When does a replacement kitchen or bathroom need Building Regulations approval?

19.05.2017
Blog Post
Replacement kitchen - Building Regulations application

The majority of domestic like for like replacement kitchens or bathrooms won’t need any form of Building Regulations approval, but if you’re modifying the existing layout then approval may be needed.

This might be due to (from the Building Regulations):

"3(b) the provision or extension of a controlled service or fitting in or in connection with a building;
3(c) the material alteration of a building, or a controlled service or fitting;
3(d) work required by regulation 6 (requirements relating to material change of use);"

A "controlled service or fitting" means;
"A service or fitting in relation to which Part G (Sanitation, hot water safety & water efficiency), H (Drainage & Waste Disposal), J (Combustion appliances & fuel storage systems), L (Conservation of fuel & power) or P (Electrical safety) of Schedule 1 imposes a requirement."

"None of the work, or any part of it, should at any stage result in not complying with or being more unsatisfactory with a relevant requirement where previously it did."

Confused?!

So what does it mean and just how is it relevant to replacement kitchens and bathrooms?

Are you undertaking the provision or extension of a controlled service or fitting?

Does this require Building Regulations approval?

If you move the boiler to another location. Yes (Part J)
If you leave the boiler where it is but extend the flue.  Yes (Part J)

If you install a new gas appliance. 

Yes (Part J)

If you relocate the sink. 

Yes, if the installation of the fitting or fittings will involve alterations to, or new connections to, a drainage stack or an underground drain, the above ground wastes and drains are controllable (Part H). So is the installation of hot water and wholesome water to the sink (Part G).

If you relocate the bathroom appliances. 

Yes, if the installation of the fitting or fittings will involve alterations to, or new connections to, a drainage stack or an underground drain, the above ground wastes and drains are controllable (Part H). So is the installation of hot water and wholesome water to the bath, shower, wash basin and bidet (Part G).
If you replace a window or external door.  Yes, this is a renovation of a thermal element (Part L1B)
If you install a new window or external door.  Yes (Part L1B)
If you install an electrical circuit. 

Yes (Part P)
 

If you install or alter fixed electrical equipment in the kitchen. Yes, if the circuit is within the ‘special location’ measured 2.25m vertically from the floor or shower head (if higher) and within 600mm of any bath tub or shower tray (Part P).
If you install or alter fixed electrical equipment in the kitchen. No, this is non-notifiable work unless a new circuit is provided e.g. installing a new built-in cooker or prefabricated modular lighting is non-notifiable unless a new circuit is required. The work still falls within the scope of (Part P) and should be certificated in accordance with BS7671 and local authorities can still take enforcement action if they consider the work non-compliant and unsafe.
If you install an extract fan.  Yes, if it requires a new electrical circuit, the extract should go to outside where possible (Part P).

Are you carrying out a material alteration ?

Removing load bearing walls to accommodate a new layout is a structural alteration. Design and fire resistance will be needed for the new lintel, bearings and foundations may need to be examined for suitability.

Removing doors (or non-load bearing walls) between the kitchen and other rooms, particularly to a staircase, will affect means of escape (B1). Additional precautions in other parts of the property may be needed such as escape windows, interlinked smoke and heat detection, and additional fire resistance (B3). Alternatively you may need to retain the door(s) so it is no worse than before. (Both in Part B.)

Are you carrying out a material change of use?

This classification involves the creation of a dwelling, subdivision to create more than one dwelling or flat or room for residential purposes. The installation of a second kitchen would indicate this likely use and Building Regulations approval would be required and possibly planning permission.

Could alterations alter the status of a building?

Other than change of use (above), a request may also be received to install a kitchen in a conservatory. Some conservatories are exempt from the requirement for a Building Regulations application unless the external doors are being removed or the opening widened to open it up to the main house. This removes the exemption status enjoyed by the conservatory and approval is needed.

If that happens, it reverts to an extension of the main house and thermal compliance will be difficult to achieve because of the excessive glazing. An open kitchen/dining space is a popular alteration to properties and care is needed to ensure compliance is possible.

If your building is listed in some way, for its architectural or historic interest and/or is located in a sensitive urban or rural environment (e.g. a conservation area or an area of outstanding natural beauty), then the alterations may require additional consent from the planning department. 

Remember the reference "Not complying with or being more unsatisfactory with a relevant requirement where previously it did"? This means that the works must not make fabric, services and fittings less compliant than they previously were – or dangerous.

For example, the provision of replacement double glazing must not worsen compliance in relation to: means of escape; air supply for combustion appliances and their flues; and ventilation for health.

Electrical installations must not worsen compliance in relation to:

  • structure (depth of chases in walls, notches in floor and roof joists)
  • fire safety (provision of detection systems, fire resistance of penetrations through floors and walls)
  • site preparation (resistance of service penetrations to rainwater and radon)
  • sound (service penetrations on party walls)
  • ventilation
  • thermal (use of energy efficient lighting)
  • access (heights of sockets and switches)

If you’re in any doubt then speak to your Local Authority building control team who can offer advice and guidance on how to comply.

You can find your local authority’s contact details here.

Further information

Householders, find out much more about how the building regulations apply to your home extension, renovation or build.

Comments

(No subject)

Submitted 1 month 4 weeks ago

The first description in the table of -

If you install or alter fixed electrical equipment in the kitchen.

Appears to apply to bath/shower rooms only?

(No subject)

Submitted 1 month 4 weeks ago

Quote: If you replace a window or external door. Yes, this is a renovation of a thermal element (Part L1B)
If you install a new window or external door. Yes (Part L1B)

The Building Regulations Schedule 4.
Descriptions of work where no building notice or deposit of full plans required.
(h) replacing an external door ( where the door together with its frame has no more than 50% of its internal face area glazed).

It would appear that an application is not necessary required for replacing external doors.

(No subject)

Submitted 1 month 4 weeks ago

In need of advice please. I have an existing single storey extension on the rear of my property which serves as a kitchen/diner.
The extension we believe was constructed in the late 1970s. The property is a 1930s 3 bedroom semi detached building.
We are considering a new kitchen suite which involves removing a side window in the extension and bricking up to accommodate additional cupboards and extraction fan. All plumbing services will remain in the current locations, the electric oven will move into a cupboard at eye level and an electric hop in the worktop replaces a freestanding cooker.
The current flat roof is externally covered with felt which we plan to replace with a fibreglass surface and installation of 2 flat roof windows to allow additional light into the building. These will sit no more than 150mm above the existing surface. Work will be carried out to remove the existing internal ceiling and strengthen the joists and rafters with additional bolted timbers to support the 1200x900mm roof lights.

Will i need to submit a planning application or have the building work inspected prior, during or after the work is completed?

Many thanks in advance

Reply

Submitted 1 month 4 weeks ago

Hello there - thanks for the comment.

You will need to speak to your Local Authority Planning department to determine if there are any specific requirements for planning permission in relation to building listing, or conservation area etc.

With respect to Building Regulations, consent will certainly be required for the new roof lights and roof covering and also the electrical work (cooker, hob, extracts) is controllable work.

The latter is normally covered through the use of a Part P accredited installer. Other work may be controllable such as waste pipe discharge and you should speak to your local building control team for more specific advice.

Thanks,
David

(No subject)

Submitted 1 month 4 weeks ago

Hi there,

I plan on installing an open plan kitchen/conservatory once the building regulations application has gone through. Could you please advise whether or not it is legal to have kitchen units installed to two sides of this conservatory?

Many thanks for your help in advance

(No subject)

Submitted 1 month 4 weeks ago

Hello there

You should contact your local building control team to discuss it further. You can find their contact details by entering your postcode here https://www.labc.co.uk/our-services/find-nearest-local-council-building-control-department

(No subject)

Submitted 1 month 4 weeks ago

My neighbours are having their old En-Suite bathroom replaced. All the plumbing in our houses is internal and hidden . The fitted has put great big black pipes on the outside wall which look an eyesore . As our houses are not in rows and ours is set back from theirs this is now viewed from the front of our house. He has also connected the fresh water pipe to the foul pipe . What can we do?

Reply

Submitted 1 month 4 weeks ago

Hello there

You should report the matter to the Building Control department of your local council.

Use this link to find their contact details https://www.labc.co.uk/our-services/find-nearest-local-council-building-control-department

Thanks,

Barry, LABC

(No subject)

Submitted 1 month 4 weeks ago

changing positioning of sink and replacing larger toilet. Is there any regulation measurement between toilet and side wall

(No subject)

Submitted 1 month 4 weeks ago

Hello there,

That depends on whether the bath and shower is being moved and if new drainage is required. Changes to the electrics are also likely to be controlled, although this aspect of the work could be carried out under the Competent Persons Scheme.

Your local building control team will be able to help further with this. Enter your postcode here for their contact details https://www.labc.co.uk/our-services/find-nearest-local-council-building-control-department

Thanks,
John

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