House extension   UK
 Home extension guide - how to build a house extension and refurbish your home
 

 

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House Extension - The Building Control Process.

Your home extension building design agent will complete all the required Building Regulation application forms with Drawings, Specification Manual, Details and covering letter if necessary and submit it to the Council on your behalf with house extension designer acting as your Agent. The application will be delegated to a case Building Inspector.

APPLICATION REGISTERED

The Admin. Section of the Building Control Dept. will register the application and form a Case Inspectors file. This is not a public record file. The will issue your scheme with a unique application reference number. Registration can take up to 7 days for busy Councils but will normally be accepted within 2 working days.

CONSULTATIONS

The application, drawings and supporting documents ’may’ be distributed to various consultations such as the Fire Officer, Structural Engineers, Environmental; Health etc. for their checking and comments on your scheme. Your neighbours will NOT be consulted.

THE BUILDING INSPECTORS QUERY SCHEDULE

During the Application period (5 to 8 weeks) the Case Checking Inspector will at some time send me a schedule of queries requesting clarification, confirmation or extra details of certain points. This is quite normal and expected for low level queries. This normally happens within 3 weeks of the application period for efficiently run councils giving you time to address the queries inn order for them to issue an approval.

Less efficient councils wait 5 to 8 weeks and simply issue a rejection notice with a schedule of queries to be attended to prior to approval. Again, although frustrating this can be quite normal. Obtaining a refusal is NOT like a Planning refusal. A Building Regulations refusal usually means that they are unable to grant an approval at the application expiry date simply because they did not have all the information to hand e.g. - structural calculations, means of achieving compliance etc. Provided they eventually have the outstanding information approval will be given - No extra application fee is required.

STRUCTURAL CALCULATIONS FROM YOUR ENGINEER

It is very rare for a building design scheme not to require supporting proving calculations form a Structural Engineer. Your Structural Engineer will be sending the home extension designer a set of his proving calculations for the home extension Design Agent to send to the council as part of your application. All this normally happens automatically behind the scenes without the need for you to become further involved.

WHEN SHALL I RECEIVE BUILDING REGULATIONS APPROVAL.

Normally after 5 weeks but please allow 8 weeks just in case. Once your house extension building designer has supplied the council with all the information they require and satisfied any outstanding queries they shall send me the approval documents. This is normally (but not always) a full set of ‘stamped approved’ drawings, specification and calculations together with some A4 approval documentation together with details for how and when to contact the Building Inspector when your builder is ready to start on site.

WILL THE COUNCIL REQUIRE AMENDMENTS TO THE SCHEME DURING THE APPLICATION?

In some cases YES. Interpretation of the Building Regulations is very comprehensive and complicated. Building Inspectors often spot things on the scheme that have not been covered within the Regulations or disagree with a method of building or detail point that requires alteration of the scheme. (e.g. - a floor joist size needs upgrading). These scheme design alterations (if required) could have a effect upon your Builders pricing once approved. 

CAN I MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF THE BUILDING REGULATIONS APPLICATION?

No. Other than contacting your home extension building designer there is no real monitoring of application procedure.

WHAT ELSE CAN I DO DURING THE BUILDING REGULATIONS APPLICATION?

Obtain your own tender prices from selected builders. Even though the scheme has yet to be formally approved and items may yet change, they are at least all pricing on the same level playing field. Obtaining a suitable number of builders tender prices in times of economic boom can be a devilish long procedure so do start as early as you can. Any price adjustments to suit scheme alterations at approval can be negotiated with the successful builder later on.

CAN I START ON SITE WITH MY BUILDER RPIOR TO FORMAL APPROPVAL.

Yes but at your own risk. However, the risk of incurring abortive works can be reduced by involving the Site Visiting Building Inspector at every stage and limiting the pre-ordering of any materials to the bare essentials. Please remember that the site visiting Building Inspector will be a different person to that of the Checking Inspector for my scheme.

IS THERE ANY FURTHER BUILDING REGULATION FEES TO FOLLOW?

Yes - the Inspection fee. The Council will invoice you directly for this fee shortly after you formally start on site. Please remember that the Building Regulations fee you have already paid is for the ‘application’ fee - this covers the Building Inspector checking the scheme design. The separate Inspection fee is yet to follow.

SHOULD I ENSURE THAT I RECEIVE A COUNCIL COMPLETION CERTIFICATE ?

Yes, yes, Yes - and prior to you paying any final payment to your builder. The Completion Certificate is vital for the smooth resale of the property later on and also confirms that the Building Inspector has checked all of your builders works which is in compliance with the regulations.

AVOID BOUNDARY DISPUTES

Should your works be close to the boundary line with your neighbour please ensure that you have agreed with your neighbour the exact line of the boundary to avoid encroachment over before you start on site. Make sure your builder is aware of this actual agreed boundary line and that he is to inform you immediately should any part of the approved design appear to overhang this boundary line irrespective of what is indicated on the drawings.

 
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