What is Building Control? A Deep Dive into the UK’s Building Regulation System

Building a house, an extension, or carrying out any kind of construction work in the UK? It’s more complex than laying down the bricks and mortar. Before you embark on any building venture, it’s crucial to understand the role of Building Control and how it impacts your project. Let’s dive into what Building Control is all about.

What is Building Control?

Building Control is a statutory process in the UK that ensures that buildings, extensions, and specific property alterations are built to high standards. This ensures the safety and health of people in and around the buildings. The primary purpose of Building Control is to make sure that any building work complies with the Building Regulations set out by the government.

The Role of Building Control Bodies (BCBs)

Building Control Bodies (BCBs) are responsible for checking plans, inspecting building work, and issuing completion certificates. There are two types of BCBs in the UK:

  1. Local Authority Building Control (LABC): These departments within local councils provide the Building Control service. They ensure buildings are designed and constructed under the Building Regulations and associated legislation.
  2. Private Approved Inspectors: These are companies or individuals authorised by the Secretary of State to carry out Building Control work. Choosing between a local authority and a private inspector often involves personal preference, past experiences, or costs.

The Approval Process

Before construction begins with Plans 2 Extend or your alternative builder, the project will need either a Full Plans application or a Building Notice.

  1. Complete Plans: This is the most thorough option. Your architect will submit detailed plans of the proposed work. The BCB then checks these to ensure they comply with the Building Regulations. Once approved, the construction can begin with periodic inspections to ensure compliance.
  2. Building Notice: This is a less detailed process, suitable for smaller projects. You give notice of the intended work without a complete plan. This means you might start building quicker, but there’s a risk that the work may not comply, and you could be asked to make alterations.

Why is Building Control Important?

Building without approval or not following the Building Regulations can have significant implications:

  • Safety: Building Control ensures structures are safe for occupants and the general public.
  • Legal Implications: Please refrain from complying to avoid facing enforcement action, which could involve altering or removing the work at your expense.
  • Property Value: When selling a property, prospective buyers want to know that building work meets regulations. A completion certificate from a BCB is evidence of this.

Building Control, whether through a local authority or a private inspector, is crucial in ensuring that buildings in the UK are safe and fit for purpose. If you’re planning any construction project, understanding and complying with Building Control is a legal necessity and assurance of quality and safety.

Remember, while the building process can be an exciting journey, ensuring it’s done right and within the boundaries of the law is paramount. So, always liaise with your local Building Control body before embarking on your building adventure. Safe building!
Can Plans 2 Extend help me with  a builder?
Of course we can, and we would LOVE to help you with this stage. There is nobody in the world who can help you build your dream project other than the people who designed it! We can help provide all the trades required and also project manage it for you too! Let us take away all the stress.


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