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Building Regulations

Building Regulations, These are minimum specifications put in place to support your safety and help reduce the death toll associated with DIY projects. Not only do the building regulations apply to DIY projects, but they also apply to professional contractor projects. Regardless of how wonderfully designed your home is or how easy it is for you to get planning permission, you still have to ensure your home is built to the correct standard laid out in the Building Regulations. Your building must be safe and structurally sound, right from the foundation to the electrification, energy conservation and also provide access for those with disabilities. In contrast to planning permission, regulations are objective, and a house will either pass or fail based on this predefined set of rules.

The Building Regulations is presently made up of 14 Distinct Parts. They are classified by making use of the alphabet’s, presently from Parts A to Part P. Each of the Parts represent a different area of construction as listed below:

Part A – Structural safety
Part B – Fire Safety
Part C – Resistance to pollutants and moisture
Part D – Poisonous substances
Part E – Resistance to sound
Part F – Air flow
Part G – Cleanliness and water efficiency
Part H – Drainage and waste disposal
Part J – Heating and devices
Part K – Safety from falling
Part L – Fuel and power conservation
Part M – Accessibility to and use of structures
Part N – Glazing safety
Part P – Electrical installations

Each Regulation offers a guide towards the predicted standards for its specific area of construction. For example, the detail of part P is as follows:

section 0 – general instruction
section 1- installation, design, inspection and testing
section 2 – material alterations, extensions and material changes of use
section 3 – details about other related legislation
appendix A – examples of electrical installation diagrams
appendix B – duplicates of BS and model forms
appendix C – an older practice that could be experienced in modification work
appendix D – new harmonized cable identification colors
Furthermore in Part P, it is stated that a person must be “competent”. Part N deals with Glazing and as an example, it specifies where protective Glass must be used with regards to doors.

As explained in the Part P example above, whenever any constructing work is to be taken into consideration, all parts of the building regulations must be considered. At the end of every part of the building regulations, the need to make reference to other building regulations is mentioned.

The building regulations encompass new buildings and extensions alike, as well as primary modifications to services and foundations. One has to be very careful that any alteration to an existing building does not make neighboring fabric, services and fittings less compliant with Building Regulations than they previously were, or even dangerous. Also, you do not need approval for repairs, as long as the similar materials are used as a replacement. If uncertainty about whether your work needs approval, you can consult your local building control agency.