Building Control Inspections

Building Control surveyors carry out site inspections to determine that building works being undertaken comply with the Building Regulations. The number and nature of the site inspections vary according to the type of works being undertaken. At least 48 hours before work is due to start on site, you should notify Building Control by phone or email.

Please be aware that, if you have not obtained approval where the Full Plans application option is followed, any works started will continue at your own risk until approval is granted. Any works found to be incorrect on the plan examination but carried out on site would have to be corrected.

An inspection service plan will be provided but this can be refined by your building control surveyor as the project progresses to ensure we can inspect all the necessary elements to check compliance.

It is the owners (or elected representative e.g. builder) responsibility to notify us upon completion of each stage of the work to enable an inspection to be carried out. Any works which are covered prior to us inspecting may be required to be exposed for inspection. Failure to notify building control to inspect may mean that a completion certificate cannot be issued.

At least 1 working day notice is required for inspection requests but should any urgent problems arise on site, please feel free to contact us.

All projects will be assessed in terms of the critical elements that need to be inspected and an inspection service plan will be developed. For most domestic projects the following inspections are normally made as applicable.

Inspection Stages

This is a list of some of the most common inspection stages that you are likely to find in your Inspection Service Plan.

Start of work - Building control must be notified at least 2 days before works are started. A site meeting at start of work stage allows you to meet and discuss your proposals and subsequent course of action with your building control surveyor. This is particularly important for building notice applications where no plans have been submitted for approval. The visit may coincide with a stage inspection (e.g. excavations) so an extra site visit is not always required but in any doubt please contact us for advice relating to your specific project. 

Excavations - Allows ground conditions to be checked to ensure that the foundations are sufficient to carry the load of your proposals. This inspection must take place before the foundation concrete is poured. Where steel reinforcement is required, this should be in place ready for the inspection. Complex or phased excavations/foundations may require multiple inspections as agreed with your building control surveyor.

Substructure/Foundations – In some cases and where advised by building control, an additional inspection may be required to check the substructure construction to check the foundation concrete and foundation wall construction prior to backfilling

Oversite Hardcore - An inspection will be made before floor areas are concreted or covered to ensure materials over the site are suitable.

Damp-Proof Courses and Membranes - Wall damp-proof courses, floor damp-proof membranes, methane and radon barriers are to be inspected prior to covering with brickwork or concrete. Depending on the floor construction detail, floor insulation may also be inspected at this point. This stage will typically coincide with the oversite/hardcore stage inspection.

Drainage - All new drainage is inspected for alignment prior to covering over, and to ensure adequate access and fall is provided. Additional inspection may be required of septic tank and treatment plant system installations.

Superstructure - Allows for the inspection of hidden work and is to be carried out prior to plaster-boarding. This generally will include any structural steelwork, superstructure frame elements, wall cavities and the roof construction. On staged or complex builds multiple inspections may be required as construction advances.

Pre-plasterboard – A further intermediate inspection is generally required to check thermal insulation, internal drainage, vapour/condensation control measures, fire stopping and cavity barriers.

Drains Test - Wherever possible, the new drainage systems should have an air test carried out on them, to check for performance and water tightness. Building control may request to witness an air test on of the drain to verify compliance. Details on the standard procedures are given in Approved Document H.

Prior to Occupation  - If you intend to occupy the building prior to completion of the full works, we need to carry out an inspection before occupation.

Completion - Notification is required when the works are completed to allow this inspection to be carried out. If everything is found to be satisfactory, a Completion Certificate will be issued. Ideally, this inspection is carried out before the builder leaves the site and notification should be within 5 days of completion.

Please be aware that the inspections we carry out are to check compliance with the Building Regulations. This should not be confused with a full supervision service, which would normally be carried out by your own Architect, Surveyor or Clerk of Works.

Commercial projects and new housing

For commercial projects and new housing estates, the above inspections (where appropriate) will be carried out. Additional inspections such as fire stopping checks and general construction progress inspections will also be undertaken depending on size and scale of the project.

Booking Inspections

To arrange a site inspection, please telephone us on 01395 517482 or use our online Request a Building Control Inspection form. Please have your application reference number ready.