Once upon a time, if you wanted to build a structure, you just did it. There was no red tape to watch out for, no rules to be followed, and no one to answer to. Now, in 2015, you have to follow building codes and regulations as well as seek approval from and inform various parties.
Unless you live in Scotland or Northern Ireland, any citizen of the United Kingdom wishing to construct a new building is held accountable to the Building Regulations 2010. Not doing so can result in fines or prosecution. However, this piece of legislation doesn’t apply solely to new construction. It is also enforced on certain types of alterations and extensions to existing structures.
Some work done to bathrooms will most likely need building regulations approval. For instance, you plan to convert your garage or basement into separate living quarters for your eldest child. You’ll need approval if you intend on installing a bathroom which requires plumbing.
Perhaps you want to do a major renovation of the master bath as an anniversary gift for your wife. While doing so, you notice you’ll need to relocate some of the electrical outlets closer to the deep claw foot tub. This change, seemingly minor, needs approval as well.
Heating, Air, and Fuse Boxes
There are a few aspects pertaining to heating and air systems which must gain building regulations approval. Some older homes may not have a proper air-conditioning system because of mild climates, but you, as the new homeowner, want to install one because you’re hot blooded and wish to keep cool air circulating during the summer months. Installing this new fixed air-conditioning system requires approval.
Maybe your older home has an outdated heating system which poses a fire hazard if it is used for too much longer. Having it replaced, installing a new one, and adding extra radiators all require approval before the work is completed. The same goes for replacing fuse boxes and the electrics to which it’s connected.
Windows, Doors, and Roofs
Say a bad storm came through your neck of the woods and damaged your roof. Regardless of how long you’ve had that roof, you’ll need to apply for building regulations approval before you replace the coverings. It should be noted that approval only needs to be obtained for the replacement of roof coverings on structures with pitched and flat roofs.
Perhaps this storm was bad enough to ding up your door and shatter the glass in some of your windows. Having these things replaced seems a simple enough DIY project, but they too require approval.
So why the need of approval you’re wondering? If you noticed, some of these items (windows, doors, roofs, and plumbing) pose threats to the structural integrity of a place if not done properly. Likewise, installing heating, air, fuse boxes, and outlets near water sources could be potential fire hazards.
If you’re going to do something, you should do right. Before starting on these projects, seek the advice of a chartered building surveyor. They’ll also be able to help with the application process and occasionally check your progress to ensure you remain within regulation.