Regulations Explained

Whether you’re planning a new extension or conservatory, or replacing your windows, there is lots of information around to help you choose the right products. However, there isn’t always the same level of readily available advice on the laws and regulations of your project and how they will affect your plans.

Once you have a good idea of the work that you want done, you should find a designer, architect or certified installer to help you get your plans moving. They will advise you on the project and go through the finer details to make it is achievable within Building Regulations and what’s needed to make it work.

This blog will try to explain a bit more about Building Regulations and answer the most common questions which come up on the topic.

What are Building Regulations?

Building Regulations are the minimum requirements needed for the design and construction of a building project, which were made under the Building Act 1984 in England and are regularly changed and updated.

They are designed to lawfully protect the health, safety, welfare and convenience of the surrounding users. When planning a project, it’s always good to stay up to date with all the latest requirements of the building regulations, and it might be best to seek advice before starting any work. You can get help from the local authority’s building control team who will guide you through everything you need to know, ensuring it will meet regulations.

Planning Permission or Building Regulations

For major jobs such as extensions or conversions you may need both Planning Permission as well as Building Regulations. These are two separate sets of requirements with different processes. Internal works will need Building Regulations, but probably won’t need Planning Permission, whereas exterior work will most likely require both.

What’s the difference?

These two can usually get confused, but Planning Permission refers to the appearance of a building and where it is, whereas Building Regulations are more about how it’s built and whether it’s safe to use.

Planning Permission is more about the public interest and how it will affect people around it, and if it has a negative impact on the public then permission will be denied. There are certain improvements you can make to your home without the need for Planning Permission and these are known as permitted developments. You can find out whether your project is considered as a permitted development on the Planning Portal.

Got a question?

Try our frequently asked questions.


Will my project need Building Regulations?

It’s always better to be safe by checking with your local authority to get advice on whether any Planning Permission or Building Regulations are required for your project. Your architect, designer or installer can also help with this.

Competent Person Schemes come into their own with certain improvements such as replacing windows. If your installer is part of one of these schemes it means they can self-certify that their work meets Building Regulations without going through local authorities.

Choosing a Certass certified installer gives you peace of mind that they are qualified to do the best job possible and that their work meets all the required regulations. Once they complete the work, they will give you a Building Regulations Compliance Certificate to reassure you that their work has been done to the highest standards.

Finding a certified installer in your area

Use our online directory to find a certified installer in your area. Just insert your postcode and it will find you all the certified installers near you.

If you want more information about Building Regulations, visit our Building Regulations page.

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