Exempt Buildings

The Building Regulations are intended to ensure the Health and Safety of people in and around all types of buildings. Anyone wanting to carry out building work must ensure that it is to built in accordance with these regulations. However, the Building Regulations do not apply to certain buildings, including conservatories, porches, carports and detached garages.

If you would like to receive confirmation that your building will be exempt, please complete and send our Exempt Buildings e-form at the bottom of this page.

A Building Regulation application is not necessary for:

  • Works of repair.
  • Certain exempt buildings and works as specified in Schedule 2 of the Building Regulations 2010. See below for common examples or further information is available via the Planning Portal website.
  • The insertion of insulation material into an existing cavity wall, where the installation is by an approved installer.
  • Replacement windows, rooflights and doors, notifiable electrical installations, the provision of combustion appliances, oil storage tanks and un-vented hot water systems and a cavity wall insulation where installed by members of a Competent Persons Scheme, for example FENSA, NICEIC GAS SAFE and CIGA.

The following buildings and extensions may be erected without submitting a Building Regulation application although you may still require Planning Permission.

A detached single storey building, i.e. garage or shed, that:

  • contains no sleeping accommodation,
  • is no larger than 30m2 in floor area,
  • is at least 1m from the boundary of the site if it is built from combustible materials i.e. timber
  • if it is less than 1m from the boundary it is built of substantially of non-combustible material i.e. bricks, blocks and a tiled roof,
  • complies with Part P of the Building Regulations Electrical Safety.
  • Note - if the floor area is less than 15m2 the building it can be built of timber and sited within 1m of the boundary.

The extension of a building by adding at ground level a conservatory, porch or carport which is:

  • no larger than 30m2 in floor area,
  • separated from the existing dwelling by external quality draught-stripped doors or windows,
  • and in the case of a carport is open on at least two sides.

What is a conservatory?

To be classed as a conservatory the extension must have:

  • at least 75% of its roof made of translucent material i.e glass or polycarbonate sheeting,
  • at least 50% of its walls made of translucent material.
  • existing walls and external quality windows and doors are retained or replaced if removed
  • where the heating system of the existing building is not extended into the conservatory.

Even if you don't need to submit a Building Regulation application you should still think about

Glazing - All glazing must satisfy the requirements of Part N of the Building Regulations and safety glass must be installed when:

  • glass in doors and sidelights either side of a door is less than 1500mm above floor level
  • windows have a cill height of less than 800mm from the floor

Ventilation - Boiler flues and ventilation inlets for boilers and fireplaces should not be covered by the conservatory.

Electrical Work - Electrical work needs to comply with Part P of the Building Regulations. Where electric sockets and lighting are installed in the building, the best option is to employ an electrician who is a member of a Competent Persons Scheme and can self-certify their work. Alternatively, you may need to make a Building Regulation application.

Plumbing - If the new area is to include waste plumbing i.e. for a new w.c., shower or bath, foul water drainage etc then a Building Regulation application will need to be made for those works only.

Heating - If a fixed heating installation is proposed it should have its own separate on/off temperature controls. The installer should be Corgi, Oftec or Hetas registered or a Building Regulation application will be needed. Please call us for further advice.

Drains - Foul and surface water drains can be built over as long as they are properly protected, to prevent them breaking, with no additional weight being placed on them as a result of the works. The new foundations should be taken below the level of the drain and suitable lintels should be provided where they cross the foundations.

More comprehensive guidance on common building projects and via the 'Interactive House' can be found at the Planning Portal link in Related Content.

If you are having construction or refurbishment work done, you may need to notify the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and you may have other duties as well. Find out more in Related Content.

The Party Wall etc. Act 1996

If you intend to carry out building work which involves:

  • work on an existing wall shared with another property
  • building on the boundary with a neighbouring property
  • excavating near a neighbouring building.

you must find out if the work falls within the scope of the Act. If it does you must notify all neighbours who will be affected by the works. For further information on The Party Wall etc Act 1996, please see Related Content.

Planning Permission - Important Note

Before the works commence you, your Agent or builder should ensure that Planning Permission, Conservation Area &/or Listed Building consent has been obtained or that you have written confirmation that consent is not required. You can obtain guidance from our Planning section on 01702 318191 or email using this form

Health and Safety Advice

If you are having construction or refurbishment work done, you may need to notify the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and you may have other duties as well. Find out more in the Related Content.

Guide To Extending Your Home

This guide will take you through the Building Control process. It is not a substitute for professional advice but it aims to show how your project will be affected by the Building Regulations. The guide is divided into chapters that contain advice about typical building projects and it is hoped that when you have read the guide you will have a better understanding of what is involved in a domestic building project. You can view the guide by clicking on the link in Related Content.