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Gofyn i Anna

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Will I need building regulations approval for my kitchen?

In short, you might - for full details visit this page.

Can my new bathroom open out onto my kitchen?

This may have been the case in the past, but it isn't now. As long as there's a basin for people to wash their hands in before they return to the kitchen, it's allowed.

Can I use a space saver staircase for my loft conversion?

These are generally only permitted if you can't practically fit in a proper staircase. Losing space off a bedroom isn't normally sufficient justification. If you do use one, you will need to fit a handrail on each side. Check with your building inspector first. Also see this article.

I’m thinking about buying a house that has had an unlawful loft conversion. What should I do ?

If you or a previous owner carried out work without obtaining permission you may be able to apply to have this approved retrospectively in the form of a Regularisation (only possible for work carried out after 11 November 1985). For further information view "What happens if I didn’t make an application?" on this page.

Help! We didn’t realise we needed permission for work we've had done – what can we do?

If you or a previous owner carried out work without obtaining permission you may be able to apply to have this approved retrospectively in the form of a Regularisation (only possible for work carried out after 11 November 1985). For further information view "What happens if I didn’t make an application?" on this page.

I’ve changed the spindles on my staircase for a sheet of glass. Do I need a handrail?

If considering installing glass to as a balustrade or guard you'll need specialist advice on installing and fixing it in an existing home. You can find further information on handrails here.

Do I need an application to remove a tree?

You might need to apply for planning permission if it has a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) placed on it. If unsure, check with your local Planning Department.

Can we replace our leaking windows with identical uPVC windows in a conservation area?

This is a question for the conservation officer in your local planning department. The use of uPVC windows would be fine from a building control perspective but you need to follow both sets of legislation.

If changes are made on site during building work will new drawings have to be submitted to building control?

It’s always best practice to submit revised as-built drawings particularly with more complex projects and anything related to commercial premises where further consultations may be required. For minor changes to domestic projects revised drawings may not be required but check with your building control surveyor.

My new windows have been installed badly - are there any standards the installer need to comply with?

The installer should comply with all the relevant building regulations including those related to structure, thermal insulation, glazing and ventilation. This issue should be taken up with the Competent Persons Scheme Operator.

Have a building regulations query you'd like to see answered? Submit your question on the form below and Anna will answer above, or we may even write an article or blog post on the subject. We can't guarantee that every question will be answered but Anna will try her very best to get to yours.

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