Last edited 21 Oct 2020

Building regulations inspections

The Building Regulations set out requirements for specific aspects of building design and construction. Building regulations approvals can be sought either from the building control department of the local authority or from an approved inspector. The approval may involve desk studies to verify submitted information and / or inspections.

Very small projects and changes to an existing buildings can obtain building regulations approval purely by inspection. Larger, new-build projects, will generally require a 'full plans' application, meaning that full details of the proposed building works are submitted for approval before the works are carried out, and then inspections are carried out to ensure that the works have been undertaken in accordance with the approved information.

The number and frequency of inspections will depend on the nature of the works being undertaken. Typically they will take place at key stages such as:

Advance notice of the progress of the works must be given to the relevant building control body so that they are able to schedule inspections at the appropriate times. If the appropriate inspections have not been carried out, a completion certificate may not be issued, and it may be necessary to open up parts of the works so that inspections can be carried out.

NB: Competent person self-certifications schemes (or competent person schemes) introduced in 2002 allow registered installers (mostly small firms or sole traders) who are competent in their field to self-certify certain types of building work. See Competent person self-certifications schemes for more information.

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