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Do I need to apply?

Building Regulations approval will usually be required if you intend to carry out any of the following work:

  • Build a new building
  • Build an extension or form a room in the roof space (loft conversion).
  • Carry out structural alterations to an existing building, including forming a through-lounge or removing chimney breasts.
  • Change the use of an existing building. For example, converting a house into flats.
  • Provision, extension or alteration of drainage facilities, such as a new bathroom or toilet.
  • Recovering a roof structure (in certain circumstances).

To confirm if you need building regulations, visit the Planning Portal for a detailed diagram and information on current building regulations requirements. Alternatively, visit the Local Authority Building Control website.

Should you be in any doubt as to whether the proposals require Building Regulation consent, please contact our general enquiry/administration team by email at building.control@dacorum.gov.uk.

For answers to commonly asked questions, plus more information, click on the headings below.

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  • How much do I have to pay?

    Full details of the Building Regulation Charges system and amounts payable are available on our fees page, and guidance is supplied with all application forms. If the work is specifically for the benefit of a disabled person then it may qualify for exemption from payment.

    Further information on charges may be obtained by contacting our general enquiry/administration team on building.control@dacorum.gov.uk.

  • What is the difference between Full Plans and Building Notice applications?

    A Full Plans application is the most popular way to make a Building Regulations application. By submitting a Full Plans application we will require full drawings and a detailed specification, as a decision will be made based on our plan checking. We have up to eight weeks to approve, conditionally approve, or reject an application.

    A Building Notice application can be made for smaller works, although no formal prior approval is given. All aspects of work will be agreed on site at the time of construction. Please note that we may still ask for various details prior to work starting on site, as required.

  • Can I draw the plans myself?
    Yes, but you should have a good knowledge of building construction and the requirements of the building regulations. It is likely that employing an architect, building surveyor, or other professional will produce better results and speed up the process to obtain approvals.
  • Do I need approval to erect a conservatory or a greenhouse?

    Generally, you do not need to submit an application under the Building Regulations for these works, provide they fall within the limits set out in our  guidance notes (PDF 15.4 KB). You should ensure that all criteria are met, and you are advised to consult Building Control to confirm exemption.

    Please note: Planning permission may still be required and you should consult the Planning Department by email at planning@dacorum.gov.uk or by telephone on 01442 228671.

  • Do I need approval to erect a detached garage?

    Generally, you do not need to submit an application under the Building Regulations for these works, provided they fall within the limits set out in our  guidance notes (PDF 15.4 KB). You should ensure that all criteria are met and you are advised to consult Building Control to confirm exemption.

    Please note: Planning permission may still be required and you should consult the planning department by email at planning@dacorum.gov.uk or by telephone on 01442 228671.

  • How should I choose a builder?

    When considering any building work to your property, and you need to employ a builder, the choice needs to be made with great care. If things go wrong with your builder it can have serious effects on possibly the biggest financial investment you are ever likely to make.

    First of all, you should be:

    • confident that you are able to design and specify your project;
    • able to manage any approvals and agreements needed for the work;
    • confident that you can supervise the building and a detailed technical contract.

    If not, we advise that you always take independent professional advice - for example, from an architect, surveyor, building engineer or an experienced construction professional, whose services can be tailored to meet your needs and who will make sure the whole project is a success and runs smoothly.

    Some important questions to ask your builder or tradesperson

    • How long have they been trading or in business?
    • Can they provide references and details of a low claims history with a recognised trade organisation?
    • Where have they worked before?
    • Are they happy for you to see their previous work and talk to their customers?
    • Can they supply references from satisfied clients?
    • What is their expertise and experience in the particular project you intend to carry out?
    • How do they want to be paid – on completion or in stages?
    • Is payment subject to you being happy with the work?
    • Are they happy to for you to keep back some of the agreed price of the work until you are satisfied it is actually finished?
    • Can they provide financial references?
    • Will they give you a completion date for the work?
    • Will they accept a penalty clause if they fail to complete the work on time?
    • Will they agree to having any dispute between you independently resolved?

    Finally, reassure yourself by checking out the builder’s work, references and other aspects like work habits and reliability with the builder’s previous clients.

    Ask questions and keep a note of the answers - don’t wait until it’s too late.

    Although Building Control cannot recommend or comment upon a builder, architect, surveyor, building engineer or other professional, we are happy to give you professional and impartial advice and guidance. Please contact the officer for your area by using our contact list, or contact our general enquiry team at building.control@dacorum.gov.uk

  • Competent person schemes

    Competent person schemes were introduced by the Government to allow individuals and enterprises to self-certify that their work complies with the Building Regulations, as an alternative to submitting a building notice or using an approved inspector.

    The principles of self-certification are based on giving people who are competent in their field the ability to self-certify that their work complies with the Building Regulations without the need to submit a building notice.

    A full list of current competent person schemes, plus further details, can be found on the Government website.

  • When can I start work?
    You may start work after you have submitted a valid Full Plans or Building Notice application. At least two days' notice must be given of your intention to start work and must be made in writing or by email to the individual officer for your area or to our general enquiry/administration team at building.control@dacorum.gov.uk. Either the applicant or builder should notify us at the required stages noted on your acknowledgement letter after an application has been validated.

    Please note: Should works start prior to a Full Plans application being either approved or conditionally approved, the works are at the risk of the owners until approvals have been given.
  • How do I arrange for a Building Control Officer to inspect my building works?
    Visit our inspection request page for further information on how to arrange a site inspection.
  • Can I get a completion letter once the works have been finished?

    Yes. When your work is finished you should contact us to arrange a final inspection.

    Completion letters are issued free for both Full Plans and Building Notice applications on satisfactory completion of the work, provided you have kept us informed of the appropriate stages.

    The cost for additional copies of completion letters can be found on our fees page.

  • Are there any penalties for contravening the Building Regulations?

    Yes. Contravention of the Building Regulations by building without making an application to the local authority (or approved inspector), or by carrying out work that does not comply, may lead to a criminal conviction and a fine.

    Both the owner and the builder have a responsibility to make sure a Building Regulation application is made before work starts and that notification of the various stages of work is given to Building Control.