Building Regulations: Common Works, is Approval Required?

This is general information on how the Building Regulations apply to some common types of building work. This should help you to determine whether your proposed work requires a building regulation application.

1. Build an extension to my house?

Yes, unless the extension is exempt from Building Regulations Approval, for example, a porch or conservatory (see points 8,9,10 and 11)

2. Convert my loft into a room?

Yes, this work impacts on means of escape from the dwelling and the structure.

3. Convert my garage into a habitable room?

Yes, even if it is only a store or hobbies room.

4. Make internal alterations within my house?

Yes, if the alterations are of a structural nature. For example, the removal or part removal of a load bearing wall, partition, beam or a chimney breast. The insertion of a beam or lintel which affects the structural stability of the building will also require approval.

5. Convert my house into flats?

Yes, even where construction work may not be intended as this is a defined 'material' change of use under the Building Regulations.

6. Install cavity insulation into my house?

Yes, but if you use an approved installer they will generally submit a Building Notice on your behalf.

7. Construct a detached garage?

No, provided that the garage meets the following conditions:

  • less than 30 square metres floor area
  • single storey
  • at least one metre from any boundary or constructed of non-combustible materials for example brick/block, concrete panel, tiles roof
  • contains no sleeping accommodation

Note any electrical installation installed in the garage may require approval – see 'carry out electrical work' for more information.

8. Construct a carport?

No, provided its floor area is less than 30 square metres and it is open on at least two sides and single storey. 

Note any electrical installation installed in the garage may require approval – see 'carry out electrical work' for more information.

9. Provide a covered yard or covered way to my house?

No, provided the floor area is less than 30 square metres. 

10. Construct a porch?

No providing the porch meets the following requirements:

  • single storey
  • less than 30 square metres internal floor area
  • separated from the dwelling via an external quality door
  • glazing in doors, adjacent windows and windows within 800mm of floor level must be safety glazing
  • not contain a WC etc

Note any electrical installation installed in the garage may require approval – see 'carry out electrical work' for more information.

11. Construct a conservatory?

No providing the Conservatory meets the following requirements:

  • single storey
  • less than 30 square metres internal floor area
  • separated from the dwelling via doors/windows glazed to external quality
  • must not restrict exit from any escape windows/doors
  • any fixed heating installed should have separate on/off controls
  • have at least 50 percent of its external wall area glazed
  • have a translucent roof
  • glazing in doors, adjacent windows and windows within 800mm of floor level must be safety glazing.

Note any electrical installation installed in the garage may require approval – see 'carry out electrical work' for more information.

12. Construct a small detached building on my land?

No, provided it contains no sleeping accommodation, is less than 30 square metres internal floor area, it is single storey and is either more that one metre from the boundary or is constructed of non-combustible materials. A detached greenhouse or shed usually falls within this class of building.

Note any electrical installation installed in the garage may require approval – see 'carry out electrical work' for more information.

13. Install new or replacement windows or doors to my house?

Yes, unless the work is carried out by an installer and registered with a ‘Competent Person’ self-certification scheme. 

14. Carry out repairs to my house?

Generally no, if the repairs are of a minor nature and you are replacing like for like, but also see 4 above, for certain works that may need approval.

15. Carry out any electrical work?

Yes, unless the work is carried out by an installer under a ‘Competent Person’ scheme. 

16. Carry out any drainage works?

Yes.

17. Install solar panels on my roof?

Yes, the adequacy of the existing roof to take the increased loads will need to be assessed, and some strengthening may be required.

If Building Regulations Approval is required, your next step is to make an application. Please see our applications forms and fee's page for information about how to do this.