House extension regulations UK - the councils inspector comes knocking.
All house extensions in the UK are governed and controlled by the councils Building Regulations
Department who ensure that the house extension meets current approved good practice methods and complies with most
aspects of health and safety for using the finished building.
Several years ago now the government allowed part privatiseation of the Building Regulations
by allowing private approved inspectors to offer the same level of vetting and inspection of a house
extension during the design and build process. This was a great move and homeowners are now offered a choice of who
should be checking their house extension regulations.
However, most private approved inspectors do not vet domestic extensions and this service is still widely
optimised by the Councils Building Control Departments. Since privatisation, most councils building inspectors
are far 'nicer' than they used to be. 'We' in the home extension design profession are now seen as 'customers' to
be cared for & valued (amazing what can be achieved when a councils workers long term job or pension is
threatened!) - shame it hasn't happened yet in the Planning Department!
I would always recommend using the Councils Building Control service simply because it works, and they have
extensive local knowledge that a long distance approved inspector may not. The regulations affecting house
extensions are wide and varied and almost identical to that of building a new dwelling. Proving compliance of
a house extension scheme against the rules is not for the DIY'er.
Preparation of detailed construction plans and specifications can only be completed by an experienced and
professional home extension designer or architect as these documents will also be the basis of the builders pricing
and the contract documents. If you get it wrong here someone will end up spending thousands of pounds more to
put it right later on - usually the home owner.