Work which requires a building warrant
You generally need a building warrant if you intend to build, alter, extend or demolish a building. Some types of work are exempt though.
A building warrant will normally be required to:
- build a new home
- extend your home
- build or remove load bearing walls
- alter roofs, external walls or other structural elements
- convert a loft or garage into a room
- demolish a building
It's an offence to commence work which requires building warrant approval without first obtaining the relevant permission.
Certain works are classed as exempt and don't require building warrant approval. Exempt work includes:
- buildings or work controlled by other legislation
- buildings or work not frequented by people
- agricultural and related buildings
- civil engineering construction
- buildings of a specialised nature
- certain small buildings
- construction and development buildings
- temporary buildings
- buildings ancillary to houses
- buildings ancillary to flats or maisonettes
- paved areas
Some other types of work won't require a building warrant but it's still important to stress that there's still a legal requirement to comply with the building regulations. This could include work on:
- a fixed combustion appliance installation or other part of a heating installation
- a balanced flue serving a room-sealed appliance
- pipework, radiators, convector heaters and thermostatic controls
- relocating any sanitary facility within the same room or space
- installing a stairlift
- installing an extractor fan
- thermal insulating material to or within a wall, ceiling, roof or floor
- a wall not exceeding 1.2 metres in height
- a fence not exceeding 2 metres in height
- constructing a ramp not exceeding 5 metres in length
The Scottish Government's technical handbooks provide more detail.
Check with us
Always check if you need to apply for a building warrant or satisfy building regulations before starting any work.
You can ask us for advice before submitting an application or starting work:
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Call 01387 260199 or 01776 888417
We can provide written confirmation (often called a letter or comfort) that the work you intend to carry out is exempt from the building regulations or doesn't require a warrant. It costs £175 for a letter confimring an exemption and we'll need some detailed information about the work, contact us to discuss your request.