When making changes to your property you must be aware of certain building regulations which govern how alteration work and installations can be done. The purpose of these regulations is to maintain the safety and energy efficiency of your property.
Work covered by the regulations must be approved by the regulator before it begins and in many cases a certificate of compliance must be obtained to indicate that the work was carried out to the approve standard. This certificate should be displayed upon sale of the property to any buyer as evidence of the house’s compliance with the regulations.
The simplest way to comply with these regulations is to use an installer who is registered with the ‘Competent Person Scheme’. A registered ‘competent person’ will take care of all building regulations themselves when carrying out the work and you will be awarded the compliance certificate shortly after completion.
If you do not use a registered competent person then you will have to notify the Building Control Body before beginning work and an inspector will be send round to check your work complies with the regulations – you will be charged for this inspection. For convenience and safety reasons it is always advisable to use a competent person when undertaking any work to which building regulations apply.
Not all work which requires building regulation approval requires a compliance certificate. Building regulation approval must always be sought before beginning work on (amongst others):
- Garage and loft conversions; and,
- Removal of structural walls and any other structural alterations.
Work which requires both the regulator’s approval and a compliance certificate includes (amongst others):
- Installing or extending a heating system or boiler (HETAS);
- Replacing windows and doors (FENSA);
- Installing any electrics within a dwelling (NICEIC);
Regulations on these different types of work came into force at different times. A compliance certificate will only be required if the work was undertaken after the regulations came into force.
The following are examples of compliance certificates which are required for different types of work. This is not, however, an exhaustive list of the all the various compliance certificates which may be required.
A FENSA compliance certificate is required when windows or doors are installed. However, the FENSA Certificate came into force on 1st April 2002, so doors and windows installed before that date do not require a certificate.
A compliance certificate must be obtained when installing a new circuit, replacing a consumer unit or making an alteration or addition to an existing circuit in a room containing a bath, shower, swimming pool or sauna heater. The National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting (NICEIC) grant electrical compliance certificates (EICs) or Minor Electrical Installation Works Certificates (MEIWCs) for minor electrical works.
HETAS compliance certificates are required whenever installation or maintenance works are carried out on biomass and solid fuel domestic heating appliances. These heating systems include hearths, fire places and fire place fuel chimneys.
If you are planning an extension or conversion work on your home, or otherwise installing or altering utility appliances you should take care to check whether you need regulatory approval and a compliance certificate before beginning work.
For more information on building regulations and compliance certificates please contact Campions Solicitors.