I built my two storey extension for 20% of builder's quotes

This site shows how - step by step from design to completion

Building Control Regulations Drawings

Now I had Planning permission to build my House Extension it was time to get technical - how was I going to build it and how was I going to meet the building regulation requirements? Can I draw my own plans for building regs, I wondered. I knew I'd need structural calculations done for the RSJ s, particularly as I planned the removal of an internal load bearing wall. I employed a local Structural Engineer and talked through my ideas, picking his brain on any subject I could. He was kind enough to show me some building regulations drawings examples that an architect friend of his had done. The building control drawings pdf was very useful but these drawings were amazingly detailed, showing the position of every light switch and socket outlet. It was soon pointed out to me, however, that these drawings were not all intended for the Building Control Officer; many would be for the contracted builder. So, though it was useful to see the drawings, I was still left in a bit of a quandary as to how much detail I should offer. 

I looked for guidance from my Local Council website - generally I find it very useful. In this case, I actually found that some other Councils offered more guidance on this matter. Assuming Building Control requirements vary little across the country, I felt these would be a really good guide. Woking Council had a very useful Check List to help you get your things right first time. They are well worth a look for anyone attempting a similar project. I had a lot to think about, but as I did with planning matters, I stripped out all that didn't concern my project, and it then seemed a little more manageable and focussed my thoughts.

The NHBC book and The House Builder's Bible made good bedtime reading to make me aware of many build options. With a good overview and copies of the Building Regulations to hand, I started planning from the bottom up. I treated it like a virtual build, imagining materials, regulations and problems that I'd encounter.

Whenever I had a query, I consulted the Building Regulations or, if that didn't answer my question, I Googled like mad. Manufacturer's websites have loads of information, and I found most very helpful if I phoned or e-mailed with a query. 

With plenty of research, deciding on trench or strip foundation, concrete slab floor, suspended floor or beam and block etc. wasn't too difficult (though I found myself changing my mind a few times). I decided to use truss rafters, so the design company did all the technical drawings for those as part of a free quote. I also decided I wanted to use  - their online documentation and a couple of e-mail queries really helped me specify a detailed joist system with all the relevant braces and ties. Manufacturers really do want to help you to use their products, so don't be afraid to speak to them.

For small scale works it's possible to deal with building control matters by the Building Notice method. This means that you inform Building Control that you will be starting work but do not supply all the details. At certain stages, Building Control must be called in for inspection. Though this method allows you to start building without lots of paperwork, you do run the risk that Building Control inspect and tell you it is unacceptable and needs redoing. For larger scale projects it is advised that one submits full building plans for inspection and agreement by Building Control prior to starting work. This takes longer, but provided they are approved and you don't deviate from them when you build, you shouldn't face problems of being told to redo work.

I plumped for the idea of applying for full building control. My drawings would specify that which I know is needed, namely floor construction, insulation (Part L), sound insulation (Part E) wall construction and insulation, drains, foundations etc. Once I had it together and looking professional I would call the BCO and ask for a meeting to see if I was on track or needed to offer more detail.

I didn't feel that I needed any specific buildings regulations drawings software as I would use the CAD software I had used for the plans. I would add my building regulsations drawing notes onto the plan. Having now seen a couple of building regulations specification samples, I was ready to give it a go.

My finished drawings are available on a later page on this site.