Most building work needs to comply with Building Regulations. Some outbuildings will not if they are under a certain size and internal works to the house will not need Building Control approval if there are no structural changes involved. All extensions will need to comply with Building regulations and need to be signed off by the Local Authorities Building Control team or a private building inspector.
We regularly get contacted by perspective clients that think as they are only building a small extension, they will not need approval but this isn’t the case. No matter how small or large your extension is or how many times your builder has built an extension you will need to get the work signed off. Some people chose not to but if work is carried out without Building Regulation Approval, then this can be picked up by a solicitor when selling the house and effect the sale. If something fails and you needed to make a claim on your home insurance any work isn’t signed off, it may invalidate your insurance. The cost of Building Regulations Approval does depend on what works you are having done and how big your extension is going to be, even if multiple extensions are being built the average cost is usually under £1600. This is such a small percentage of the build and not worth ignoring and is there for your protection. Most homeowners have no idea how to install steel beams, pour foundations and comply with fire regulations. So paying the council or private companies to monitor what the builder is doing is well worth it in my opinion. It is far cheaper to have the work signed off as you go than try and sort this out once all the work is completed. The building control officer could ask you to make holes in your ceilings and walls to expose steel work and insulation, take up patios and driveways to expose foundations so they can check the work carried out. It is much easier to do this as the builder gets to each stage rather than undo work that has already been carried out and usually paid for.
Building control approval can be arranged by your builder, architect or designer or you can arrange it yourself. It needs to be a consideration for your build costs as part of your plan to build an extension. If someone is doing it for you, please make sure they send you confirmation it has been applied for or conditionally signed off. We have worked with clients who have been told this is being dealt with and it hasn’t been done and the works on site have been completed. Once an application is registered confirmation of this will be sent out to the applicant which is the same for when the work is completed, and the final certificates sent out. Some builders will hold these back until final payments are made on a project but please make sure you get this information so you have a record all works are signed off.