Residential Building Control

House-building projects all have their own unique challenges, whether you are creating a small residential development or setting out to build your own home.

That’s why our proactive and collaborative approach can often be the key to getting your build through building regulations and approved.


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Planning a self-build project or an extension can be both exciting and hard work. With lots of unforeseen issues, you want things to move smoothly. With over 80 years of residential building control experience between us, you’re in good hands.

We provide you with specialist knowledge and a commitment to solving problems with your design team. Our qualified Building Control Surveyors are committed to keeping your project moving.

Types of residential projects

We can help you with building regulations advice and approval on all of these domestic projects:

  • Individual new builds
  • Single storey extensions
  • Commercial to residential conversions
  • Self-builds
  • Small housing developments
  • Garage conversions


Our experience

Our experience includes advising on every aspect of new builds, extensions, conversions and alterations.

From pre-application to interpreting and explaining Building Regulation requirements, we explain the process at every stage and move you forward towards completion.

Building Control stages

There’s a structure to building control. Once we have your drawings, and you’re happy with your quote from Active, these are the stages we’ll take you (or your architect or designer) through to final approval:

Stage 1 - Initial Notice Application

This is an Initial Notice to the relevant Local Authority that we make on your behalf. We inform them that we have your permission to carry out the Building Control on your development. This notice can be made at any time. However, the latest it can be made is 5 working days before work starts on site, so this time should be factored into your build schedule. Once the application happens, it is valid for 3 years, so it gives you a 3 year window within which work can commence.

Stage 2. Plan Check and Approval

At this stage one of our qualified surveyors will review your architect’s plans or structural engineer’s drawings against the Building Regulations. Your architect or designer will then receive a report with their findings. Should any items need addressing, these will be highlighted at this time. If any adjustments are needed, we will advise next steps and work proactively with you to find solutions that keep your project moving and minimise costs. Once your plans comply with the Building Regulations, they will be formally approved.

Stage 3 Starting work and Site Inspections

Once your plans are approved, and the Local Authority Initial Notice has been submitted (allowing 5 days for the latter), you can start work on site. We will carry out a first inspection once you notify us of commencement and then carry out subsequent inspections at critical points in the build.  Site Inspections are typically carried out on Excavations, Damp Proof Membranes, Below Ground Drainage (before backfilling), Structure including walls, floors and roofs, Pre-Plasterboarding (thermal insulation) and Completion.  We will always inform you of the stages we need to inspect. The inspections are to determine (as far as is reasonably possible) that all the building works are in accordance with the Building Regulations. As your approved Building Inspector, Active carry out all inspections; the Local Authority Building Control department will not have any involvement in this process other than being notified by our Initial Notice (mentioned above) and then again upon completion.

Step 4 - Final Certificate

Following a final satisfactory completion inspection by our Building Control Surveyor, your Final Certificate will be issued. We will issue this to you (for your records) and to the relevant Local Authority for registration on their database for future searches. This Final Certificate is a very important document and is required should you ever choose to sell your property. Please note: An Approved Inspector cannot be used for retrospective works or works which have started on site, therefore works must not start before the Initial Notice is submitted and accepted.

Active is a private Approved Inspector, an alternative to using the Local Authority for your Building Regulation approval.

We are approved by the Construction Industry Council (CICAIR) to provide Building Control on all types of residential projects.

Recent projects

Active Building Control Residential kitchen extension in Dunham, Cheshire

Dunham, Trafford

Wilmslow, Cheshire

Thornway, Bramhall

The Green

FAQs about Residential Building Control services?

We understand that Building Control services are a bit of a grey area for many people, particularly if it’s the first time you’ve taken on a residential building project. So, however grand or modest your designs, we’re here to help and advise at every stage.

Call us on 0161 233 0525 if you’ve any specific questions about your project; and in the meantime, here are the answers to a few FAQs.

What is building control?

This is a legal requirement to make sure your building works are in line with the UK’s Building Regulations, ensuring every structure is safe, accessible, secure and energy efficient. A good building control inspector will work with you and provide advice and solutions as you need them.

Do I need building regs approval

Most building work needs Building Regulations approval. As soon as you do any structural work, it will need approval. You are best to check with your architect or contact us for initial advice if you’re not sure.

What do I need to do before I start work on site?

You must first ensure that a building inspector such as Active has approved your plans before starting any work on site. We will check the plans for you and either approve them or make any comments or observations that you need to take into account in order to stay compliant. At the same time, we will notify the Local Authority of your project. The Local Authority requires 5 days to complete this, and you must not start work until after this period has ended.

How does the inspection process work?

Once your plans are approved and work has commenced on site, you or your project manager/building contractor will need to contact us at least 24 hours before you need us on site to make an inspection.

Subsequent inspections will be requested by the project manager/building contractor as work progresses on your build. We will advise them in advance of the various stages at which they need to get us involved.

An outline of the different stages is provided at the end of this page.

What are the different stages?

Each project is bespoke and we will guide and advise you on the number of inspections required, which depend on the complexity of your project.

You may find it helpful to have a look at the outline of the different stages in the building regulation process at the end of this page.

How is the Local Authority involved?

Your project needs to be registered with the Local Authority, but as soon as a project is registered with them, they have no further involvement in the Building Regulations process. We also notify the Local Authority when we issue the Final Certificate, so they can register your project as approved on the Council’s database, which makes this information publically available.

Do I also have to pay the Council?

No. We will undertake all inspections, as well as carrying out building plan checks and gaining approvals for you. We will also liaise with the Local Authority on your behalf.

What do I get at the end of the project?

Once everything is approved, we will issue a Final Certificate to the Local Authority and property owner. A Final Certificate is a legal document that is required under the Building (Approved Inspector) Regulations. It confirms that your building works comply with UK Building Regulations.

How much are building control fees?

The cost varies by project as no two projects are the same. Active rates are competitive with Local Authority rates, and each development is individually priced based on your plans.

Quotes are turned around within a couple of days – to request a quote simply provide your existing and proposed plans. We are also happy to answer any queries you may have so feel free to give us a call too.

Why is Building Control Important? Is it a legal requirement

This is a legal requirement to make sure your building works are in line with the UK’s Building Regulations, ensuring every structure is safe, accessible, secure and energy efficient. A good building control inspector will work with you and provide advice and solutions as you need them.

The stages we’ll take you through