Who Can Certify That Works Comply With Building Regulations?

The Building Regulations 2000, and the many subsequent revisions, set out what work to a building does and does not need to comply with building regulations. Extensions, internal structural alterations or works to the foundations of a building need to be signed of by the local authority’s build control officer. The local authority can sign of any work for the purposes of building regulations however there are now a number of independent regulatory bodies whose members are able to certify their own work.

As more and works have been made subject to building regulations it became that it would not be possible to police the regulations without some assistance for the local authorities in dealing with inspections and certification.

Fenestration Scheme (FENSA)

The Fenestration Scheme relates to double glazing. It allows installers of double glazing and conservatories to certify that their own work complies with Part N of the Building Regulations. FENSA members must provide a 5 – 10 year insurance backed guarantee and are regularly assessed by independent assessors.

An installer does not have to be FENSA affiliated but if they are not it will be necessary for the home owner to have the work inspected by building control and a certificate obtained to ensure compliance with building regulations.

Electrical Works

Since 2005 certain electrical works are subject to Part P of the Building Regulations 2000. When carrying our works which are subject to building regulations an electrician must be a member of a “competent person scheme”. There are currently 5 such schemes: NICEIC, NAPIT, ELECSA, British Standards Institution and BRE.

Competent persons must issue a BS7671 certificate. If notifiable work is carried out other than by a member of an approved scheme then building control will need to be invited to inspect the work before any finishes are applied (as any wiring will need to be exposed).

Gas Installations

From 2005 gas installations were subject to Part L of the Building Regulations which relate to the conservation of heat and power. Originally installations had to be carried out and certified by CORGI engineers. Since 1st April 2009, the Gas Safe Register has taken over. It is illegal for a person not on the Gas Safe Register to carry out work.

New Homes

Newly built properties can be signed off by the local authority. They will need to be inspected at various key stages, starting with the foundation stage. Where a large developer constructs an estate however it is usual for the National House Building Council (NHBC) to sign the buildings off and they are approved inspectors, which means they can issue a completion certificate in place of the council.

If NHBC are not involved then a completion certificate will need to be issued by building control who will need to inspect at various stages but it is also normal for an architect to inspect the work as well and to provide an Architect’s Certificate. This will be required before any lender will lend on a new property (or one which is less than 6 years old).

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