Building regulations are a legal requirement in all states. The laws may vary from state to state depending on the type of construction project. However, failure to get a building regulations permit can get you into trouble with the local authority.
The regulations ensure that new projects or extensions follow the safety guidelines, accessibility, and industry best practices during construction. Other detailed information covered in the building regulations will be highlighted in-depth in this article.
The guide will also include instances where building regulations are not required. However, we still recommend talking to a construction consultant in your state or city for additional information.
Do You Need Building Regulation Approval?
As mentioned before, building regulations and planning permits are legal requirements for most construction projects. Nonetheless, other projects such as extensions and conversions could be covered under the permitted development clause. The conversion and extension projects also need to meet specific guidelines to be covered under the permitted development clause.
Not getting a building regulations approval can get you into legal trouble. In most instances, you will be charged in a court of law and asked to pay a hefty fine on top. Other than that, your project will be halted until you get the necessary permit.
Besides that, you will also struggle to get tenants into your property. Selling a property that doesn’t have the required permits and building regulations included will also be very hard.
Steps to Building Regulations Approval
Getting building regulations approval is an extensive process. You need to find the right team of professionals from architects to surveyors to ensure that everything is in order. The first step is to hire a building inspector or building control surveyor.
Building inspectors are experts in building regulations and have in-depth knowledge of the region’s issues and conditions. Besides that, they are also familiar with the state’s codes of practice that new projects need to follow.
Most city councils have building inspectors who you can hire to work with your construction team. However, you still have the option of hiring a private inspector, though their rates might be slightly higher. You can find the best construction consultants and surveyors at Humphreysandsons.
The second step is to submit your building regulations application. There are two ways you can do this: a full plans application or by submitting a building notice. The full plans application involves submitting all the necessary documents before breaking ground.
The documents include the architectural plans, structural plans, and other specifications related to the project. Full applications are the best options as it minimizes the risks of breaking any terms of the building regulations.
A building notice application is approved only if the regulations are met upon site inspection. However, there is a risk that comes with using this approach. Since no plans are shown at this stage, there is a chance of contravening the building regulations, which may lead to delays due to adjustments needed along the way to meet the regulations.
Some cities may accept a regularization application. This type of application is made after the work has been completed. They typically come in handy if you failed to apply for approval before beginning the project.
The third step is now your responsibility as the project owner to ensure that the project is built as per the regulations. Ensure that you hire competent professionals from architects to construction companies. The building inspector will pop in regularly to review the project and talk to the construction team.
The building inspector will review the floor, sewerage, insulation, roofing, and fireproofing. The last visit will be to confirm that the structure meets all of the regulations before it is commissioned. If everything is good, you will be issued a completion certificate. This certificate is important, especially when you want to sell or lease the property.
Benefits of Building Regulations
Building regulations come with plenty of benefits. You will stay out of trouble with the local authority in your city or state. The process will also ensure that the building is constructed as per the required standards.
As mentioned before, the inspector or surveyor will regularly visit the site to inspect the progress. They will ensure that all the regulations are being followed at every step of the project. The surveyor or inspector will check everything from the foundation to the roofing.
Building regulations will also prevent you from getting scammed by incompetent professionals. Regular site visits from the inspector will ensure that the construction team follows every step during the construction. At the end of the day, this will save you plenty of cash as you don’t have to delay the progression to make alterations.
The regulations are also essential when reselling or leasing the property. Realtors will ask for the completion certificate when selling or buying the property. Moreover, tenants and other leaseholders will want to see the certificate before renting space in your building.
Another point worth noting is that the regulations will ensure that your building has the necessary accessibility options. This is a must, especially for public buildings, workspaces, and shops. The inspection team will ensure that your structure has lifts, ramps, accessible toilets, and parking for disabled people.
Building regulations also protect the public from dangerous structures. Build inspectors will check if the structure meets all the requirements, and if there are any flaws, they will warn the public. The inspector will warn the building owner about any repairs that are needed to make the house safer and better.
Building regulations approval is an important part of any construction project. The costs involved in getting building regulations approval will vary depending on a few factors such as the size of the building, floor area, and the work involved in the project.
Ensure that you follow all the regulations as stipulated by law. We also recommend working with professionals at all stages during the project. Don’t take shortcuts to cut costs as this will cost you your completion certificate in the end.
The rules may differ for other construction projects such as conversions and extensions. Some may be covered under the permitted development clause. However, if there are many works involved, you will need to get a planning permit and building regulations approval.