What Regulations Apply to Self-Build Properties?

self-buildSo you have designed the perfect home, or had an architect do it for you.  The planning permissions is in place and you are ready to get started.  But this isn’t the end of the regulations that you need to be aware of when building your own home because there are the building regulations that need to be complied with.  But what are they and what do they affect?

Building Regulations

Building regulations are a series of rules that apply to the different elements of a house.  They also apply to an extension be added to an existing property, underpinning of a house and even some changes in use, such as converting a barn to a home.  The only things that building regulations don’t apply to are single storey buildings less than 15 sq. metres in length that have no sleeping accommodation or to a conservatory with a floor space of less than 30 sq. metres.

So if you are building a new property from scratch, then the building regulations will definitely effect what you do.  There are 14 parts to the regulations covering the different areas of the construction:

A – structural safety
B – fire safety
C – resistance to contaminants and moisture
D – toxic substances
E – resistance to sound
F – ventilation
G – sanitation, hot water and water efficiency
H – drainage and waste disposal
J – heating and appliances
K – protection from falling
L – conservation of fuel and power
M – access to and use of the building
N – glazing safety
P – electrical safety

How To Ensure Your Property Complies

There are two main ways to ensure your property complies with the relevant sections of the Building regulations.  You can either use the building control services of the local council or you can work with an approved inspector.  The local authority option needs to be done as early as possible but a good one will give you plenty of advice that can save you time amending the structure later and of course also save you money.

A building regulations application involves sending a form, full plans and the relevant fee to the local authority in advance of work starting.  It includes all the elements of the property and details how you will meet the regulations.  Once accepted, you can be safe in the knowledge that you won’t need to amend anything later to ensure compliances.  Local authorities normally take around four to five weeks to give a decision on these applications.

A building notice simply states the address of the property and the work being done and can be issued 48 hours before work starts.  This means you don’t need to prepare a full plan and allows work to start quicker but will need inspecting as the work takes place to ensure that regulations are being met.  This option tends to be used for extensions rather than full new build properties as if the work isn’t done to standards, the local authority can have it all undone.


specifiedbyCertification is the final, important element of the process.  Some qualified tradesmen can self-certify certain areas of the work while others will need an approved person to check the work and sign off on it.  A completion certification is always needed when the property is finished and without it, it could be very difficult to sell the house in the future and the local authority could still demand changes be made.

Darren Lester is the founder of SpecifiedBy, a product specification platform for self-builders, architects and contractors.

Speak Your Mind