Work that requires Building Control Approval

Building Control is responsible for the enforcement of Building Regulations (a set of legal construction standards).  Building Control is concerned with the safety and health, welfare and convenience of people in and around the buildings, the protection of the environment and promotion of sustainable development.  These standards include requirements on structural stability, fire safety, energy conservation and accessibility. 

Examples of Work Requiring an Application 

  • Erecting a new building or extending, or altering, an existing building  
  • Changing the use of a building (eg house to offices)  
  • Converting a roofspace or garage  

Carrying out structural alterations such as: 

  • replacing existing walls, floors, roofs,or stairs  
  • making two rooms into one, or one room into two 
  • removal of a chimney breast  
  • installing cavity wall, roof, or floor insulation  
  • drylining walls or lining walls/ceilings with sheeting or boarding  

Provision of services or fittings, for example: 

  • installation of central heating  
  • Installing or replacing a stove or boiler 
  • replacement/relining flues  
  • installation of new sanitary appliances (not replacement) 
  • installation of solar panels on controlled buildings
  • installation of heat pumps


Some examples of works that are exempted from requiring an application are: 

  • certain porches (not exceeding 5m2)  
  • conservatories, open carports, covered areas or extensions not exceeding 30m2 in area  
  • certain detached garages and single storey buildings not exceeding 30m2 in area  
  • certain sheds not exceeding 15m2 in area  
  • certain agricultural buildings  
  • fences  
  • garden walls  
  • gates  
  • certain greenhouses  
  • replacement windows in dwellings 

Other permission 

  • NI Water for Building Over agreements for work over public sewers.  Telephone Waterline on 08457 440088 or email
  • Landlord for permission to carry out work to property that you do not own.  
  • Planning Service operates independently from Building Control. Planning controls development and use of land.  If you are not sure, you should get advice from both Planning Service and the Building Control Service.  You will need planning permission if the building you plan to work on is listed or in a conservation area. For Ards and North Down Planning telephone 02891 824006 or email You may need special permission if you live near an archaeological site or historic monument.  

For Building Control advice telephone 02891 278015 or email 

The Building Control Northern Ireland Website Building Control NI ( contains additional useful information and guidance on Building Regulatory matters.