building valuations


Does Building Control Approval mean

that the property is up to modern day



Independent Surveyors

If you need help and advice with regard to extending or altering your property, structural surveys, residential building surveys, commercial building surveys, specific defects reports or engineers reports or any other property problems please free phone for a chat with an independent survey on 0800 298 5424.

We can offer you a comprehensive survey report, which offers you solutions and anticipated costs for any works we suggest need carrying out on a property. Our surveys contain photographs of the property and explanatory sketches, which clients have informed us helps explain the survey report.


What do the circles and ovals mean in our reports?

In our building surveys and structural surveys the circles and ovals are a method that we used to draw attention to property problem areas so that you are not left wondering what the property problem is like this example below.

An example of one of our sketches
An example of one of our photos


Do Solicitors sometimes give wrong advice?

We recently had several incidents where we have found building defects in a property and we have been advised by the solicitors that it has building control approval as if this is the be all and end all of the matter.



What are Building Control Approval and Planning Approval?

For those that are not aware the local authority is required to give approval of any new building construction or major alteration.



Planning Permission Approval

This comes in several formats, the first planning permission looks at the aesthetics of how a property is and how it blends in with the local environment. This can range from anything from an older building, making sure the extension is appropriate for building in the area to the modern property having say a balcony added to ensure it doesn't affect someone's privacy, and there are also quirks to what planning permission also looks at (although we are sure that planners don't think of them as quirks) such as if you are looking to put up a temporary structure for a fair amount of time you may also need temporary planning permission. Planning permission falls into two areas;

•  Outline planning permission which is a broad view on whether planning permission would be achieved and if so gives guidance.

•  Detailed Planning Permission which is the actual consent, that is when you are preparing drawings and carrying out investigations to obtain detailed consent of what you can build.


Building Regulations

The other area that we get local authority approval on is building regulations. This is what we want to talk about in this article.


Building Regulations approval is a legal requirement

Building regulations approval is a legal requirement and there is a statute document relating to it and the statute document is written in terms of what we call performance standards and this means it will say that a property should be wind and watertight. There are then in addition to this the approved documents.


Building Regulations approved documents

Building regulation approved documents are sometimes mistaken for building regulations and these approved documents illustrate and explain how the building regulations can be achieved. As mentioned these are by performance standards so you can look up that a damp proof course will stop damp getting in the property and this is best achieved by having it two courses above the ground level.


Approved documents take time to write and may not be up to date

We would add a new or innovative design may not be included in the improved documents and ways of carrying out the work as you would expect because it is new and innovative.


Building Regulations in summary

You could probably best explain it that the building regulation approved documents show traditional solutions to building problems. Finally we would add that the standards are a minimum standard.


National House Building Council standards What on earth are the NHBC standards?

There are other standards that may well affect how a property is built such as the National House Building Council NHBC who have their own agreed standards which is what they check when they are looking to give an NHBC National House Building Council warranty. We believe they also inspect all building control services as private building control surveyors.


Local Authority Building Control Surveyors and Private Approved Building Control Surveyors

We would comment that building control once was carried out by local authority building control surveyors which is the traditional way that has been used for many decades and obviously have local knowledge. Today you can also use private approved building control surveyors who often deal nationally with one client such as a house-builder like:

Barratt Homes Ltd

Taylor Wimpey Ltd

George Wimpey UK Ltd

Persimmon Homes Ltd

David Wilson Homes Ltd

Bellway Homes Ltd

Miller Homes Ltd

Morris Homes Ltd

Redrow Homes Ltd

Crest Nicholson Residential Plc

Berkeley Group Plc

Countryside Properties Plc

Cala Ltd

Kier Residential Ltd

Bovis Homes Ltd

J S Bloor Ltd

Banner Homes

Lovell Partnerships Ltd

Gladedale Homes Ltd

Linden Ltd

McCarthy & Stone (Devs) Ltd

Alison Homes

Jones Homes

Laing Ltd

Stewart Milne Group Ltd

Galliford Try Plc

Willmott Dixon Housing Ltd

Taylor Woodrow Homes


The reason why these companies use a nationally approved building control service is so they can get their one type design approved. These private building control surveyors will approve a type of construction which will then be built nationwide. If we take a company that's a big house builder such as Bloor Homes you will notice that they have similar houses all over the country albeit with a little bit of difference perhaps a different roof tile.

We are giving you a big long list like this so that if you do see any of these names and you have a problem with the building control department you will know that it isn't necessarily going to be a case of just ringing up your local council and you may have to seek out the private building control company.

We haven't by all means had experience with all of these companies but we have had experience with quite a few of them including instances of where damp proof courses have been put too low, in one case actually at ground level rather than two courses above it. Another case where they put the pea shingle at the top of the French drain but didn't actually put the French drain in.

Sketch of a French drain


We have got cases where the drains ran back towards the house which isn't very nice as the last place you want your sewerage is actually in your house. Although we didn't see it we were once told about the lovely case where the builder was short for time and the drains hadn't been plumbed in properly. We have also been involved in technically complex expert witness cases where air source heat pumps have been used and this has resulted in lots of condensation. Particularly we have been involved in what we would term as standard snagging work which is where you look at a property that is newly finished and check it is to standard. Remember that the house builders are building to a price and to a time scale and sometimes things go wrong.


Commercial Building Control Surveyors

We know that companies which roll out the same designs UK wide and in many cases worldwide have started the expression Mctowns in such companies as



Burger King

Pizza Express



Pret a Manger


Costa Coffee

This isn't just the smaller buildings, there are of course companies such as Tesco, Sainsburys and Morrisons who build superstores within city centres and out of town. The advantage is clear for these companies, they can deal with one building control surveyor, who gets to know their design and their requirement equally so also being paid by this company we think is one disadvantage another disadvantage is lack of local knowledge or sympathy for local architecture.



Other regulations which may affect the way the property is built

With regard to commercial property, pension funds that are building offices or shopping centres or something similar for investment purposes will also have requirements.


Problems with building construction that has passed Building Regulation Approval

We have been involved in a number recently so we thought we would highlight that the building regulations set out a minimum standard and that sometimes their building control officers are only human and miss issues, but then again we would also comment that it is not up to building control to set the standards, it should be up to the building contractor and developer and architect to set the standards. We have seen some horrendous cases and some very basic issues mentioned above.



Thank you for reading this article. Other articles that may be of interest to you on our website are:

What's in the Building Regulations and when do Building Control Surveyors visit and

what do they do when they do visit?

Approved Inspectors - v - Local Authority Building Control Officers


Compare our Building Surveys but don't compare Apples with Thursdays

We have a wealth of knowledge and experience as independent surveyors if you require a building survey or structural survey.

We have every confidence in our surveys and believe there are no other comparable surveys out there in the UK property and surveying market.

We are more than happy to send you examples of our surveys. Please call us on 0800 298 5424.


Independent commercial property surveyors

If you have a commercial property, be it leasehold or freehold, then you may wish to look at our Dilapidations Website at and for Disputes go to our Disputes Help site .


Our articles

We hope you found the article of use and if you have any experiences that you feel should be added to this article that would benefit others, or you feel that some of the information that we have put is wrong then please do not hesitate to contact us (we are only human).

The contents of the web site are for general information only and are not intended to be relied upon for specific or general decisions. Appropriate independent professional advice should be paid for before making such a decision.


Our rights

All rights are reserved the contents of the web site is not to be reproduced or transmitted in any form in whole or part without the express written permission of


If you require any information about Building Regulations and Building Control please telephone us for help and advice free phone 0800 298 5424



Home Buyers Reports Property Surveys - why we're the best. Engineers Reports
© Copyright
Site Map

1stassociated-logo-for-footer IVSA-badge IVSA-putting-client-first call-us-for-footer

We have thousands of free property articles to help you - or call us freephone on 0800 298 5424

We have been working in the property industry for many years and have been
providing free property articles for over ten years. All for free and to help you with buying your next property.

House and Home Surveys and Useful Information

All you need to know about Building Surveys

Building Control, what do they do?

Designers and Architects will they save me money or will they cost me money

Enviroment, Your Building and Garden Gnomes

Estate Agents help sell houses and work for the vendors

Have a Structural Survey to protect you against structural problems

Home improvements, builder problems and ideas for you on how to solve them

How a Surveyor values a property, Chartered Surveyors and Regulated Valuers

How Chartered Engineers and Building Engineers can help you

Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas

NHBC National House Building Council

Structural Surveys and How We Can Help You

Traditional and Non-Traditional Houses and Mortgage Problems

Valuations and how much is the building worth?

Whats the difference between a Chartered Building Surveyor, Chartered Surveyor and an Independent Surveyor

Useful property problem articles by Chartered Surveyors explaining building issues to avoid

External - Helpful information on building problems on the outside of the property

Chimney issues and problems

Cracking and Movement Problems and Surveying Solutions

Flat Roof Problems, how we can solve them

Foundations and Structures and Settlement and Subsidence and Underpinning

Pitched Roofs Problems and Solutions

Roof Problems

Wall Problems

Windows and Doors and Fascias and Soffits and Wet Rot and Dry Rot and other problems

Internal - House problems we have investigated inside

All you ever need to know about floors

Asbestos in your home, what you need to know

Ceiling Cracks and Structural Problems

Condensation, Damp and Black Mould Problems

Cracking and Movement Problems and Surveying Solutions

Windows and Doors and Fascias and Soffits and Wet Rot and Dry Rot and other problems

Woodworm is it a problem or not? Is it active or not?

Services - Building help and advice on costly services

Drainage, what's underground can affect what's above ground

Heating; I just can't get my house warm enough or alternatively I just can't get my house cool enough

You can't mess around with the electric, you need an expert


Commercial Property Services

Building Terms Explained and Directories

Commercial Property Surveys

Commercial Structural Surveys

Leisure Facilites

Offices Large and Small

Shops and Retail

Warehouse and Industrial Buildings

Dilapidations Help and Advice What is a Dilapidations Notice?

A Beginner's Guide to Dilaps

Damp Mould and Condensation

Dampness Rising Damp Mould Black Mould Condensation

Dilapidations and Negotiations

Dilapidations Claim by a Landlord

Energy Saving what can I do?

Finance what is a Financial Adviser (We are not Financial Advisors)

Fire Risk and Help

Health and Safety Risks

Insurance how do I get the correct property insurance?

Landlords Surveying Advice

Property Investment how can I invest in property?

Property TV Reviews by an Independent Surveyor

Schedules of Condition Leasing a Commercial Property

Scotts Schedule and Section 18 Valuation

Tenants Surveying Advice

Weather how does weather affect my property?



Snow and Ice

Strong Winds

Reviews from clients on Commercial Building Surveys

Churches and Charities, helpful reviews from our clients

Industrial Buildings and Warehouses and what our clients say about us

Offices Large and Small, reviews and feedback from our clients

Pubs, Restaurants, Hotels and other Leisure facilities we have surveyed over the years

Shops and Retail, helpful reviews from our clients


First Time Buyers

Buying a Leasehold or Shared Freehold Home

Buying and Selling Houses for the experienced house and home purchaser

First Time Buyers how do I go about buying my first house and home?

Improve your property knowledge with our presentations on house, homes and commercial property

Building Surveys

Building Surveying Useful Information


Dilapidations Presentations in Detail

Final Year Building Surveying Exams for University Students or those that would like to know more

How old is your Building? Which era was it built in?

Party Walls

Surveyors and Design Tools

Disputes and Party Walls

Boundary Disputes

Building and Property Disputes

Party Wall Book Reviews

Party Walls Your Rights and Responsibilities

1stAssociated Surveyors Review for Structural Surveys and Building Surveys

Building Surveys, reviews and feedback from satisfied customers

Buy to let property clients, what they say about our structural surveys

Buying at auction, review of the survey

Buying bungalows and retirement properties and how our surveyors can help

Both at work / busy couples, how we can help and some 1stAssociated client reviews

Families with a young person flying the nest, reviews and feedback

First Time Buyers, what they say about us

Listed buildings, structural surveys

Older buildings, a review of buying an older house

Families with children looking for a new home, feedback and reviews

Buying a Non-Traditional Property

Residential Surveys

House and Home Surveys

Commercial Building Surveys

Commercial Surveys

1st Associated Surveyors Are Also Available in the Following Areas:

East Anglia and East

South and South East

West Country and South West


North and North East



London Markets

London Parks



Areas of Britain

1stAssociated Independent Expert Property Surveyors

Specialists in Home Buyers Reports, Building Surveys and Structural Surveys and Schedules of Condition

All Surveyors are Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors qualified and RICS regulated

and are Members of the Independent Surveyors and Valuers Association

Putting the Client First

We do not accept service of documents by email or fax