Further information and guidance

A building surveyor is available Monday to Friday by appointment at our one-stop shop to advise on technical matters. Please contact us on 020 8825 8230 to arrange an appointment. If you need to see a particular surveyor, you are advised to contact them on their direct line.

There is a range of building work affected by building regulations:

  • The erection or extension of a building
    This would not include a conservatory or porch if it has less than 30 sq metres floor area and uses safety glazing in critical areas. A conservatory should have at least ¾ of its roof and half of its outside walls made of glass or translucent material and should be separated from the rest of the dwelling by external wall and door construction.
    This also would not include a detached building or shed with a floor area less than 15 sq metres, or less than 30 sq metres providing it has no sleeping room provided. In the latter case it would also need to be built of materials that do not burn easily or be located more than 1 metre from any boundary.
  • The provision of a controlled service or fitting eg sanitary pipework, drainage, heat producing appliances (including boilers) or electrical installations
  • The material alteration of a building, or a controlled service or fitting
    This would include works such as re-roofing, removal of chimney breasts and stacks, converting garages into habitable use and the formation of a through lounge.
  • Work required to be undertaken as a result of a material change of use
  • The insertion of insulation material into the cavity wall of a building
  • Work involving the underpinning of a building
  • Replacement windows/glazed doors - although this could be covered by a self-certified installer uner the competent persons scheme.

It is important that you check whether planning permission is required before commencing work. You might also need to get your neighbour's agreement under the Party Wall Act and in certain circumstances you might also need to obtain written permission from a landlord.

Building works can commence 24 hours after the submission of a valid Building Regulations application. Site inspections can then be requested in accordance with the site inspection service plan, sent with the acknowledgement package. It is important to remember however, that if work commences on a Full Plan application prior to approval, then it continues at the owner's risk.

Controllable works found to be carried out without the submission of a building regulations application would be recorded as a contravention. Failure to resolve this would make future house sales difficult as potential buyers would be informed of the contravention. It could also make it difficult to obtain a mortgage, and house insurance might become invalid in case of a claim. If the contravention is recent, we may enforce compliance with the building regulations, with court procedings taking place if matters are not resolved in a timely manner.

The building regulations do not cover boundary disputes between owners as this is a civil matter relevant only to the parties involved.

If we have archive plans of your house in our records, then you can arrange to come and view them at Perceval House. However, in order to check first what information is available please email multimediateam@ealing.gov.uk

A homeowners guide to expanding your living space.