Building work at home
Before you start any work to your home you should:
- check whether you need building regulations approval and, if you do, apply for and get building regulations approval
- check if you need planning permission or other planning consents and obtain them as necessary (building regulations approval and planning permission are completely different - if you apply for planning permission, you still need separate approval from us that your work meets building regulations)
- consult the council’s home ownership service by emailing HMhomeownership@lambeth.gov.uk to meet the requirements of your lease, if you are a leaseholder in a council freehold property
- consider whether the Party Wall Act 1996 applies to your proposed building works and, if so, serve the appropriate notice (the requirements of the Party Wall Act are a civil legal matter between you and your neighbour and Lambeth has no role to play in the administration of the Act)
- tell your neighbours about any work you’re planning to carry out (although they don’t have a right under building regulations to object to the works, there could still be implications for their property and/or disturbance during construction
- take a look at Front Door (LABC) for building control guidance on a variety of projects and get practical advice before you begin your project
What type of application should you submit?
For building regulations approval for work at home you need to complete a building notice or a full plans application. Which of these applications you need depends on the scale and type of work involved, and your appetite for risk.
A building notice is best suited for smaller building works to the home and is not acceptable for all types of works. No plans are needed with a building notice, which makes the process easier and quicker than a full plans application, and you are able to commence works 48 hours after we have received your application. Without any approved plans, your builder will need to be sure that the works fully comply with all building regulations. If the building works do not comply, there is a risk that we will require you to redo some or all of them. The Planning Portal provides some further guidance on building notice applications.
Full plans applications
A full plans application requires you to submit a full set of plans along with your application. We will fully assess the plans and then notify you to say that they are approved, have conditional approval or require amendments. This process is slower than submitting a building notice application (we recommend that you submit your application at least five weeks before you plan to commence on site), but it does mean that once you have our approval, you and your builder can be confident that your plans comply with the building regulations. The Planning Portal provides some further guidance on full plans applications.
Submitting your application
You must submit your application at least two days before work on site is due to begin.
If you are submitting a full plans application and wish to submit a paper application rather than an electronic one, then you will normally need to send in two sets of plans. We'll use these to check and consult with other authorities in the borough, for example, fire and water authorities. In some cases, we will need more copies of the plans, but we'll let you know if this is the case. No plans are required for a building notice application.
There is a fee for both building notice and full plans applications. The fee for your application will depend upon the type of development and its scale. Please refer to our summary of building regulations fees for details of some common domestic works.
What happens after you submit your application?
Within three working days of receiving your building notice or full plans application, we will send you a letter to confirm that we can process it. You can then arrange the first inspection with our surveyor.
Whatever type of application you make, we will inspect the work in stages while it is being carried out and we will give building regulations approval when the work has been finished, to meet the requirements of the regulations.
When the work is finished, our surveyor will carry out a final inspection, ensure that all the work complies with building regulations, and make sure that all the paperwork is complete, including a check that all application fees have been paid.
Once your application is approved we can send you a completion certificate on request. If duplicate certificates are needed, we will charge you £75 for them.
The certificate will be useful for you to have in the future, particularly if you decide to sell your house or flat. It is also a good way of making sure that your builders have done all the necessary work to meet the regulations before you pay their bill.
If you submitted a full plans application and your plans are rejected, you may submit another set for us to review, and you have a right to appeal. If you resubmit revised plans for the same work within three months (known as a re-submission of plans), you will not have to pay the application charge again. After this time you will need to pay another charge.
If you are considering carrying out work to your home and are unfamiliar with the building regulations process, please take a look at our guide to extending your home and our guide to renovating your home, developed in association with our partners at Local Authority Building Control (LABC). The LABC website also has further useful guidance for homeowners.