Are you thinking about carrying out building work at your property?
There's plenty of information out there about how to improve your home and how to create a beautiful extension or a conversion, but there's not much practical guidance about the permissions that you need.
Once you've decided what kind of project you want to carry out, you'll probably need to find an architect or a designer to help you prepare plans and details.
How much you have to spend will be a big factor in what you can achieve and professional guidance can save you a lot of money in the long run.
Once you find out whether you need planning permission and put in your application it's time to think about building regulations. The regulations sound very complicated and they are very technical but they're also very practical. You can download them for free from the .GOV website (www.gov.uk) and you can get a lot of free help and advice from your local building control team.
The Building Regulations are legal minimum standards and they don't necessarily ensure that the work's perfect. You still need experts. These are enforced by building control bodies. You can use approved inspectors or private building control firms but most people choose to use the expertise you find at your local authority building control or building inspectors department. They're there to protect you and your money from cowboy builders and unsafe practices.
So talk to building control.