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Starting your building project - Homeowners

STARTING YOUR BUILDING PROJECT

Building Regulations set standards for how buildings are constructed and altered in order to protect the health, safety and welfare of people using the buildings and to ensure that the buildings are energy efficient.

Your responsibilities

Your responsibilities as a homeowner MUST complement the verifier role and are explained here.

Building standards surveyors cannot and are not required to supervise or monitor every activity on a building project nor can they be present at all times. The supervision of building work is the responsibility of the building owner or developer who should appoint a building professional to supervise the work to ensure the standard of workmanship is satisfactory and meets the building regulations.

The purpose of the building standards system is to protect the public interest. It is not intended to provide protection to a client in a contract with a builder. The system, therefore, does not so much control building as set out the essential standards to be met when building work or a conversion takes place, and only to the extent necessary to meet the building regulations. 

DO I NEED A BUILDING WARRANT?

Not all building work needs to comply with the Building Regulations. For further information see below:

Building (Scotland) Act 2003 - Schedule 1 Regulation 3

Not all building work requires a building warrant. For exemptions see below:-

Building (Scotland) Act 2003 - Schedule 3 Regulation 5

MAKING AN APPLICATION FOR BUILDING WARRANT

You will require to complete an application form, submit two sets of plans to an appropriate scale and include the relevant fee which is dependent on the cost of your project. This should be submitted to your Local Authority Building Standards Department.

If you are unsure of your Local Authority, please use the following postcode link.

Link to postcode

Application forms and scales of fees are available on your Local Authority website

Link to websites

NB YOU CANNOT COMMENCE WORK UNTIL A BUILDING WARRANT HAS BEEN OBTAINED

SITE INSPECTIONS

There are two statutory inspections for which you should notify your local Building Standards Department.

These are:-

  • Commencement
  • Completion.

In addition, a Construction Compliance Notification Plan (CCNP) is issued with your building warrant. This identifies critical stages in the build that your Building Standards department would like to be notified at with a view to carrying out further inspections.

This plan differs dependent on the type and complexity of your project.

DO I NEED A BUILDING WARRANT TO DEMOLISH A BUILDING?

A building warrant is required to demolish a building.

UNAUTHORISED WORK

If unauthorised work has been carried out on your property by yourself or a previous owner without a building warrant, then this is illegal and should be rectified.

Your Local Authority Building Standards can advise on the options available to you and the cost implications.

Please be aware that this can involve exposing parts of the structure and remedial work if required.

VIEWING PLANS/ARCHIVED RECORDS

You can view plans for current and past building warrant projects (if available), if you are the owner or their nominated agent only. There is a charge for viewing archived plans and you should contact your Local Authority Building Standards for fees and to book an appointment.

DANGEROUS BUILDINGS/STRUCTURES

You should contact your Local Authority Building Standards if you feel that a building/structure is imminently dangerous. This does not include buildings/structures in a state of disrepair.

USEFUL LINKS

Technical Handbook 2013 Domestic

Building Standards Legislation 

Building (Scotland) Act 2003

Building (Procedure) (Scotland) Regulations 2004

The Building (Fees) (Scotland) Regulations 2004 as amended

The Energy Performance of Buildings (Scotland) Regulations 2008 as amended

Procedural Handbook 3rd Edition