If you’re thinking about adding an extension to your home, building a new house, or have already begun your project, you probably already know that many different steps are involved in the process. But how much do you really know about building regulations in the UK? It’s not just people building new properties or extensions who need to be aware of these regulations, as any major changes to existing properties will also be subject to them. Here’s everything you need to know about building regulations in the UK, whether you’re new to the building game or simply looking to brush up on your knowledge. Let’s get started
What Are Building Regulations?
You might have heard the term ‘building regulations’ before but only have a vague idea of what it means. What are building regulations, exactly? They are the statutory requirements that govern a building’s design, construction and quality to ensure they are properly built and safe. They cover everything from how far away houses should be from each other to how long it takes people to use staircases to escape from the building in an emergency.
Moreover, these regulations apply not only to extensions but also changes to existing properties. For example, suppose you’re considering buying a property with three bedrooms and converting one of those rooms into an office. In that case, the conversion must meet specific standards so the office meets fire safety regulations.
Why Are They Important?
Building regulations’ ultimate objective is to ensure people’s safety and security. They regulate the type, design and construction materials used in buildings. It is important to note that they do not cover issues such as traffic management or noise control, which are dealt with by separate legislation. But they take into account a property’s overall look and feel. Although adhering to these rules may seem complex, professional architects such as Humphreysandsons can help you comply without any qualms.
When Do You Need Them?
Building regulations apply in different types of situations. For example, the building regulation for fire safety dictates that all buildings should have fire doors and a sprinkler system. It also stipulates that a separate staircase should be installed for escape purposes. A space needs to be allocated for electrical wiring and other utilities too. When it comes to roofs, the building regulation states that they should be covered with non-combustible material or if any combustible material is used, it should not exceed 50% of its surface area.
You need to adhere to these stipulations from the get-go. If you ignore this rule, your house will not be given a certificate of compliance, and your insurance may not cover damages if there is a claim. So, whether you are starting to build a new home or renovating an old one, make sure to consult a professional about the permissions required.
Complying with building regulations is essential in any construction work, from new builds to extensions. They ensure that the building projects are well executed with the highest levels of professionalism. But besides that, they have other practical purposes, such as ensuring buildings have a fire safety plan and limiting noise levels. It is vital to familiarise yourself with these regulations before embarking on any construction project, so you don’t end up breaking them unknowingly.