The advantages and disadvantages of a full plans application

Advantages

With this type of application you submit the appropriate application form together with the required fee and two copies of plans indicating exactly how your proposal will be constructed.

Advice will be given on the Building Regulations at the design stage of your project which means your plans are more likely to be passed by the Council.

The plans are then checked against the standards required by the Building Regulations and any amendments are requested at an early stage  identifying what needs to be done to comply with the Regulations, usually prior to work commencing on site.

Sometimes it is not possible for you to provide all the information required. If this is the case we can issue a Conditional Approval. The necessary details can then be supplied at a later stage, prior to the commencement of that element of the work.

Once the plans have been approved, we then carry out inspections at regular intervals during construction. A formal approval will be issued once the proposals comply with the Regulations.

The builder has the benefit of working in accordance with an approved drawing which reduces the risk of contravening the regulations and will help to avoid costly delays.

This form of application therefore gives a degree of reassurance to both the applicant and the builder, as most details are agreed at an early stage. However, it is important to remember that during construction there are, on occasions, problems which may not be evident at the design stage.

The fee for the application is generally paid in two instalments, normally you will need to pay 25% of the fee when the application is submitted and the remainder will be invoiced to you when the work starts. Careful consideration should be given to who will be responsible for the final payment and this should be verified on the initial application form.

When the Council is satisfied that the work complies with the Building Regulations, as far as can be reasonably ascertained, a Completion Certificate will be issued. This document is very important as it will provide evidence that the work has been undertaken to an acceptable standard. It will help satisfy the requirements of financial institutions, mortgage companies and solicitors acting for future purchasers.

Disadvantages

You need to have a set of detailed plans prepared to include all the information necessary to carry out the work - from the depth of the foundations to the height of the chimney. Although some applicants do prepare their own plans, most will need to employ the services of a designer, and this can be expensive.

Once the plans have been submitted it takes between 3-5 weeks for us to carry out the required checks and issue a decision notice.

Most building work represents a considerable financial investment, as such it is advisable that both you and your builder are familiar with the Building Regulation requirements in order to avoid any unnecessary expense.

If you are in any doubt please don't hesitate to contact us.

Updated: 20 November 2007