Is building regulations approval needed for repairing damaged floors?

Blog Post
Image of flood damaged floor undergoing repairs

If you’re contracted to do a job where timber or concrete ground floors are to be replaced, or are a homeowner faced with a damaged floor (for example after flooding) you'll need to check to see whether a building regulations application is needed.

A Building Notice application to your local authority before you start the job is a simple way to ensure the work complies with the regulations and has the right certification.

The regulations require that where floors (or certain features of floors) are replaced, they must meet the requirements for 'renovation of a thermal element' - meaning that if you’re affecting more than 50% of the floor, it should be entirely renovated including insulation to improve the thermal efficiency.

Replacement of timber floorboards, concrete ground floors or screeds triggers this requirement. In each case if the existing floor doesn’t achieve a U-value of 0.7w/m2k, additional insulation is required. Since most of the heat lost through ground floors is at the edges, sometimes additional insulation won’t be needed at all – get in touch with your local authority building control surveyor for more advice and guidance.

If you suspect damage to a building’s foundations, get a suitably qualified person to investigate this. There’s particular risk on sloping sites.

If underpinning or foundation repairs are necessary, a building regulations application will be required for the work.

To be on the safe side, ensure all notifiable work is approved under the building regulations.

Contact your local LABC team by using our free post code search tool to find your local team.

Further information

See Flood damage repairs for related information.

What type of building regulations application do I need?

 

Please Note: Every care was taken to ensure the information was correct at the time of publication. Any written guidance provided does not replace the user’s professional judgement. It is the responsibility of the dutyholder or person carrying out the work to ensure compliance with relevant building regulations or applicable technical standards.

Comments

REGULATIONS FOR REPLACING A SOLID FLOOR

Submitted 2 years 8 months ago

I HAVE READ YOUR ARTICLE - VERY USEFUL. I HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT THE "MORE THAN 50% RULE". UNDER INSURANCE, CONTRACTOR BEGAN WORKS AUG 2019 INC REPAIR HALF THIS AREA, BUT FAILED TO INSTALL DPM [EVIDENCE WAS DISCOLOURATION/ EFFLORESCENCE IN TILE GROUT. AFTER A YEAR OF INVESTIGATION RETURNED JUNE 2021 TO DIG OUT COMPLETELY THAT SAME AREA. BEEN 5 MONTHS AWAITING SLAB/SCREED TO DRY SUFFICIENTLY AND READY TO TILE - NOW I DISCOVER THEY HAVE NOT INSTALLED THERMAL INSULATION. PLEASE HELP ME TO ESTABLISH IF THIS IS NEGLIGENCE AND ALSO IF THE THERMAL INSULATION MUST INCLUDE THE OTHER HALF [WHICH WAS NOT DUG UP]. THE AREA IS 2 ROOMS OPEN PLAN SINCE 1981. ITS THE "MORE THAN 50% RULE" THAT LEAVE ME WITH A QUESTION, BECAUSE THE AREA CONCERNED IS ACTUALLY 50%. NEED SOME CONCLUSIVE ADVICE TO KNOW MY RIGHTS PLEASE. I HAVE SPOKEN WITH SCC BLDG CONTROL AND THEY HAVE CONFIRMED WHOLE AREA MUST INCLUDE BOTH DPM [WHICH HAS NOW BEEN INSTALLED THIS YEAR] AND THERMAL INSULATION. COSTS TO ME ARE NOT OF CONCERN BECAUSE I'M COVERED BY MY INSURANCE. WHAT SCC HAVE ALSO CONFIRMED IS THAT NO BUILDING REGULATION APPLICATION WAS SUBMITTED BEFORE THE WORKS IN 2019 AND IF ONE HAD BEEN THEY WOULD HAVE BEEN GIVEN THE REQUIRED INFORMATION WHICH WOULD HAVE ENSURED BOTH DPM AND THERMAL INSULATION WERE INCLUDED IN 2019. I WOULD HAVE BEEN OUT OF THIS DREADFUL SITUATION IN WHICH I'VE BEEN LIVING FOR MORE THAN 2 YEARS.

LABC response

Submitted 2 years 8 months ago

Hi,

I have provided the relevant guidance in relation to the 50% question posed. Our guidance is provided for our members and the wider construction industry including homeowners. I note that you have been in contact with your LABC team at SCC on the matter and as such we (i.e. LABC because it is a member organisation) are unable to comment further.

Please see:
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/697629/L1B_secure-1.pdf

- Appendix A: page 21. First point.
- Ground floor constructions: page 23

Best,
LABC team

KITCHEN & BREAKFAST ROOM TILED FLOOR [OPEN-PLAN]1930s PROPERTY]

Submitted 3 months 2 weeks ago

Sorry for a belated thank you! The beautiful Italian tiled floor to this large area was allowed to become damaged due to Loss Adjusters' failure to address issues when I first submitted concerns! Its a warning to others that Loss Adjusters are not working for you as they are contracted by Insurer who pays their wages! Be warned as I was a bit green; been fobbed off/disbelieved over the life of the claim [more than 20years as at March 2023!]. In 2019 the kitchen/breakfast room had to be gutted as the lovely tiles which were Persian red began to dish and hairline cracks eventually extended to a larger area. For 4.5 years the Loss Adjuster at the time, flatly refused to accept subsidence was still occurring which included defective/distorted UPVC windows! These 2 main elements were finally accepted by the next Loss Adjuster; windows were replaced but the worst was that the kitchen/breakfast room had to be gutted. Works started in August 2019, I was told would take 3-4 weeks, but took 4.5 months meanwhile I was living out of a bedroom [no Alternative Accommodation provided!]. The works concluded mid Dec 2019 by which time I was stressed, depressed, exhausted and quite frankly furious as the dysfunctional/chaotic works had wrecked my life. Bad enough you may think. Early March 2020 I discovered discolouration and efflorescence to the grout of the newly laid tiled floor! I asked was a DPM installed during the reparation works, but was "fobbed off". In March 2001 it was established no DPM had been included within the reparations and the whole job had to be repeated! This time it took 11 months, again I was forced to living out of a bedroom [lost use of my home] and again no Alternative Accommodation provided. I'd been told this second attempt, as DPM had to be included, would take 6 weeks yet took 11 months! I am incensed! I have been diplomatic in withholding those responsible. I believe I was poorly treated as I'm a woman. I have written my story [although there is much more than what I've said here] as a warning to others. If you suspect Subsidence immediately get your own structural engineer or use a Loss Assessor as they will work for you. You may be able to recover their costs if you ask.

LABC Response

Submitted 1 month 4 weeks ago

We are sorry to hear about the problems you have been having with the repair to your floor and we fully endorse your recommendation that competent professionals are appointed when building defects are identified.

Best,
LABC Team

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