The role of Building Control includes assessing your plans and inspecting your house at various stages as it is being built.
Asessing Your Plans
Building Control are involved from the very beginning.
We receive a copy of your plans and we assess them to make sure that they meet the requirements of the Building Regulations
Approval of Plans
When we have approved your plans we will issue a certificate called a “Notice of Approval of Plans”. Depending on the Council area, within which your house is being built, we will either send this to you, your architect or both.
If your plans were sent to us initially from an architect / agent, we will return the approved plans to them.
Rejection of Plans
If, however, your plans do not meet the standards of the Building Regulations, they may be rejected. Your architect / agent will then have to provide us with amended plans.
Your plans may also have been sent to the Planning Service for Planning Permission.
There is often confusion about the different roles and responsibilities of Building Control and the Planning Service. The Planning Service is a Central Government department of the DOE, and amongst other things, they are responsible for the siting of your house and its environmental and visual impact on the surrounding area.
Building Control, however, is a service provided by your local Council. We are concerned about the safety and health of people in and around your house, accessibility and conservation of fuel.
Surveyors from Building Control will arrange to inspect your new house at various stages as it is being built.
Whilst it is ultimately your responsibility to notify us, in advance, of any inspection you can arrange for your builder to do this for you.
The building Regulations require you to give us 2 days notice prior to any inspection, but if we receive a request before 10.30am we will do our best to carry out an inspection that day.
It is also important to note that 5 days notice is required prior to you occupying or completing your house. Please therefore ensure that we are given the appropriate notice at the following stages:
- Excavation of foundations
- Substructure / hardcore
- Damp proof courses
- First fix
- Pre occupation
If we do not receive notice and your or your builder cover up work before we have inspected it, you will be asked to expose all or part of that work to allow us to determine whether it complies with the Building Regulations.
When your house has been built and we are satisfied, in as far as we can reasonably tell, that the requirements of the Building Regulations have been met, we will issue you with a “Completion Certificate”.
This is an important document and you should file this away for safe keeping. If you ever sell or re-mortgage your house your solicitor, bank or building society may request a copy of the Completion Certificate for the house. It may also be required for the purposes of reclaiming VAT.
There are two occasions when you pay us fees.
- When your plans are sent to us for approval.
- When we carry out the inspections.
The fees for the inspections is payable in one lump sum and we will send you an invoice for this, once we have completed our first inspection.
For your convenience you can pay by cash, postal order, cheque, debit card, or credit card.
We are here to help and our advice is free.
So, if we can be of any assistance, please give us a call. The contact telephone number and email address of your local Building Control Service will be one of the following :
Armagh (028) 3752 9616
Banbridge (028) 4066 0603
Craigavon (028) 3831 2486
Newry & Mourne (028) 3031 3000
Each of the above Councils are members of the Southern Group Building Control Committee : www.sgbc-ni.gov.uk
Building Control has a key role to play in the construction of your new home.
Local Councils, through their Building Control Service, have a statutory duty to apply the Building Regulations. These are a set of construction requirements and they include, regulations on structural stability, fire safety, energy conservation, accessibility and standards on health.