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We’re often asked about Planning Permission for sheds, but equally important is whether or not you need a Building Warrant.

What’s the difference?

Firstly, Building Control is a completely different entity from your local councils Planning and Development department.

Planning permission is needed when separate criteria are not met, see: Do you need Planning Permission for a Shed?.

Planning is to do with aesthetics: will your development have an impact on the surrounding area? Will it impact your neighbours, the environment and in some cases the look of the street/area you live in?

Building Standards/Regulations is primarily to do with the structure of the build. Depending on its size, is the building’s structure safe and suitable for the loads and variant elements it may endure?

If your building is outwith permitted development you will need Planning Permission and it is imperative that you obtain this acceptance first before seeking a Building Warrant.

Building Control is not required when; a single-storey outbuilding or covered area, each with a floor area not more than 30 square metres, that is detached or attached to an existing house and,

  • Does not contain a flue, fixed solid fuel, oil or gas appliance,
  • Does not contain a sanitary fitting.

Based on the above, most Summerhouses, Sheds, Garages and even Garden Offices do not require Building Control/Warrant/Regulations/Standards.

Who should I look to for professional advice?

Regardless, you should expect reputable timber building companies to comply with small building standards. This is where the building specification meets the requirements of the desired structure and can withstand typical wind speeds, snow loads, and rainfall.

If your building is over 30 square metres and/or you wish to install plumbing/gas or oil heating, you will firstly need to consult an architect. An architect will be able to guide you through the process ensuring the building complies with all the current building regulations. They may also give you some indication of cost and planning guidance. Most architects will offer a service to submit your application for you.

Other advisories to consider are that of a structural engineer to certify that the building is fit for purpose. Normally you would expect your appointed architect to liaise with an engineer.

Costs for an architect to produce drawings fit for building regulations can vary but you can expect to pay in the region of £800 – £2000 depending on complexities, site visits, and engineer fees.

Is there anything else I need to know?

Once you receive your plans and certifications you may wish to request for tender. Tender means you invite a number of construction companies to quote for the proposed build by giving them copies of the architectural drawings.

You may need to ask individual companies for separate quotes to cover additional trades; groundworks, plumbing, electrics, etc. It would be advisable to ask at least 3 businesses for each element. This should give you a fair indication of how much everything costs and what each company is willing to offer (delivery, installation, aftercare etc). From there you would pick the company(s) which are most suited to your requirements.

When your architect has submitted your application to the Building Standard Authorities, you can expect to wait up to 3 months. Immediately after the warrant has been granted you can start work. The project should then be completed as the warrant is valid for 3 years. This can be extended only if the works have begun.

Remember! If you are in breach of Planning Regulations, it is vitally important to submit a Planning Application prior to a Building Control Application otherwise you will not be permitted to build.

Useful Link:    http://doineedpermission.co.uk/

This will help you determine whether you need Planning and/or a Building Warrant.

Government Website: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Built-Environment/Building/Building-standards

This is for those who wish to apply themselves and meet the actual stringent requirements.

So after all that, the benefits of keeping your build under 30mtrs sq’d outweigh the costs involved in preparing and submitting a Building Warrant application.

But you and I know there’s no point in compromising; if it’s not right then what use is it?

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