The Refresh Renovations 2022 guide to Building Regulations, keeping you up-to-date with the latest information for your home project this year.
Legal guidelines, professional best practices and local restrictions on property development and refurbishment change all of the time, and it can be difficult to keep on top of exactly what you need to do and know. This is the Refresh Renovations 2022 guide to Building Regulations, keeping you up-to-date with the latest information for your home project this year.
Parts L and F have been updated for 2022 and two new approved documents have been added: Part O and Part S.
Part O is a new regulation covering overheating which looks at mitigating solar gain (the heating of an area caused by direct sunlight) as well as increasing temperature due to uninsulated heating pipes, cylinders or a lack of functional heating system controls.
Part S focusses on charging points for electrical vehicles, to ensure they’re properly planned and installed when present in a residential home. This may not be relevant for everyone just yet, but is an aspect of property development that’s increasing in demand and may grow to become mainstream in the next few years. This is the first iteration of such regulation, but is likely to be updated and tweaked in the future.
Building Regulations approval is required for any work to a home that involves new structural work or any alteration to any existing structural features. However, when such work is carried out by qualified ‘competent’ tradespeople, they are often able to self-certify their own work for compliance purposes. This can be done for the installation of new electrics, drainage, the heat-producing appliances and cavity walls; because all are considered protective to a property.
Although Refresh specialise in renovations, all new builds must too adhere to Building Regulations and will be inspected throughout the build by a control inspector.
Peripheral structural additions are often exempt from standard Building Regulations – but local restrictions must be checked before the initiation of any such work without explicit approval. This usually includes small porches, conservatories and detached garages measuring no more than 30m². Detailed guidance manuals of Building Regulations are available covering everything, and provided the development does not meet the minimum requirements of any of them, they may be completed without specific approval.
Almost all extensions require Building Regulations approval and so must meet a minimum set of technical and safety standards. Although the exact requirements for every extension is different, the Building Regulations most likely to apply are:
- Energy performance
- Structural integrity
- Protection against falls and unsafe walls
- Electric and gas safety standards
- Fire protection
Application fees vary between LPAs (Local Planning Authorities) and are dependent on the scope of the work involved, the size of the project and the number of inspector compliance visits required. Most LPAs have a fee calculator on their website or will provide a quote upon enquiry.
Plans and structural calculations must also be budgeted for.
In England, Northern Ireland and Wales, work can commence on-site with a project within 48 hours of an application being filed – but it is often best to wait for confirmation of receipt from the LPA before this is begun.
There are two main types of Building Regulation application: Full Plans Applications and Building Notice Applications.
A Full Plans Application is made to Building Control and includes working drawings already checked and approved by the relevant Buildings Inspector and are considered compliant with the Building Regulations. This is the most common form of Building Regulations Application and ensures that all requirements are fully adhered to in advance of any work beginning. All plans and documents are approved to a high enough standard for the project to proceed safely and legally. The application includes a full description of the proposed works, a set of technical drawings, a location (or ‘block’) plan and structural engineer’s calculations.
A Building Notice Application is essentially an application made to promise in advance that Building Regulations will be complied with on-site when work is carried out. This type of application works well for very simple extensions or small domestic alterations but does not apply to larger projects as site inspections will be too regular and there is more chance of things going wrong or not complying. Forms must still be completed giving details of building works along with marked up sketch drawings, but full plans are not submitted.
Not all Building Regulations Applications are approved by the same body. Homeowners or developers can choose to use their LPA’s Building Control department or an approved inspector from a government-approved private building inspection company. Around 20% of all applications are now approved by a private firm without involvement from the relevant local authority.
There are now various government-approved private companies offering approval for Building Regulations Applications and these too often include a degree of consultation and advice in their overall fee. However, experienced property developers, renovators and tradespeople will be able to provide advice on meeting Buildings Regulation requirements and should hold a level of professional experience high enough to ensure that their own work is carried out to a legally acceptable standard.
Refresh Renovations have years of experience on extensions, additions and renovations all around the world and are well versed in Buildings Regulations but also manage strategic relationships with both LPAs and private firms specialising in the regs nationally. If we can’t answer a query or are unsure on the level of acceptable build, we’ll find out – and the whole process will be included in the overall Refresh management of your project.
To find out who Refresh Renovations are and how we can help you with your home transformation, get in touch today for a free no obligation chat with our renovation specialists!
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If you would like to find out how Refresh Renovations can support you with a high quality, efficient home renovation, get in touch today. Your local Refresh Renovations consultant will be happy to meet with you for a free, no obligations consultation.