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Safety hazards in the home caused by building work

This content applies to England

Building regulations may be useful in tracking hazards in the home.

Building regulations apply to 'building work', for example work involving the underpinning of a building or provision or extension of a controlled service, and 'material change of use' (eg a new building or a house being converted into flats).[1] Compliance with building regulations may also be required for alteration projects, such as:

  • replacing fuse boxes and connected electrics 
  • installing a bathroom (when that involves plumbing work)
  • replacing windows and doors
  • adding extra radiators to a heating system

In other circumstances, repairs or renovations of property should meet the regulations that last applied to the property, ie the last time building work or material change of use took place.

Building regulations specify standards of work and materials and cover issues such as compliance with requirements for soundproofing, a flat roof being used as a garden, prevention of fire spread, and ventilation.

A person seeking building regulations approval for work done on her/his home can do so through LABC (the body representing local authority building control) or a private approved inspector. Sometimes the builder or installer (eg of a window or boiler) can self-certify the work if s/he is registered with the relevant Competent Person Scheme.

Occupiers who are concerned about breaches of the regulations should contact LABC or the local authority.

The information on this page applies only to England. Go to Shelter Cymru for information relating to Wales.

[1] Building Regulations 2010 SI 2010/2214, as amended.

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