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Buildings exempt from building regulations

There are certain buildings that may be exempt from building regulations. These can include conservatories, porches, domestic garages, small detached buildings or replacement windows.

Please remember that although buildings are exempt in terms of building control, it may be necessary to meet other matters like planning. 

If you are unsure about these or any other aspect of exempt buildings, please contact Building Control on 01792 635636 or email bcon@swansea.gov.uk.

Access to buildings

If an extension is made to a domestic property, the new entrance when finished should not make the access to the property worse than before. This will include any door widths, landings, ramped or stepped access.

Public sewerage

Before carrying out any building work, you should check the location of sewerage pipes through your property.  You can contact Welsh Water, who will be able to check the location of any pipes.

If you plan to build over, or within 3 meters of one of their sewer pipes or drains, you'll need to secure their consent. Welsh Water have produced guidance notes and application forms which are all available on their website. 

Locating water pipes and sewers guidance from Welsh Water

Conservatories

To be exempt your conservatory must satisfy the following criteria:

  • must be at ground floor level only
  • internal floor area must not exceed 30 square metres
  • a conservatory has not less than three-quarters of the area of its roof and not less than half the area of its external walls made of translucent material
  • must not be used for any other purpose (for example kitchen or living/sleeping accommodation)
  • existing external entrance doors and/or windows must be kept
  • safety glazing must be used
  • the heating system must be separate and not extended from the main house and have its own controls.

Porches

To be exempt your porch extension must satisfy the following criteria:

  • must be at ground floor level only
  • internal floor area must not exceed 30 square metres
  • must not be used for any other purpose (for example kitchen or living / sleeping accommodation)
  • existing external entrance doors and / or windows must be kept
  • safety glazing must be used
  • the heating system must be separate and not extended from the main house and have its own controls.

Car ports

To be exempt your carport must satisfy the following criteria:

  • must be at ground floor level only
  • internal floor area must not exceed 30 square metres
  • the carport must be open on at least two sides.

Garage/ small detached buildings

To be exempt your garage must satisfy the following criteria:

  • must be detached
  • must be single storey
  • internal floor area must not exceed 30 square metres
  • must not be used for any other purpose (for example kitchen or living / sleeping accommodation)
  • more than 1 metre from the boundary or wholly non-combustible
  • for any services for example electricity or drainage a building regulation application must be submitted.

Small outbuilding / sheds (detached buildings)

To be exempt your shed must satisfy the following criteria:

  • must be detached
  • internal floor area must not exceed 15 square metres
  • must not be used for any other purpose (for example kitchen or living / sleeping accommodation)
  • for any services for example electricity or drainage a building regulation application must be submitted.

Replacement windows

If using an installer who is registered to a Competent Person Scheme building regulation approval is not needed.

Electrical works

If you are employing an Electrician or electrical company who are registered to a Self Certifying Scheme building regulation approval is not needed.

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