Technical guidance notes

Drainage

For all drainage systems it is good practice to:

  • lay drains in straight lines. Keep any bends to a minimum and as slow as possible
  • lay drains with even falls
  • provide access to drains in the form of manholes, inspection chambers and rodding eyes at regular intervals. You should always provide access at changes in direction, fall and size
  • backfill drains with materials, such as pea gravel, that will provide adequate support
  • protect pipes from damage if they are shallow or laid in heavily trafficked areas
  • identify anticipated flows and provide pipes of sufficient size
  • establish the condition and watertightness of any existing drains you want to reuse.

Depending on your circumstances, additional items require consideration. The guidance provides advice on the main issues affecting drainage systems.

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Electrical safety

There are regulations that apply to all electrical installation work in dwellings, including gardens.

Please note that these guidance notes are for advice only and may not cover all situations. It is your responsibility to ensure that they are appropriate for use in your particular circumstance.

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External walls

Please note that these guidance notes are for advice only and may not cover all situations. It is your responsibility to ensure that they are appropriate for use in your particular circumstances.

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Fire escape windows

This guidance is about fire escape windows for two storey houses and loft conversions. These notes are for advice only and may not cover all situations. It is your responsibility to ensure that they are appropriate for use in your particular circumstance.

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Flat roofs

There are two common forms of construction for flat roofs:

  • warm deck (sandwich)
  • cold deck.

Please note that these guidance notes are for advice only and may not cover all situations. It is your responsibility to ensure that they are appropriate for use in your particular circumstance.

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Garage conversion

This information is for general guidance only and advice specific to your conversion is available from us on request. It does not cover conversions involving the installation of a toilet or bathroom.

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Garden walls

Garden walls are not controlled by Building Regulations. Building Control Services, however, do have powers to remove or make safe garden walls if they are considered to be dangerous.

Garden and boundary walls should be inspected from time to time to see if any repairs are necessary, or whether a wall needs rebuilding.

Please note that the guidance notes are for advice only and may not cover all situations. It is your responsibility to ensure that they are appropriate for use in your particular circumstance.

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Getting plans right

When you submit plans and applications for Building Regulation consent, it is important that the information we receive is in sufficient detail.

Even if you choose to use the Building Notice procedure, which may not require the submission of full working plans and details, you are advised to use this guidance note to help you understand the requirements of the Building Regulations.

The guidance is primarily for up to two-storey domestic buildings only.

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Ground floors

This guide is for advice only and may not cover all situations. It is your responsibility to ensure that they are appropriate for use in your particular circumstance.

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Loft conversions

Loft conversions can be a useful way of adding an extra room to your house. This guidance assumes a two-storey house, with a new second floor loft room. If your property differs from this, you should seek further advice.

Certain requirements will not be imposed on bungalows with a loft room. More onerous requirements will be applied to three storey buildings with loft rooms.

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Means of escape

Means of escape in case of fire is relevant to all occupied buildings, from domestic houses and flats to multi storey offices, shops and factories.

The guidance is not intended to provide full details of the requirements of the Regulations. Instead, it is hoped it can relay some of the areas where occupiers or owners have made the mistake of not making a Building Regulations application to cover works.

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Neighbour consideration

While there is no requirement in the Building Regulations to consult neighbours, it can be courteous to do so. Objections may be raised under other legislation, particularly if your proposal is subject to approval under the Town and Country Planning Acts, where overlooking of windows, for example, may be controlled.

The guidance is intended to give you a general guide on how to avoid disputes with your neighbour when you are carrying out building works.

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Pitched roofs

Please note that these guidance notes are for advice only and may not cover all situations. It is your responsibility to ensure that they are appropriate for use in your particular circumstance.

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Raft foundations

The guidance is for advice only and may not cover all situations. It is your responsibility to ensure that they are appropriate for use in your particular circumstance.

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Replacement windows

Building Regulations require that work involving replacement windows, doors, and rooflights, etc. is checked to establish if requirements are being met. This does not apply to repair work to frames or broken glass.

The guidance is for advice only and may not cover all situations. It is your responsibility to ensure that they are appropriate for use in your particular circumstance.

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Soakaways

Building Regulations require you to adequately dispose of stormwater from the building.

To try and ensure water is dispersed into the ground evenly and quickly, you must consider the use of a soakaway in all cases.

You must use a soakaway if design criteria can be met. Discharging stormwater into a drain will only be allowed if soakaways or other infiltration methods are not suitable.

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Timber upper floors

Please note that these guidance notes are for advice only and may not cover all situations. It is your responsibility to ensure that they are appropriate for use in your particular circumstance.

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Traditional foundations

These guidance notes are for advice only and may not cover all situations. It is your responsibility to ensure that they are appropriate for use in your particular circumstance.

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Trees in clay subsoils

"It has long been known that trees cause clay soils to shrink by withdrawing water through their roots in summer"

Changes in the moisture content of clay soils causes shrinkage or swelling, commonly known as heave, which in turn can cause cracking and movement of foundations, floor slabs and hence damage to whole structures. Clay shrinkage is caused during dry spells, generally from water abstraction by vegetation. Clay heave is often caused by the removal of trees and hedgerows or alternatively due to substantial wetting after prolonged dry spells. The extent of movement may be determined from a number of factors. (e.g. clay type, tree type, distance of trees from a foundation excavation, geological location).