Read LABC's advice on loft conversions
Converting a garage is a great way to make the most of your existing space and add value to your home. Watch this video on garage conversions and building regulations to find out more.
Watch our video: A building control case study of building an extension
Watch our video on conservatories and the building regulations
Your responsibilities as a homeowner
Did you know that it is your responsibility to ensure that any electrical installation in your home complies with building regulations?
We recommend that the work is either completed by a competent person scheme-registered electrician, or checked by one. (NB Please note that checking by a third party registered electrician does not apply in Wales.)
Under Part P of the building regulations, DIY work and electrical installation work carried out by non-registered traders should be checked and certified. As the property owner, you’re ultimately responsible for ensuring electrical work complies with the rules.
The regulations do not stop you doing your own work or using an unregistered tradesperson, but you will need to make a Building Regulations
Not all internal alternations need Building Regulations approval.
However, the basic rule of thumb is that if the work involves load-bearing walls, chimneys, fireplaces or walls around staircases then any alteration will require inspection and approval from your local building control team. So talk to them as soon as you can.
Why is building control important in the first place? Find out more here.
On the other hand, if you're carrying out minor alterations such as replacing roofing tiles with the same type and weight of tile; replacing the felt to a flat roof; re-pointing brickwork; or replacing floorboards you may not need the work signed off by your local building control team.
Building work above ground is not always readily available so it's quite common for city-dwellers to consider investing in the development of a basement to create extra living space.
There are key construction issues to bear in mind to ensure basements are properly designed and built – water ingress and structural stability of the existing superstructure are the main areas of concern, and it's crucial to get this work right because any failures will be very difficult and expensive to rectify later on.
Building regulations apply when constructing or refurbishing a basement, so it's important get the help of professionals to assess things like the geology and hydrology (earth and water) of the site, foundation design and waterproofing. For your specific project, it's best to contact
Many different types of structures fall into the outbuildings category including:
- garages – see our guidance on garage conversions for more information
- summer houses
- garden enclosures for swimming pools, hot tubs and sauna cabins
- garden rooms, a garden office or garden studio
These all have a common purpose in that they cater to the domestic needs and enjoyment of those living in the house.
Small detached buildings are exempt from building regulations
Outbuildings are referred to as 'small detached buildings' in the Building Regulations (Schedule 2 Class 6) and are classified as 'Exempt Buildings and Work', meaning you won't normally need building regulations approval, so long as the building belongs to one of the following classes:
Adding a porch to provide shelter at the entrance of your home is often a smaller project which doesn't require building regulations approval provided that:
- The porch is at ground level
- The porch is less than 30 square metres in floor area
- The existing front entrance door of the house around which the porch is built must stay where it is
- The porch mustn't adversely affect access if there are ramps or other features for disabled people already in place
Windows and electrics
If you're planning a more complex porch build which will include windows and/or electrical installations, these will need to meet the standards set in the relevant parts of the Building Regulations.
For instance, in order for windows to comply with building regulations and make the house energy efficient, the