When you install a bathroom or a kitchen, a planning application is not required unless the premise is build as an extensions to the house. You definitely should seek the advice of the Local Planning Authorities, if your real estate property happens to be a listed building, which includes some kind of natural park or other important land.
The Building Regulations
Usually the refitting of a kitchen or a bathroom doesn’t require any kind of official approval in accordance with the building regulations. Under some circumstances, however, you might have to receive such by the authorities when it comes to the drainage or the work on the electrical system in these premises because this is also considered to be part of the whole refitting process.
If you are building a kitchen or a bathroom in a room which never had such premises before, it is likely to ask for an approval from the authorities, in order to show that the premise will have appropriate ventilation, as well as drainage which will be built to meet the official requirements and that the new constructions will be stable and completely safe.
As we mentioned before the drainage and the electrics might require your special attention, depending on whether you are building your new premises as an extensions to your home or in some other way. For the purpose it is desirable to get informed about the specifics of those two elements and the details around your individual project. Keep in mind that the Building Control can ask you for more information and additional work on your project which, however, depends entirely on the particular circumstances and type of building.
Some of the elements with which you should get familiar and which are necessary for the satisfaction of the various regulations for kitchen or bathroom refurbishment are the following:
The accessibility of the ground floor WC
The homes which have been built after 1999 have a specifically constructed WC on the ground floor which was created to be used by people in a wheel chair who are visiting the property.
It is important to keep this premise intact, as well as the accessibility to it while doing your renovations in the place. There must be direct and easy access to the ground floor WC at all times, so that any future visitor who uses a wheelchair can reach it without any problems.
That’s why it is best to attain a special application regarding the Building Regulations, if you are planning to make any changes in such type of premise in your home.
Altering of the existing structure of the floor
If you want to change the current function of a room into your property, you need to consider all the outcomes from such kind of renovation. For instance, is you are planning to install a new bathroom in a premise which is situated on a weaker floor structure, you will have to also think about performing extra work to strengthen the entire floor. Building a bathroom on a weaker floor structure might result in collapsing or other dangerous consequence once you start using the bath. Professionals like structural engineer, for example, can determine whether or not you will have to provide extra strengthening and they can also produce all documents that Building Control might require before the beginning of the working process.
Regulation of other building projects
Depending on the kind of room you are creating, you have to provide also appropriate type of ventilation.
If you are currently planning to include building of an internal wall in your renovating project, make sure that by inserting it you are not making the ventilation or any other thing worse. If the new wall is being used for the creation of a room, don’t forget to check if the ventilation in the newly formed premise is appropriate for its size. There are several main rules regarding the ventilating of a premise and they are:
- Purging – The opening of a window is probably the easiest way to ventilate a room. The common requirement is for the opening to have an area of 1/20th of the floor, except when the room is a bathroom in which case the size of the opening can be as big as you like.
- Whole Building – Also called trickle ventilation, this type can be easily included into the head of the framework of any window or in some other device. Depending on the model of the room, the area can be 4000mm² for a bathroom and 8000mm² for any other premise. Usually the authorities require both of those types of ventilation but they can also agree to any other alternative, as long as it is approved by the Building Control Body.
If the new kitchen, bathroom, WC or other type of room which you are building won’t have windows which will open in order to provide ventilation, then you are obliged to provide a mechanical extracting fan which can take care of the condensation and all the smells. The performance for this type of devices can be measured in litres per seconds:
- Kitchen – 30l/s, when situated over a hob and 60l/s in any other place in the room;
- Bath or shower – 15l/s, including 15 minute overrun in case there is no window that opens;
- The utility room – 30l/s;
- WC -6l/s with included overrun
The measures can be changes in case the ventilation is constantly running.
Building a greener home
If you want to turn your place into a better place for a living, make sure to pay special attention to the various kinds of appliances and different fittings you install in your kitchen or bathroom. The best solution is for them to be energy efficient or A-rated which is ordinarily indicated with a sticker on the particular appliance. The aerated taps are another good idea for your green home because they are known to reduce the use of water.
When you are cooking, you can use gas instead of electricity. The mains gas can be also put into use for the heating of your entire home. The electric induction hob is another good option for your property because it will save you a lot of energy through a halogen hob or an electric one.
In the bathroom you can do a lot of green renovations as well which will save you money. The water consuming is the main concern when it comes to the bathroom and by using toilets with low flush or similar showers and taps, you can easily reduce your bill.
More information here and here.
The presented regulations are connected to the planning and building regime in England. For any further information about the regulations in Wales, please contact the authorities.
The following guide should be regarded as an introductory and therefore it doesn’t provide legal information.
You are strongly advised to get in touch with your local planning authority for a complete peace of mind. Make sure that all your doubts, concerning the project are disproved before taking any building actions.