How to get it right: Building control exemptions (or when you DON'T need building regulations approval)
While we love to be involved, there are times when you won’t need a Building Regulations application. Whether you are carrying out building work yourself, or employing a builder, there are a number of building regulations exemptions to both work and buildings that don't need building control approval.
The following is intended as a guide but you should always check with your local LABC team if you're in any doubt or need clarification. You can also view Planning Portal’s interactive guides for more information.
Remember, these exemptions only relate to building control applications and you may need to apply for planning permission separately, particularly if you live in, or are carrying out work, to a property that is listed or within a conservation area.
Work that does not need building control approval
- Maintenance work
- Minor repairs
- Replacing less than 25 per cent of an item, like-for-like
- Additional power or lighting points and switches (except around baths and showers)
- Alterations to existing circuits (except around baths and showers)
- Like-for-like replacements of baths, toilets, basins or sinks
- Boundary or garden walls, fences and gates
- In some cases, works that are being carried out by competent registered persons (check details for this with your local LABC team)
Buildings that do not need building control approval
- Greenhouses (providing they are not used for retail, packing or exhibiting)
- Some agricultural buildings (check with your local LABC team)
- Temporary buildings (erected for less than 28 days)
- Some ancillary buildings such as estate sales buildings and building site offices without sleeping accommodation
- Some small detached buildings (check with your local LABC team)
- Buildings that are not frequented by people (check with your local LABC team)
- Detached single storey buildings, including garages, that are less than 30m2 floor area and at least one metre from any boundary unless constructed of non-combustible materials.
- Detached single storey buildings that are less than 15m2 floor area
- An extension to a building at ground level consisting of a porch of less than 30m2 floor area and separated from the house by an external type door
- A carport open on at least two sides
- A covered yard or covered way less than 30m2
- A conservatory or porch that is less than 30m2, with a significant proportion of the roof and walls glazed (no % given), it must be at ground level, it must comply with relevant sections of Part K (glazing), be thermally separated from the dwelling by external quality windows and/or doors and the buildings heating system must not be extended into the conservatory or porch.
- Crown property
- Buildings subject to the Explosives Act
- Buildings other than houses or offices erected on a site licensed under the Nuclear Installations Act
- Buildings included in the Schedule to Section 1 of the Ancients Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act
Don’t forget that you might still need approval for any enabling works. For example creating a wider opening into an exempt conservatory would still need approval for the structural alteration to widen the opening.
For further guidance on getting building control approval visit the Planning Portal’s free guide.
Reply: removal of chimney breast
Submitted 3 months 2 weeks ago
Yes, Building Regulations would apply to this work because it's a material alteration to the structure. Take a look at this popular article of ours in which this type of project is widely discussed: https://www.labc.co.uk/news/how-to-get-it-right-removing-chimney-right-way-video-showing-wrong-way.
No buildings regs on garage conversion
Submitted 3 months ago
Submitted 2 months 3 weeks ago
Thank you for the enquiry.
You may wish to contact the local Building Control team to verify the position with respect to Building Regulations for this specific garage conversion.
There are time limits in which Local Authorities need to take enforcement action. If the conversion work was completed some time ago, but after 11th November 1985, there is also the option for the vendor or yourself to apply for a Regularisation Certificate from the Local Authority. You can also talk to the local Building Control team about this.
Replacing Front Door
Submitted 2 months 3 weeks ago
Do I need building control for this work If i use a reputable window and door installer?
Submitted 1 month 2 weeks ago
The closest point to my boundary is 600mm and with a total length of 7.7 m wooden cladding.
Also there was a tree in its place he chopped down
And dug out over 800 mm against my boundary to try and reduce this height to gain under retrospective planning this is against a LeylandIi confit hedge, this area has high placidity clay and this concrete base is 7 inches deep filled with bricks. I thought this had to be further away and this concrete base deeper kind regards
Submitted 1 month 1 week ago
Thank you for your query.
As the annex contains sleeping accommodation it is not exempt from the building regulations and a building regulations application should have been made regarding its construction. If you have concerns about the compliance of your neighbour's building it would be best to raise this with your local authority building control team who may be able to provide further information. You can find them by entering the postcode of the property in the 'find your council' bar at the top of our website.
Carport size - corrected question
Submitted 2 weeks ago
I notice that the exemption mentioned for carports above does not mention a size as it does for all other building types), is this because a carport is assumed to have no "floor"?
The reason I ask is that I am considering building a detached flat roofed single garage / workshop, combined with a carport for a second car (which would be open on two sides), they would be built from steel "I" beams in a modernist style, and share structural elements (there would be roof beams that traverse the entire width of the structure). This would be built in the back garden of my housee
The garage would be approximately 25m2 in floor area, and have a concrete floor. The carport would be approximately 18m2, and would have no floor, just gravel over grade, as per the rest of my driveway.
The interpretation section of the building regulations part 1 document implies that this building would not need approval as the carport has no "floor", the paragraph clarifying floor area states;
“floor area” means the aggregate area of every floor in a building or extension, calculated by reference to the finished internal faces of the walls enclosing the area, or if at any point there is no such wall, by reference to the outermost edge of the floor.
Is my interpretation correct, that the building would be exempt from needing approval, as the area enclosed by walls or having a floor, adds up to less than 30m2?
I understand that planning permission may be required, and that this is a separate issue from building regulation approval.
Best regards, James.
Add new comment
Sign up to the building bulletin newsletter
Over 48,000 construction professionals have already signed up for the LABC Building Bulletin.
Join them and receive useful tips, practical technical information and industry news by email once every 6 weeks.