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  1. What can I do with my site before I achieve building regs approval in Scotland? We want to put a static van on site to live in during the build. Logistically it would be useful to have this in place sooner than later in the overall proces. So before we achieve building regs approval can I: Get and electrical connection made? Get a water connection made? Install the sewage treatment plant and outflow? Anything else it might be useful to do?
  2. Hello, Does anybody know the U-Value required when retrofitting / renovating underfloor heating? There seems to be plenty of resources talking about new builds but finding it hard to find any definitive information for retrofit. For my specific property, I have a ground and first floor. Both having a concrete slab floor with screed over it. I will remove the screed, then add insulation, then UFH pipes, then concrete poured over. Trying to work out how much insulation I need. I'm assuming less required for the first floor. Once I determine the maximum U-value permissible for building regulations, I can use various services such as this U-Value calculator to work out how much of what insulation I need. Any help appreciated!
  3. Anyone had this issue from lenders being generally unhappy and unwilling to lend based on the following condition? This is in our planning permission: "Condition 9 - The development hereby permitted shall be constructed to Building Regulation Part G(2)(b) standards limiting water consumption to 110 litres per person per day. Reason: To reduce demand for finite resources as the district is in a water scarce area. This condition is imposed in accordance with Policy SP10 of the Local Plan." Lenders and valuers alike are concerned about the implications of the above condition under the principle that it affects the saleability of the property, and therefore negatively affects it's value and security.
  4. I'm looking for advice / opinions / ideas / inspiration before I finalise a few changes ahead of building warrant completion (Scottish Regs). This is a refurb project and the pitched garage roof had to be replaced and have done so with flat roof (warrant drawings had a pitched roof / upper bike store now not needed). We will probably add a sedum roof to this at some point soon (and it has been designed with that in mind). Because the roof is readily accessible from the garden I will have to guard the drop but don't want to put rails on the outer edge of the garage (and if I do they will need to be fully regs compliant to protect immediate drop). If I fence off that bit around the inside edge of the new roof (from boarded fence round to tree stump) to make it not readily accessible is that likely to be enough? I'm thinking something fairly unobtrusive in terms of 900 high plain vertical metal railings or mesh or strained wire. The question is really if that would need to be treated as guarding the drop so 1100 high etc or if the basic fencing-off prevents access concerns and any need for full guardrail. Pics posted below as this only makes sense if you see it.
  5. We await final planning to come through so we can demolish our bungalow and build a replacement 4 bed 2 storey house. In the meanwhile we have a builder who we like and trust (he's just built a house for a friend) and we are discussing with him the best approach for Building Control - Full Plans versus Building Notice (He built our friends' house on a Notice). Of course our Architect (also a friend) is a fan of Full Plans - and the £13k he'll charge to do them. We wonder what the Pros & Cons of each approach are and the likely poo traps also? Thanks. JAS
  6. Our house is a 1930s semi. A few decades after it was built, a timber porch was added (with clay tile roof). Although that timber porch had a lockable front door, the more secure original front door of the house remained, so one had to open the porch door and then the front door to get in. As part of our renovation/extension project we are knocking down the old timber porch, building a cavity wall porch, and doing away with having two lockable doors. Instead we will just have one door within what will form the new external wall of the house/new porch. There will be no lockable door where the original front door of the house was. The new front door has multi-point locks, all glazing is laminated and it is PAS24 certified, so it definitely applies with Approved Document Q (even though it doesn't need to, as this is not a new build or a dwelling formed by a change of use). My question is, as a matter of fire safety under Approved Document B, do the building regs require me to ensure it can be opened from the inside without a key. My BCO seems to think that it does, but when I challenged him on the wording of Approved Document B (which I've pasted below) he was lost for words and said he "had to go and check". Not sure what he had to go and check. Is there further guidance on how to interpret the approved documents which are not contained within the approved documents themselves? The relevant wording, so far as I can see, is the following: I therefore cannot see that there is any requirement to have a thumbturn on an external door. In particular, 2.10(c) makes clear that the lock on an escape window may be fitted "with or without removable keys". There is therefore no logical reason as to why the same wouldn't be true of an external door. Now it's possible he will refer to provision 2.10(b) and say that if the front door is locked and one doesn't have a key one cannot get out. But it would be bizarre to interpret it that way in the absence of a clear provision that creates a positive requirement to have a thumbturn. Another query I have is whether any of this applies at all. What if I was doing a renovation that was generally caught by building regs but chose not to replace my perfectly good front door. Would i then suddenly have to upgrade my lock to one that had a thumbturn just to comply with building regs?
  7. Hello,I'm hoping someone could advise us on what the best course of action is, we have approved plans for a wrap around single story extension to our bungalow, we are on a sloping plot so the height difference at the back door to ground level is around 0.8m, we have the attached design approved with a raised patio and steps leading down to the garden.We would like to change this by adding raised flower beds along the back of the house, first one at floor level, dropping by 0.4 then dropping again to ground level with steps and a pathway going through them so that we can gradually step down into the garden rather than a sheer drop.This is the plan we would like;We think this may be a non material amendment but are not sure, friends have said raised beds do not need permission as they are not a platform and you will not raising the ground level. We will be having steps and a ramp/pathway through the middle which will be higher than ground level so i think it needs permission.Could anyone advise on the best course of action, the builders are due to start in 4 weeks and want to do the foundations for the steps and wall at the start of the build.Many thanks.
  8. Being exceptionally bored and frustrated with lockdown i have goven myself a few tasks that i just would not take on myself(old dog, new tricks) I managed to design, apply and succesfully obtain planning permsiion for a new build of my own design. So now i am applying for building regs to attach a sewere connection to a static caravan onsite. So to my questions. 1) how deep must the gravel be around the soil pipe? 2) does any onw know of revit families that conatin uk spec soil pipe componenets? 3) is an insection chamber the same as a disconnection chamber? Regards and thanks hive mind.
  9. Hi, we have a section of our loft conversion which we are desperate to have signed off by the BR inspector. There are a few obstacles to this however: he may insist on thicker/deeper rafters (they are currently 4 x 2s) even if he doesn't insist on that, he may insist on 6" Celotex insulation If he insists on either of these, it renders the space quasi-unusable (it's right on the borderline right now). So my question is: I think BR doesn't hinge on depth of insulation but rather quality/U rating, is that right? If so is there any super insulation type product out there which won't bring the roof down further (ie. beyond the 4x2s) but nonetheless hit the required rating?
  10. We are attempting a loft conversion which, speaking freely, has divided opinion among both tradespeople and structural engineers. Some have said: "you're going to need multiple cranked steels up there" (pushing the cost up to prohibitive levels), others have said "it's already stood for 100 years with a 350kg water tank up there forcing down, it'll be fine by doubling up all the joists, strengthening this, securing that etc". Ultimately we've found a structural engineer who'll design it without floor steels but with flitch beams. His ltd company has been in business since 2012. Likewise, we have a well known building regs company willing to sign off on said drawings. Finally, obviously, we have our own buildings insurance. With some of the sceptics' words ringing in my ears, I want to take this to the worst case scenario: we convert this loft, gradually it pushes out the eaves or something, causing damage to load bearing walls and, generally, The House. Can anyone explain what happens next? We see mahoosive cracks appearing in the walls or something bowing dramatically and then we.... - call the structural engineer and his insurance covers the repairs cost? - call the building regs guy and his insurance covers it? - call our own insurance, show them the hard evidence that we engaged professionals BEFORE undertaking these works, and they then cover it? What are the pitfalls? Where are the booby traps? I mean, I badly want this loft space (it's going to be an amazing f/t study), but I'm not completely stupid, I don't want to wreck my house doing it... Any thoughts most welcome.
  11. Hi guys just looking for some info. Project is in Scotland. On the drawing there was just an opening from the main house into the porch, which is on spilt levels. The (swear word) joiner convinced the client to fit a door to the opening but has it swinging into the porch. I know external doors need the swing of a door plus the requirement to meet regs. So my query is will this internal fall under the same requirements as an external as the current extension to the floor he formed is only 300/400mm from the frame so not giving much of platform before the floor drops in height. Thanks in advance
  12. Hi all, I completed my self-build 4 years ago and have been living in it fairly happily until last year. The master bedroom is underneath a terrace deck and we suffered significant water ingress causing damage to the ceiling. We identified a number of issues with the EPDM roof covering which the warranty company agreed to pay To correct. When the builder came round to quote, he pointed out that the upstand under the patio door was only about 30mm when it should be at least 75mm to conform with building regs. The short upstand is probably a contributory factor to our leaks but the only sure-fire solution is to replace the patio door with a shorter one to produce the required upstand. The annoying thing is, both the building inspector and the warranty inspector signed the work off! Can I make a claim on my warranty to get the issue corrected? thanks in advance, Nick
  13. Scratching my head about what to get on with now that the World has stopped. My timber frame and foundations are being designed as I write. All well there. The council, slow even before Covid-19, has basically now stopped altogether so my submission for discharging-of-planning-conditions has not even been validated after a week. And I don't have permission to start anything as some of the conditions were prior-to-commencement-style conditions. What about digging the service trenches in the access road? It is an ideal time with no traffic. It is a 40-metre water pipe. And two sewer connections (storm and foul). Can I at least get on with those? By the way, is trenching in the access road any concern of building control? The access road is not my property and is not an adopted road. Its not owned by anyone. (I have not appointed building control as yet as I haven't got my building regs drawings.)
  14. Hi all, hoping someone may be able to offer me some advice on an issue I have? We have just bought a 1930s mid terrace house from some elderly relatives. There are two chimney flues that run down the front and back of the house that converge in the attic. The breast has been removed in the front bedroom and we think this was done some time in the 70s or 80s. In the attic the remaining stack at the front ends close to the floor, and is supported by some solid chunks of wood that are connected to one of the joists that cross the attic floor. There is absolutely no sign of give and it all looks stable and healthy. The neighbours still have their chimney breast intact. However, I do know this isn't compliant with current building regulations. We are in the process of doing the house up and I suppose my question is what more experienced people advise that I do about it? It's going to cost a lot of money to get this redone and get steel support put in. I suppose I think it's unlikely this is suddenly going to come down without any kind of warning, although I'm no structural engineer! However we will want to re-sell eventually and I dont know how much of an issue this would be in any future sales process. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
  15. Been discussed plenty of times on the forum here. Building regs. Here's my experience : http://tintabernacle.blogspot.com/2019/10/building-regulations-plans-and-building.html?m=1 At the very beginning, around 3.5years ago, it wasn't clear to me at all what the difference between Planning Permission and Building Regulations are. I didn't understand why you need two different set of plans and what different professionals are involved and why. It took me around 2 years to find this forum and get all the answers I needed and took me another 1 year of reading to gain the knowledge to tackle a lot of things myself.
  16. I have submitted Full Plan application to Hillingdon Building Control for approval. When I submitted the application I have given the consent that they can take up to 8 week for decision if they required more information and can also approve with condition. After 5 weeks I got a call from building control serveryor and was asking for tree serveryor. There are no such a big tree in my house but there are small trees like (Apple and Plum) in next door property. These trees were already mentioned in the structure calculation pack and their impact on the foundation. He rejected the application instead of asking for further information after 5 weeks. When I got a rejection letter there were 2 reasons - Asked for 30 meter tree survey - According to their record there are trees in 30 meters. - My plan does not comply with Building regulation 2010 section. 14 I called few 10 time to building control and sent them 5 emails to clarify above points but never get any response. When I did not get any response for 2 weeks. I sent them new requirement based on my understanding (Tree survey withing 30 meters and Building regulation 2010 section 14 compliance). Only information I got from Hillingdon Building control that I don not need to submit the application again only send the amendments and process will take up to 3 weeks. Now more than 3 weeks have passed but still no response. I called them few time and sent them few email but BC officer and BC not bother to answer the email. I really fed up with the process now because project already being delayed 1 month. My question is - I want to make a formal complaint about the building control. The only thing is sttoping me that I have to deal with same BC officer during my inspection. BC officer might give me more hard time to approve the work and asked for unnecessary requirement like 30 meter survey. Can anyone share his/her experience in this matter or any advice how to resolve the issue Thanks in advance.
  17. hi, Probably obvious this one ...but i don't know the answer Currently i m waiting for my timber frame supplier to finish and give me the Building Regs document for their bit ...ETA 4 weeks I am in process of drawing up the sewage and services layout for my bit ...ETA 1 Week My foundation company say they NEVER do them and the "setting out drawing" and the "load calcs" (from the frame company will suffice All seems to be tickling along ... Although I just got an email saying that the although the foundations are going in about 4-6 weeks, the foundation company are going to crack an entrance by removing bushes (as currently there is none) , start grading the land and dropping some hardcore in there in advance of the Foundation and frame vehicles Am i silly in thinking that Building regs should be already FILED by the time work starts ? or does the above not count as WORK ? I dont want to be accused of breaching some law or other ?!?
  18. Hi, I'm new here and have a building regs question. My Dad needs a full time helper in the house so we are setting up the spare room for this person. They will not be renting the room, just "living in". We would like to give them some possibility of cooking in their room, so that during their private time they don't need to use the main kitchen, but I'm worried about coming up against building regs ie fire doors, electric certificates etc. and incurring major costs. So my question is: How much can we add to the room like fridge, microwave, cooker, kitchen sink etc. before the bedroom becomes a kitchen according to the law? In other words what is the definition of a kitchen? Cheers Justin
  19. We are in last minute re-design territory. Very gently Debbie almost managed to slide the term 'hidden door' past me. Almost. She's losing her touch. To cover my OhFGSness, and lying a little too easily through my teeth, I said, that would be no problem. Well it is a problem. Loads on YooChube, though. The design brief is to incorporate (hide) the door in a simple set of shelves; the aperture is more than wide enough to allow a wheelchair through. Ideas? Horror stories? Anyone made one, perhaps?
  20. Sorry in advance for the length of this. In August 2017, I commissioned a local firm of structural engineers to take some plans which had passed planning and created plans which would pass building regs. They actually quoted for structural diagrams, building regs and sap calcs. They wanted me to use their preferred building control contractor but at £2,200 inc VAT I thought that was a bit much and decided to use the local authority service for around £800, which the builder was more than happy with. Since then they have delayed and delayed. It took from August until early November before the plans were submitted. The plans failed over Christmas, as the building inspector was still waiting for over 36 different items of information. By April the inspector passed the plans conditionally but made it clear that he was still waiting for more info. I didn't push this as the SE had explained that a lot of the info would become clear as the build progressed and would be provided as and when. This generally seemed reasonable. Fast forward to the current time and the builder (different one this time - first one had to drop out as Polish workforce went home and did not come back) has started on the groundworks and was chasing some information from the BR submission only to find it was missing - confirmed by the inspector. I suggested we get a meeting together with the SE, but when I mentioned this to the SE, he wouldn't go for it unless he could charge. I've had a frustrating day trying to explain to the SE that the builder is only asking for data that should have been in the BR submission and that the inspector has confirmed this. SE seems to think that the builder should know all of the data he's asking for and says it costs him time/money to explain things when the builder should just 'get it'. I have explained to the SE that the inspector does not consider the BR complete and the builder is within his rights to ask for it. To try to resolve the impasse, I suggested that SE does not deal with builder but completes all outstanding work ASAP to the satisfaction of the inspector. If after that the builder still needs to speak to him, then I'm happy to pay if necessary. No response yet, but I'm not hopefully after waiting so long. Has anyone had a similar situation? The SE has already taken over a year to do this and the last request was sent to them eight months ago. I am tempted to write to them telling them that I will have to seek help elsewhere and claw back the overspend through the small claims court, though like most self builders, I've not really the time or money to be doing that.
  21. I know that most people here are building homes that will far exceed the minimum standards required by Part L of the Building Regulations (Part L = conservation of fuel & power) I finished my own build about a year ago - it's a small 2 bed holiday home on a remote site in N Wales and I decided to build it to just meet the minimum standards allowable in Part L and I thought it may be useful to give those of you who are exceeding Part L requirements an example of minimum compliance for comparison purposes. It's a single storey timber frame and timber clad bungalow with a net internal area of 71 m2 and an internal heated volume of 234 m3 (we've exposed the pitch of the roof internally). It's a rectangular shape on plan as it's built along the contour of a 1:8 sloping site. (Small rectangular bungalows are about the worst shape for energy efficiency). It's heated by bulk LPG and a combi boiler. No PV or other renewables. Naturally ventilated with no MVHR. These are my SAP figures: EPC C71 [Edit to add EI Rating of B81] Averaged (area weighted) 'U' values for walls, floor and roof of 0.15 Actual 'U' values are: floor 0.1 (we have a ground bearing conc slab with Hive app controlled underfloor heating and 300mm of EPS under the concrete) walls: 0.21 (minimum allowed in Welsh regs). Roof: 0.13 Windows 3G 0.8 Air test actual figure of 3.7 m3/(h.m2) (no special tapes or air tightness layer) Energy demand figures from the SAP calculation: Heating demand 3400 kWh (this equals 47.9 kWh/sqM of internal area) Hot water: 2290 kWh Electric for pumps and fans: 120 kWh Electric for lighting: 314 kWh (all LED) Primary Energy Demand: 106.1 kWh/sqM/year [Edit to add: CO2 emissions: 1,596 kg/yr CO2 emissions: 22.49 kg/m2] The house is warm and draught free. The things I like most about it apart from the location and spectacular views are the open plan layout with tall 'cathedral' ceilings, the u/floor heating and the 3G windows. I'd be very interested in seeing comparative figures for your own builds. Ian
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