InSite | Building Control - Frequently Asked Questions

Building Control – Frequently Asked Questions


Q1. What is Building Control approval?

Building Control approval is the process that ensures building work complies with British Building Regulations in England and Wales

Building Regulations set minimum standards for the design and construction of buildings to ensure the health and safety of people in or about buildings. They also include requirements to ensure that fuel and power is conserved and facilities are provided for people, including those with disabilities, to access and move around inside buildings.

We check the drawings and details to make sure they comply and then undertake key stage inspections on site to ensure the work is satisfactory. We are not a clerk of works and cannot be on site all the time during construction so instead look at areas of most risk.


Q2. How much does Building Control cost?

Cost differs based on building type, size and number of units and can range from £1500 for a single house to as little at a few hundred pounds for apartments or housing estates where there are significant numbers as we undertake numerous inspections simultaneously.

In addition, we recognise that some house builders want to repeat popular designs and layouts so give them a House Type Approval to minimise repeat checking.

For commercial work, we are competitive – please drop us a line to see how we can help.


Q3. When is Building Control required?

Some building projects are exempt from regulations, however generally if you are planning to carry out building work as defined in regulation 3 of the Building Regulations, then building control will be required. Regulations will usually apply if you are:

  • Constructing a new building
  • Extending or altering an existing building
  • Provide services and/or fittings in a building such as washing and sanitary facilities, hot water cylinders, foul water and rainwater drainage, replacement windows, and fuel burning appliances of any type.

We are a licensed Approved Inspector able to carry out a wide range of projects – from simple houses through offices and retail projects to complex hospitals.


Q4. How to apply for Building Control

A misconception is that you need to use your Local Authority as your Building Control provider – but there is a choice in England and Wales. You can also use an Approved Inspector (AI) that are private sector organisations registered through the Construction Industry Council (CICAIR). We are independently audited by an industry regulator that undertakes rigorous checks on our systems, processes and staff skills to ensure we are fit to carry out the role.

As a licensed Approved Inspector, our process is simple. Pre-application we offer an upfront free design consultancy service, where we will review your designs and ascertain if your project meets Building Regulations. If you are happy to proceed, you simply fill out our application form and we will lodge your initial notice with the Local Authority, which notifies the LA that an Approved Inspector will be responsible as the Building Control body.


Q5. What is a Building Control application?

You will need to make two applications when planning to construct a new building:

  • A planning application – this is an application to the local planning authority (usually the planning department or local council) to gain permission to build your development. Decisions to grant planning permission are made in line with national guidance and local planning policies set out by local authorities. Work cannot begin without this approval.
  • A Building Control application – Once you have planning permission you can make an application for building control. As your Approved Inspector, we would check the design and undertake planned inspections during build, ensuring the project meets all Building Regulations. This application must be made before you start work on site.


Q6. What is a Building Control Officer/Inspector?

This person will undertake your building control inspections. Their role will also include checking your design for compliance with National Building Regulations during the design stage.

As well as support during your inspections, we will provide pre- application design consultation, giving you advice on your designs from foundation design to fire safety.


Q7. At what stages do Building Control inspect?

You will need to give notice to your Building Inspector when your work reaches certain stages so they can inspect it to make sure you have complied with Building Regulations. These stages usually include:

  • Foundation excavation
  • Foundation concrete
  • Drainage
  • Oversite concrete
  • DPC
  • First fix
  • Cladding and fire stopping Completion.


click here to find out more about our Building Control service