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What are the Building Regulations? (Video)

Watch our easy to follow video explaining what building control (and the Building Regulations) are, why they're so important and how they affect your building works:

(Read the video transcript)

Building Regulations in England are made under the Building Act 1984 and are regularly changed and updated.

Building Regulations set standards for the design and construction of buildings to ensure the safety and health for people, including those with disabilities in or about those buildings and to help conserve fuel and power.

To help people to comply with them the Government produces Approved Documents which offer guidance and show ways of achieving compliance.

You don’t have to follow the exact guidance in most cases and an architect or architectural technician can often suggest other equally acceptable solutions which will be agreed with your building control surveyor.

What is covered in the Approved Documents?

Technical parts of building work are described in detail in a series of ‘Approved Documents’, which are published in documents from A to Q to match the building regulations requirements.

You can access all of our Approved Documents in our Guidance section. 

Click: Approved Documents in England

Click: Approved Documents in Wales

Video transcript: What is Building Control and how do the Building Regulations help you?

Are thinking about carrying out building work at your property?

There’s plenty of information out there about how to improve your home and how to create a beautiful extension or a conversion.

But there’s not much practical guidance about the permissions that you need.

Once you’ve decided about what kind of project to carry out you’ll probably need to find an architect or a designer to help you prepare plans and details. 

How much you have to spend will be a big factor in what you can achieve and professional guidance can save you a lot of money in the long run.

Once you find out whether you need planning permission and put in your application it’s time to think about building regulations.

The regulations sound very complicated and they are very technical but they’re also very practical.

You can download them for free from the .gov website [or in the LABC Guidance section] and you can get a lot of free help and advice from your local building control team.

The Building Regulations are legal minimum standards and they don’t necessarily ensure that the work’s perfect. You still need experts.

These are enforced by building control bodies. You can use approved inspectors or private building control firms but most people choose to use the expertise you find at your Local Authority Building Control or building inspectors department.

They are there to protect you and your money from cowboy builders and unsafe practices, so talk to Building Control. [Find your local Building Control team]