Home extensions can range from a simple kitchen or bathroom extension to a 30-metre double-storey one. Depending on the size, structure, shape and requirement for groundworks and materials to be used the cost of a home extension can vary from £ 10,000 to £ 50,000. Through this blog post, we will discuss the details of consequences in case someone does not have approval from Building Control authorities for an extension. Additionally, we will also explore situations where Building Control approvals are required along with an understanding of the role of authorities when it comes to modification in one’s property.

What Happens If Extension Is Not Signed Off By Building Control?

If you have failed to apply for Building Control permission before erecting an extension to your property, you may apply for it once you realise the error. This is called a Regularisation application to gain retrospective approval. You will be charged a fee along with the formal application through your local council office.

However, if residents proceed with housework including an extension after their application have been rejected by Building Control, they may be asked to pay a fine or redo the construction to its original form or both.

If someone deliberately proceeds with modifications to their property without seeking approval from Building Control or they occupy a new property without a completion certificate, the residents will be considered to be committing an offence by contravening building regulations. In this case, the local authority may take enforcement action and residents may have to appear in a magistrate’s court for a hearing prior to being issued a penalty. 

You need Building Regulations for extensions to your property to make sure that your property is not only safe and hazard-free but also improves the overall living standard for you and your surroundings. 

Key areas that you will be required to comply with include the following: 

  • fire safety
  • ventilation
  • thermal performance
  • acoustics

Once the work is complete on your property, a Completion Certificate will be issued to you. You must make sure that you apply for the certificate within five years of the original application for housework to be done on the property. If there is a time lapse during this period, you may require an inspection of the property by concerned authorities for a survey so that the nature of the work may be re-assessed before a completion certificate is issued.

Can An Extension Increase Property Value?

Yes, an extension to your home can increase its market value by up to 23 per cent and consequently impact your council tax as the valuation band increases. However, as per law, these changes only come into effect once you sell the property.

If the nature of the extension is a simple kitchen or bathroom extension or a glass structure attached to the main house, it may not have a significant impact on the market value of your property. Hence, there is a strong likelihood that certain home improvements may not change the council band that is assigned to your property. In such cases, there may be no change to council tax bills (on the basis of reassignment of council tax bands) when the property is sold. 

An elaborate extension such as a single or double-storey structure that may have cost you anywhere in the range of £ 40,000 to £ 50,000 will have a significant impact on the market value of your property. This may also require revaluation and reassignment to your council tax bands; thus increasing the council tax payments when the property is sold.

Do I Need Planning Permission For Extension?

If you follow the Permitted Development guidelines, you do not need Planning Permission for an extension to your house. However, in case there is major work to be done at the front of the house, next to a road or a boundary, Planning Permission will be required. 

In case of any of the following changes to your property due to the extension, Planning Permission will be required:

  • More than 50 per cent of the land around the main house is going to be covered.
  • The extension is going to be located at the front of the house or on a side with an adjacent highway.
  • The materials to be used in the extension are not the same as the main house.
  • The height of the extension will be higher than the highest point on the roof of the main house.
  • The height of the eaves and ridges will be higher than those of the main house.
  • There is going to be an addition of raised platforms, balconies or verandahs. 

Do I Need Building Regulations For Garage Conversion?

Yes, you will need Building Regulations for garage conversion to make sure that your property is not only safe and hazard-free but also improves the overall living standard for you and your surroundings. 

You or your builder should contact the Building Regulations department prior to the commencement of any work on your property. A building control inspector may visit your property at various intervals of the construction/remodelling process to assure that all standards and procedures are being met.

Do I Need Building Regulations To Build A Conservatory?

No, you do not need building regulations to build a conservatory as they are exempt as long as they fulfil the below criteria:

  • The conservatory is going to be built at ground level.
  • It will be less than 30 square metres in floor area.
  • The conservatory is going to be separated from the main house (by external quality walls, doors or windows).
  • It will have an independent heating system as well as individual temperature and regulatory controls.
  • Fixed electrical installations and glazing are confirmed to be in compliance with building regulations. 

Do I Need Building Regulations For Loft Conversion?

Yes, you will need Building Regulations for a loft conversion. Internal work on your property such as loft conversion, garage conversion, new staircases, bathrooms, kitchens or rewiring is considered under permitted development. The next step would be to take the approval of Building Regulations to assure that minimum standards for design and structure are being met during the restructuring process. 

However, if you live in a leasehold flat, you may not be able to proceed with loft conversion without taking all legislative rights from the freeholder. They may also ask to oversee the structural designs and plan prior to anything restructured.  

What Are Building Regulations?

These are some basic standards for the design and structural changes that are to occur and are essential to be met during the construction, conversion or refurbishment of properties. Building Regulations have been set to assure that the health and safety of the residents will not be compromised in any way as a result of the said modifications to the property. 

These include the following:

  • Structural changes such as house extensions or conversions should not affect a load-bearing wall, beam or chimney breast or which will make access to property difficult. 
  • There should be no electrical safety concerns due to the addition of fuse boxes or plugs, or a change of electrics that causes new electrical wiring.
  • Installation of heating appliances such as a boiler, radiator or fuel-burning appliance should be managed with extreme caution.
  • There should be no concern for fire hazards due to construction work and the escape route (of the added/converted section to the premises) must comply with fire safety standards.
  • Installation of a new bathroom or kitchen should not affect the overall plumbing of the house.
  • New windows, doors or fixed air-conditioning systems should meet the safety and design standards set by Building Regulations.

What Is Included In Permitted Development?

The scope of Permitted Development runs across varied projects that may be related to the internal or external structure of a property. Home improvement projects under Permitted Development include the following:

  • building of a small rear extension 
  • construction of a porch 
  • changes of use including loft, garage or basement conversions
  • knocking down internal walls
  • installation of solar panels 
  • installation of satellite dishes 
  • addtition of rooflights or dormer windows

Conclusion:

It is essential for residents to seek permission from Building Control authorities before they start work on erecting an extension to their property. If someone is forgotten to complete their paperwork inadvertently, they may seek formal approval and a certificate of completion up to five years after the modifications to their proprty have been made. Failure to do so will impact the sale of their property; should they decide to sell it. In case the authorities have rejected your application, you cannot proceed with extension plans without facing the consequences of legal enforcement.

FAQs: What Happens If Extension Is Not Signed Off By Building Control?

What happens if there is no completion certificate?

A completion certificate confirms that modifications to property have been approved; in the absence of which the project or proprty may be deemed as illegal. Additionally, the residents may also lose on building insurance. In such cases, the residents may face penalties or possible eviction from the premises. 

What happens if building regulations are not met?

If building regulations are not met, residents may be asked to pay a fine or redo the construction to its original form or both. If someone deliberately proceeds with modifications to their property without seeking approval from Building Control, the local authority may take enforcement action and residents may have to appear in a magistrate’s court for a hearing prior to being issued a penalty. 

How long before building regulations can be enforced?

Councils have up to 12 months to enforce building regulations on the property; however, in case the structure of the premises is deemed to be structure, immediate action is taken by them to halt the construction or reverse to the original structure.

Are building regulations enforceable after 10 years?

While there is no time limit to when building regulations can be enforced after changes to one’s property have been made, it is generally assumed by authorities if 10 years have passed, there is no serious risk due to which action needs to be taken.

Can you sell a house without a building control certificate?

While certain homeowners may find it difficult to sell their property without a building control certificate prior to changes to its structure; some may apply for an indemnity policy if there is no completion certificate when selling their house. 

References:

Building regulations approval

Planning Permission | Extensions

Building Regulations: The Ultimate Guide Updated for 2022 | Homebuilding

Don’t forget building regs if your home extension doesn’t need planning permission, warns DBCP – DBCP

Is building regulations approval needed for an extension?

Do I need Building Regulations Approval? – HomeOwners Alliance

Convert garage to room | Garage conversion costs & permissions.

Do you need planning permission for a conservatory? (2021)

Loft Conversion: Where Do I Start?

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