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Are you planning a home extension, conversion, or alteration project? Navigating the world of building control and regulations can be daunting.

This comprehensive guide will help you understand Extension Inspections, the role of building control inspectors need to notify building control regulations, building control approval,, and how to get additional extension inspections, to get building control approval and ensure your project complies with all necessary regulations. Let’s dive in!

Understanding Extension Inspections

Extension inspections are crucial in ensuring that your home extension, conversion, or alteration project complies with building regulations.

These regulations provide the baseline for protecting public health and safety when it comes to design and construction. They set a minimum standard that must be met or exceeded.

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Building control inspectors play a vital role in this process, ensuring that your project adheres to approved building regulation plans and building standards.

The role of building control inspectors

Building control inspectors are responsible for reviewing and approving building plans before construction begins, as well as monitoring construction sites at various stages.

Their primary goal is to ensure that buildings comply with building regulations and standards. This includes conducting detailed surveys and tests, inspecting buildings at key points such as commencement, excavation, and foundations, and issuing certificates of approval upon completion statutory inspections.

When choosing a building control inspector, homeowners have two options: a local authority inspector or a government-approved private building inspection company.

There are pros and cons to both options, but ultimately, both types of inspectors perform the same job – ensuring compliance with building regulations.

The Construction Industry Council (CIC) was established in 1984 to the construction industry council provide approval for inspectors to perform building control services.

Local authority vs private building control

Local authority building control inspectors typically have greater independence and thoroughness, possess local knowledge, and operate exclusively within a council catchment area.

In contrast, private inspectors may cover a wider region, but could be more accessible to arrange site visits and provide constructive solutions than a council officer with a large workload.

Regardless of whether you choose a local authority or private building control inspector, obtaining building regulations approval is still necessary, even if your project falls under Permitted Rights and does not require planning permission.

A building notice form can be submitted to the local authority to notify them of your intention to build without submitting full plans.

Navigating the Building Regulations Approval Process

The building regulations approval process involves preparing detailed plans and choosing between a full full plans application, Full Plans application or Building Notice application. In some cases, you may need building regulations approval and may also need to work with a Competent Person Scheme, such as APHC, NICEIC, NAPIT, FENSA, or CERTASS.

Let’s explore each of these steps in more detail.

Preparing your building regulation plans

Building regulation plans should include detailed drawings, specifications, calculations, and other technical information pertinent to the proposed construction work.

Professionals such as architects, architectural technologists, chartered surveyors, and engineers are qualified to provide the necessary drawings for the approved building regulation plans.

When seeking local authority building control approval, it’s important to submit detailed technical drawings and structural calculations.

These documents will be reviewed by the local council building control inspector to ensure that your project complies with building regulations before construction begins.

Full Plans vs Building Notice

A Full Plans application involves planning approved drawing and submitting comprehensive drawings and structural calculations to the local authority for approval prior to commencement of the work.

This provides feedback from the council original planning drawings and helps prevent costly mistakes on site or the need to submit a new application.

In contrast, a Building Notice is a process of notifying the local authority of the intention to build without submitting the full plans.

This option offers less protection and poses an increased risk, as the builder is responsible for ensuring full compliance. However, it can be a more time-efficient option for smaller projects, as formal drawings are not necessarily required for approval.

Working with a Competent Person Scheme

A Competent Person Scheme is an organisation comprised of professionally qualified members who specialise in a particular area.

It enables individuals and businesses to self-certify that their building work done adheres to the Building Regulations as an alternative to submitting a building notice or engaging an approved building inspector here. Some of the most commonly used Competent Person Schemes are APHC, NICEIC, NAPIT, FENSA, and CERTASS.

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Employing a Competent Person Scheme can be cost- and time-efficient, as it eliminates the requirement to submit a building notice or utilise an approved inspector. Additionally, it provides assurance that the work is compliant with the Building Regulations.

To utilise a Competent Person Scheme, you need to select a scheme, register with the scheme, and submit the pertinent paperwork. The scheme will then evaluate the work and issue a certificate of compliance if the work meets the Building Regulations.

Key Inspection Stages for Extensions

A building inspector visits key stages in subsequent course of building work to ensure compliance with building regulations. These inspections are crucial in providing proper support and fire protection throughout for your extension.

Let’s explore the key inspection stages, including foundations and damp proof courses, roof construction, and final inspection.

Foundations and damp proof course

Inspectors check the foundations and damp proof courses to ensure proper support and protection against moisture. A statutory inspection is necessary for footing walls brought up to the DPC level.

It is essential that the inspector arrives on site mistakes at the right stage of the building prior to construction, as failure to do so may require the builder to excavate the floor in order to inspect the foundation.

During the inspection of new drainage systems, the appropriateness of the materials used, the alignment prior proper drainage alignment, falls and lines of the drains, materials used for the drain test the beds and surrounds of the drains, inspection chambers, and access points are all being inspected prior evaluated.

The inspection will also evaluate the airtightness and watertightness of both above ground conditions and below ground drainage.

Roof construction

Roof construction is inspected to ensure structural integrity and compliance with insulation and ventilation requirements. A correctly constructed roof can prevent leaks and other problems, ensuring the structural integrity of your extension.

Inspectors will conduct a visual inspection of the roof, assessing any signs of damage or deterioration, and confirming that the roof adheres to all applicable building regulations.

This includes ensuring proper support, roofing materials of good quality, suitable materials and a properly sealed roof. Insulation and ventilation requirements must also be met to prevent condensation and moisture build-up.

Final inspection and completion certificate

The final inspection ensures all aspects of the extension comply with building regulations. This review encompasses the examination of the foundations, roof construction, damp proof course, and other aspects of the extension.

Upon successful completion of building work, a completion certificate will be issued by the surveyor, verifying that the extension complies with the applicable building regulations and standards.

It is crucial to obtain a completion certificate, as failing to do so may result in enforcement action from the local authority.

This can include the necessity to remove or modify the work, or to pay a financial penalty. Be sure to work closely with your chosen building control inspector to avoid any issues during the final inspection.

Booking Site Inspections

When it comes to booking site inspections, the process may vary depending on the organisation conducting them. Typically, it involves contacting the organisation and providing the necessary information, such as the site address and the items to be inspected.

Coordinating site visits with your chosen building control inspector is crucial to ensure proper support and full fire safety and protection throughout for your extension.

Costs and Fees Associated with Extension Inspections

The costs associated with extension inspections vary depending on the size and type of extension. Standard charges for plan and inspection charges generally range from £174 to £550. The cost of a full plans application is typically around £100, with further inspections ranging from £200 to £400.

It is essential to factor these costs into your project budget to avoid any surprises during the construction process.

Dealing with Retrospective Approval and Enforcement

If your extension has already been completed without obtaining the necessary building regulations or planning approval relates however, it is possible to apply for retrospective approval through a process called ‘regularisation,’ even if prior approval was not sought.

This process can be time-consuming and may require extensive remedial work, different fees, and potential enforcement actions.

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Contact your local authority building control team to gain advice on the situation before submitting a regularisation application. This is an important step to ensure that the request is approved as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

What stages does a building inspector check?

A building inspector checks various stages of the construction process, such as pre-pour, foundation concrete framing, and final. They review and ensure that all safety and code requirements are met in order to provide an efficient and safe structure for years to come.

The building inspector is only an inspector who’s job is to ensure materials make sure that the building is constructed according to the plans and specifications. They also check for any potential hazards that could cause harm to fire safety, the occupants or the structure itself.

What are the new building regulations for extensions?

The new regulations, effective 15th June 2022, require an increased insulation standard for fabric and improved U-values sound insulation. Furthermore, an increase in the thickness of insulation within extensions is also necessary.

Together, these stricter standards seek to promote energy efficiency, ultimately creating greener, healthier homes.

How often do building inspectors visit?

Building inspectors typically make a minimum of eight visits during the first inspection of the construction process for commercial projects, with several additional inspections and potentially more depending on the project’s requirements. This ensures proper adherence to building codes and regulations.

What is the difference between planning approval and building regulations approval?

Planning approval is the official go-ahead to build your extension or new dwelling from the local authorities, while building regulations approval ensures that all plans meet minimum standards of safety and quality.

These two approvals are essential for any construction project, and it is important to understand the differences between them.

Planning approval is the permission granted by the local authority to build a new dwelling or extension, while building regulations approval is the assurance that the approved plans meet the minimum standards.

What are the key inspection stages for extensions?

The key stages for inspecting an extension include examining the foundations and damp proof course, assessing the roof structure, and doing a final inspection to ensure its compliance with building regulations before issuing a completion certificate.

This process should be done thoroughly to ensure the safety and quality of the extension. The foundations should be checked for any signs of subsidence or movement, and the damp proof course should be inspected for any signs of water ingress. The roof structure should also be inspected for any signs of damage.


In conclusion, understanding extension inspections and the role of building control inspectors is crucial for a successful home extension, conversion, or alteration project.

Navigating the building regulations approval process, coordinating site visits, and dealing with retrospective approval and enforcement are all essential aspects of ensuring your project complies with all necessary regulations.

By following this comprehensive guide, you’ll be well-prepared for a smooth and successful extension project.

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