Building Regulations – A Closer Look

For most projects, you need building regulations drawings. This is because the design should be checked by an approved inspector before works start to make sure you and your builder are compliant. Below is a comprehensive guide to the building regulations process.

Post Planning – Building Regulations Drawings

Once you have obtained planning approval, the building regulations drawings will need to be completed. This is so that your builder can now give you a detailed quote, and so that the build can be approved by your building inspector.

What is included:

  • Technical Plans, showing the location of any:
    • Beams
    • Padstones
    • Piers
    • Columns
    • Foundations
  • Technical Sections
  • Building Regulations Specification
    • drawing upon relevant building regulation which is appropriate for the project.
  • Liaising with Inspector until Plan Check Approval

What is excluded:

  • Dimensions and lengths of members for fabrication or manufacture.
  • Party wall matters / agreeing on the position of party walls or boundaries
  • Design of bespoke items such as a staircase.
  • Design of precast concrete, roof trusses, glass structures or items of specialist manufacture.
  • Detailing of piled or reinforced foundations. We use an assumed bearing pressure. The Building Inspector confirms this when construction starts.
  • Temporary works design

Following the completion of the drawings, it is time to appoint your chosen building inspector. This begins the approval process.

You have the option to appoint the council or an independent inspector of your choosing. We have several independent and experienced building inspectors that we can recommend on request.

Your building inspector will visit site at key times during the build.

Existing Buildings and Structures

Extending and altering existing buildings and structures have their individual challenges. The most noteworthy of these challenges is ascertaining the existing structural elements and building fabric.

During the construction, the contractor confirms the assumptions made. The only way to avoid assumptions is to begin the design work after exposing the structure.

This approach is dependent upon occupation and timescales. In most instances, full exposure of the structure is not feasible.

Types of survey:

Tier 1

An inspection of the available structurural elements. This includes checking the span of floors, roof and exposed beams.

This type of survey enables a design based on the information obtained from similar buildings or structure types, historical data and available structure.

This type of assessment requires confirmation of the assumptions made. Once the builder has exposed the structure it is clear if the structural design assumptions work or not.

Unexpected elements can be discovered, an example of this is a flue. It is a good idea to allow for cost variations due to any unforeseen elements.

Tier 2 (optional)

Partial removal to expose the structure. Carried out at critical locations to establish which walls are load-bearing, locate columns, beams and check floor spans. This investigation reduces the number of unknown factors. The design is, therefore, more likely to be sound. However, unexpected elements can be found during the construction phase.

Tier 3 (optional)

Complete removal of finishes to expose the existing structure. This type of investigation reduces the unknowns and therefore provides the greatest cost certainty during construction.

In summary, Tier 1 surveys are the most typical type of survey that will take place for a domestic project. However, if timescales allow, additional surveys can be undertaken.

If you have any questions regarding the building regulations stage, a member of our team will be able to answer any questions you may have.