When do Building Regulations Apply?

A Building Regulation Application (often referred to as a Building Regulation Submission) is usually needed when it is intended to carry out any of the following work:

  • erection of a new building
  • extending or altering a building
  • carrying out changes of use of a building
  • installing or altering drainage, heating appliances or unvented hot water systems
  • installing cavity wall insulation
  • changing the roof covering material
  • underpinning a building
  • forming a structural opening
  • removing part of a chimney stack or chimney breast.

Not all new buildings need to comply with the Building Regulations. Certain small buildings such as garages, garden sheds, certain extensions such as conservatories and covered ways are exempt.

Not all changes of use require a submission, and not all of the requirements apply in any particular change of use. The following are deemed to be "a change of use" if after the change, the building:

  • is used as a dwelling where previously it was not
  • is used as a flat where previously it was not
  • is used as a hotel or boarding house where previously it was not
  • is used as an institution (e.g. a hospital, home, school or a similar use which is used as living accommodation, or for the treatment or care of people where they sleep on the premises) where previously it was not
  • is used as a public building (e.g. a theatre, library or place of public resort, a non-exempted school, an educational establishment or a place of public worship) where previously it was not
  • is not an exempt building as defined in Classes I to VI of Schedule 2 of the Building Regulations where previously it was
  • which already contains at least one dwelling, contains a greater or lesser number of dwellings than it did previously.

Page last updated: 24/02/2014