A Guide to Domestic Building Works
Planning (Stage 1)
If you are increasing the plan area of your property (e.g. an extension, porch or new garage) then it is likely that you will need planning permission from your local council/authority.
Some development won't need a formal application for planning permission; this is known as 'Permitted Development'. Internal alterations such as removing a wall can skip this stage and go straight to the Building Warrant stage.
You will firstly need to appoint an Architect (see our recommended partners) who will advise you on a scheme which will be likely to comply with local regulations. They can submit an application on your behalf, which is likely to include a location plan and basic plans, elevations and sections drawings.
A Structural Engineer is not required at this stage, however the planning drawings can be submitted to your engineer for review and to provide you with a fee proposal to undertake the structural assessment of your project for Building Warrant Stage.
Once submitted to your local Council, this process can take up to 12 weeks to obtain a response and hopefully approval.
Building Warrant (Stage 2)
The building regulations (or building standards) set out statutory requirements for specific aspects of building design and construction that must be followed when starting, carrying out, and completing building work. The key stages to obtaining a building warrant consists of the following.
1. Drawings and Calculations
The architect will prepare a detailed set of drawings for submission to Building Control. Using these drawings your Structural Engineer will assess the structural requirements and/or alterations and prepare a set of design calculations to justify the design and specification of the works. This will be represented on an additional set of drawings, which will accompany the Architects drawings.
2. SER Certification
Your project is assessed by an independent Structural Engineer. The certifying engineer is responsible for ensuring that all aspects of design of the structure for a project satisfy the requirements of the Building (Scotland) Regulations 2004. A SER Certificate will be produced to accompany the application and will provide verification of the structural engineer’s drawings and calculations.
3. Building Warrant's Approval
A first report can normally be expected within 4-6 weeks and normally contains comments or queries by the Building Control officer, which are normally architectural queries. Do allow for any delays at this stage. Once resolved and approval granted the warrant is valid for 3 years and if work is to start after this period an extension should be sought.
4. Construction stage
The local authority may carry out inspections during construction. Once construction is completed, a completion certificate is sent to the local authority by your builder and a building control officer will then inspect the works. If the completed works have not been carried out in accordance with the approved warrant drawings and in compliance with the building regulations, the completion certificate is rejected.