Changing or altering a pitched roof is likely to have a significant impact on the building below it. It can cause movement and possibly weaken the structure. Weak or moving buildings can be unstable and threaten the safety of the people in them. This is one of the reasons why there are laws in place to limit what you can and can’t do to your pitched roof.
Building Regulations make up some of these laws. Read on to find out more about Building Regulations and how they apply to your pitched roof.
What are Building Regulations?
Building Regulations are a number of design and construction standards that most buildings have to meet. They’re in place to safeguard the health and safety of everyone in and around these buildings. They are also designed to ensure that buildings have disabled access and are relatively energy efficient.
Do Building Regulations apply to pitched roofing?
Building Regulations do apply to pitched roofing. You don’t need building regulations approval if you want to repair or re-cover less than 25% of your roof – you can just go straight ahead and do it.
You do need building regulations approval if you want to:
- Repair or re-cover more than 25% of your roof
- Re-cover your roof with different material that’s significantly heavier or more or less fire retardant than the original material
- Carry out structural alterations
- Install one or multiple roof lights (a window installed within the roof)
- Build a completely new roof
If you want to do work that needs building regulations approval they you’ll need to apply for it. When you apply for building regulations approval for an existing roof, it’s likely you’ll be told you need to improve your roof’s thermal insulation. You may also need to structurally reinforce both the roof and the building it sits on.
If you want to build a new roof, Building Regulations say that it must:
- Be weather and fire resistant
- Be able to support loads – like snow, roofing materials and people working on it
- Be relatively energy efficient
- Have adequate ventilation and drainage
- Have precautions in place to stop it lifting high winds or the rafters spreading
Even if your new roof will have all these things, you’ll still need to get building regulations approval before starting work on it.
How do I get building regulations approval?
There are two ways to get building regulations approval.
1. Hire a ‘competent person’
If you hire a tradesperson on the Competent Persons Register, they will make sure that the work they do meets Building Regulations. They will self-certify their work and make an application to your local authority if needed.
2. Apply through a building control body
An alternative way to get building regulations approval is to use a building control body (BCB). These are either run by your local authority or privately. A building control body will check Building Regulations for you and make a building regulations approval application if needed.
To get more information and apply for building regulations approval, visit your local authority’s website. If you’re not sure who your local authority is, you can use the government’s handy online tool.
So now you should have a better understanding of Building Regulations and how they apply to your pitched roof. For information on other regulations that apply to your pitched roof, take a look at our information on pitched roof planning permission.