Do I need building regulations approval or planning permission for re-roofing?

Image featuring Hawkins on two roofs

Do I need building regulations approval or planning permission for re-roofing?

Although planning permission for re-roofing is not typically required for straightforward residential projects, building regulations approval is usually necessary when re-roofing a dwelling. Other permissions may also be needed depending on factors such as project scope and location. 

There are many reasons you may be considering re-roofing your home. It could be to replace old roof tiles, it could be part of an extension project, or you may be considering installing something new on the roof, such as a roof window or solar panels. In all these cases, you’ll need to look into whether building regulations approval is necessary. 

Below, we will cover some of the main points when it comes to building regulations approval for re-roofing projects. 

What is the difference between building regulations and planning permission?

Building regulations are national standards for the design and construction of buildings. These requirements help to protect the wellbeing of the people who are in or around the buildings. They also define the minimum standards for issues such as energy efficiency and access. For many types of construction work, including re-roofing projects, building regulations approval is necessary.

In contrast, planning permission is determined at a more local level. Its purpose is to guide the way specific areas develop. Each local authority will determine the requirements for planning permission consent. In most cases, a straightforward re-roofing of a house will not require planning permission, but it’s a good idea to check with your local authority if you aren’t sure. 

Depending on the specifics of the re-roofing project, other permissions and approvals may also be required. For example, if bats are living in the roof, a protected species survey may need to be carried out, and a license to do the work may be required.

What is required for building regulations approval when re-roofing a home?

The purpose of building regulations approval is to ensure that the finished structure meets all of the relevant building standards, such as those covering energy efficiency, ventilation, fire safety and weather resistance. 

As a general rule, if you are re-roofing more than a quarter of the roof area, or if elements such as insulation or ventilation are being changed, building regulations approval will be required. It’s important to note, however, that the specific rules have been devolved, and will vary by location:

In all cases, building regulations approvals are issued by your local authority’s building control or building standards department and should be obtained before work begins. If you are not sure if approval is necessary, it is best to check with your local authority.

The process of applying for building regulations approval will involve submitting plans and documentation to show that the re-roofing work will conform to the building standards. There will also be a fee to pay. 

If work commences without building regulations approval, you may face prosecution and fines, and work will have to be suspended while the paperwork is processed. Without approval, you will also not have the certificates of compliance, which will be necessary to sell the home.

Schemes to simplify building regulations approval

For those people requiring a building regulations application, there is a government-backed scheme in England and Wales called Competent Roofer. It is run by the National Federation of Roofing Contractors. In Scotland, there’s also the Approved Certifier scheme.

Roofers who are registered under the scheme can bypass the local authority and sign off their own work as meeting the current building regulations. 

Get expert advice

Determining the type of approvals necessary for a re-roofing project can be a tricky task, especially since the rules in different parts of the country can vary - and each project has unique requirements. 

At Marley, our experts are here to guide you through every part of your re-roofing project, from planning and design through to construction. Whether you’re looking for advice on choosing the right clay roof tiles for your new roof, or you need guidance on building regulations approvals, please contact our technical team.