Once you have Building Regulation permission, the success of your building project will largely depend on the quality of your builder, whether you have a suitable contract, and whether or not you have independent supervision of the work.
Choosing your builder is probably the most important decision you will make when you are carrying out building work. Everyone has heard of the horror stories about ‘cowboy builders’. A good builder will be familiar with the standards required and will arrange for your work to be inspected at the appropriate stages by Building Control. Problems can always arise and a good builder will resolve these in a professional manner with you and your Building Control Surveyor. This should result in a smooth process and a completed project to your satisfaction.
One of the best methods of choosing a builder is to get a recommendation from someone you trust. There is also an award winning website Trustmark that is supported by the Government.
Householders spend hundreds of millions of pounds on home improvements or repairs each year. The office of fair-trading has produced a guide to planning and managing work on your home entitled ‘Home Improvements’. Their general suggestions and others to which South Derbyshire Building Control Service would endorse are highlighted below:
The building regulations apply when replacing windows and doors in an existing building. It is to ensure a reduction in heat loss and CO2 emissions and also to make sure that new windows do not hinder the means of escape in case of fire.
If the company you are using to replace your doors and windows is ‘FENSA Registered’ you do not need to submit a Building Regulation application as the installers ‘self-certify’ the work and issue a Completion Certificate when the work is finished.
The consent of Severn Trent Water needs to be obtained if you are proposing to build over / close to a public sewer. Information on the position of public sewers can be obtained from Severn Trent Water who will also provide information on the procedures for obtaining agreement to build over the sewer. If you are building over or close to a public sewer, you can not put in a building notice, you must put in a full plans application.
You will need to check your deeds for any restrictions that may apply to building over common drains or private sewers. You may also need to notify other users and owners of private sewers of your intention to obtain their consent. Access should be maintained.
If you intend to build your extension up to the boundary of your property you should be aware of the following:
Know where your boundary is – check deeds and speak to neighbours to get their agreement as to where the boundary is BEFORE you plan your extension.
The council does not keep records which show ownership of boundaries.
Care should be taken when working close to trees not only to protect the trees and minimise damage to them but also to ensure that proper and adequate account is taken in the protection of old and new foundations of buildings in the vicinity. Because of the effect of moisture being removed from the soil by trees, foundations may need to be deeper depending on the type of soil, tree and its distance from the building.
Generally, the Building Regulations do not apply to freestanding garden walls although if a retaining wall is within four metres (12 feet) of the highway and higher than 1.37 metres (4’6”) then details would need to be approved by the Planning and Highways Departments.
South Derbyshire District Council
Building Control Services
Tel: 01283 228757
Fax: 01283 595850
Online: contact form
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