General alterations

Alteration work on dwellings

Find out if you need building regulation consent by filling in the Householder enquiry form. Below is information about specific alterations.

Fitting new windows

Since July 2002, Building Regulation consent is required for the fitting of all replacement windows - even if you are making no changes to the structural opening in which the window fits. This may not apply if the windows are being installed in a dwelling and the supplier and installer are a member of FENSA.

Beware however if you are having two storey bay windows replaced. The brickwork between the two windows is often supported off the lower frame and the timber used for that window will be stronger to allow for this weight. UPVC windows will not be strong enough - so check that your installer installs some other form of structural support to the brickwork. Contact us for further guidance.

Removing (or creating an opening in) a wall

Building Regulation consent is required for all work of this type to external walls, and to all internal walls unless the wall concerned is not loadbearing. How can you tell? Try checking the following:

  • If your property is timber framed then all internal walls will be loadbearing.
  • If you are removing a downstairs wall, check to see if there is another wall upstairs in the same position. If there is, it is likely to be supported by the wall below, which must be loadbearing.
  • If there is no wall above, have a look at the direction of the floorboards on the floor above and remember that the floor-joists that support them must span in the opposite direction. If the joists span onto the wall you intend to remove then it is likely that the wall is loadbearing.
  • If the wall is immediately below the roof, have a look in the roof space to see if any joists or walls are supported. Again this would indicate that it was loadbearing.

Contact us for further guidance.

Fitting a new toilet or bathroom

If you are just replacing an existing bathroom suite or fitting one in the same place, but are not changing the position of the drainage, then no consent is needed.

If the bathroom or toilet is completely new, then an application will be needed.

Fitting a new central heating system

If the work involves fitting a new coal or oil heating appliance then an application will be required. If the new boiler is gas, and will be installed by the Gas board or a GAS SAFE registered fitter then you do not need to make an application.

Installing cavity wall insulation

An application is required for this work, but this will normally be made on your behalf by the installer (a charge is normally payable for the work). Please check with your installer to make sure an application is made.

Installing an unvented hot water system

This is a relatively new type of hot water system where the water is supplied at mains pressure, rather than from a tank in the roof.

An application is required for this work, but this will normally be made on your behalf by the installer (and is free). Please check with your installer to make sure an application is made.

Replacing an existing flat roof

Flat roofs are beginning to be unpopular due to their appearance, and many people are replacing them with more attractive pitched roofs. A building regulation application will be required for this work.

Converting a garage to a room

A building regulation application will be required for this work.

Installation of Solar Panels on a roof

Building Regulation consent will be required for structural works where an area of roof covered by the solar panel increases the net weight of that same area of roof by more  than 15%.

  1. Where the roof loads are increased by more than 15% a structural engineer should be engaged to check the structure of the roof and if necessary provide details to strengthen the roof.
  2. Building Regulation consent will be required for the electrical installation work as it is deemed a ‘special installation’ which is subject to the requirements of Part P, Electrical Safety.

However the installation of solar panels can be ‘self-certified’ by a competent person registered to undertake all the work under a Government Approved Scheme (ie structural appraisal and electrical installation).  An application for Building Regulation Approval will not be necessary as the Competent person will notify the Local Authority.

Alteration work on buildings other than dwellings

In general, most alterations require consent unless the building being altered is itself exempt.

This list may not be very easy to follow, but if you are in any way unsure of how it should be interpreted, or wish to discuss a project which you feel may not require consent, then please get in touch so we can advise you properly.

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