Friday, 6 May 2016

Building Regulations - what you need to know

If you don't work in the construction industry, there's a good chance you won't know what Building Regulations are or why they're important. However, the implications for not following these rules can be serious, so if you're planning any home improvements this summer it makes sense to gain an understanding of what's required of you before you start.

What are Building Regulations?


Building Regulations are a set of standards for the design and construction of buildings to ensure the safety of people in and around them. Under the 2010 rules, Building Regulations approval may also be required for many alterations projects such as installing a bathroom, installing or replacing a heating system or replacing a boiler. One circumstance in which you're not required to apply for Building Regulations approval is when the work is carried out by an installer registered under a Competent Persons Scheme, such as the one run by the APHC. Under this scheme, installers can self-certify that their work complies with Building Regulations and provide you with that all important certificate of compliance showing that the work has been carried out to regulatory standards.

Penalties and problems of not following Building Regulations

For both the property owner and installer, there are some serious penalties and problems related to failing to comply with Building Regulations. For the individual doing the work, they may find themselves facing prosecution and a heavy fine, while the homeowner could be forced by their Local Authority to pay for the work to be fixed. Contravening Building Regulations can also result in some significant problems when it comes to selling your home, leaving you without the certificates of compliance needed to complete the transaction.

APHC's work with the Government

APHC is currently supporting the interests of competent installers by working alongside Government and aiming to improve the way Building Regulations are enforced in the UK. Quality installers often have to compete with pricing for work with other contractors who may be undertaking non-compliant work and bending the rules. So by lobbying to improve Building Regulations enforcement, APHC is also aiming to make it more difficult for cowboy operators. Fairer trading conditions that favour Competent Persons Scheme members would also result in safer conditions for consumers, helping to ensure that work is completed to a high standard.

Important role of the consumer

Consumers can also play an important role in helping to create fairer trading conditions for installers by being sure to always ensure that work is properly notified to the local building control body or by choosing members of Competent Persons Self Certification Schemes for jobs such as bathroom and heating installations and remembering always to ask for certification as proof of credentials.

Further information on what constitutes work falling under the scope of Building Regulations can be accessed here –

To understand how Competent Persons Self Certification Schemes fit into the regulatory framework follow the link here - https://www.planningportal.co.uk/info/200137/how_to_get_approval/77/where_to_get_approval/4

To search for an APHC Competent Persons Scheme member in your local area, visit http://www.aphc.co.uk/find_an_installer.asp.


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