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Private Building Control Vs Local Authority Building Control: A Guide

When you undertake any sort of significant renovation or construction work in your home, you’ll need to comply with building regulations for your house extension. To prove you’ve done this, you’ll need to seek building control approval.

To get this, you can either go down the route of using local authority building control, or you can use private building control to formally approve your house extension and issue a certificate to the council.

What Both Types Of Building Control Inspectors Do


Both private building control inspectors and inspectors working for the local authority must adhere to the same set of building regulations – and ensure that your project does the same.

This means that, whichever choice you opt for, both private and independent building control follow the same set of standards and Practices. Both will need to sign off on the technical drawings for your build and to make site visits to your project at certain points.

The idea is that the inspector can advise your builder and ensure that the work is progressing in line with regulations – which could save you expensive remedial work at a later stage.


The Differences Between The Two Processes:

Although there’s no difference in the outcome or the rules that both types of inspectors must follow, there are some variances between the two. One is that the application process is not quite the same.

With private building control, they will apply for approval. They must also give ‘initial notice’ to the local authority, letting them know about your building project.

Upon completion, the private building inspector will issue a completion certificate, which is a final certificate to the local authority to confirm the work has been completed in line with regulations.

If you use a local authority building control inspector, you’ll need to apply yourself for approval via the government planning portal.

Why Choose A Private Building Control Inspector?


If you choose to use a private building control inspector, you are more likely to have a single, dedicated person visiting you at every stage, which is useful for more complicated builds. What’s more, you can choose an inspector with specialist experience, which can be particularly useful if your project has specific unusual aspects to it that might require niche knowledge and experience.


Why Choose A Local Authority Building Control Inspector?


A local authority inspector will generally cover a smaller geographical area than an independent one. As a result, they may have more detailed knowledge of the local area and any ground conditions or geological issues that might be relevant.

The local authority inspector also has the power of enforcement – unlike an independent inspector – so if there are problems with the build they can resolve it directly, whereas a private inspector would have to hand it over to the local authority at this stage.




On a broad level, there shouldn’t be that much difference between the costs of a private building control inspector and a local authority one – the biggest variable in cost will be the size and complexity of your own building project.


One difference between the two, however, is that private inspectors quote on a job-by-job basis, while local authority inspector fees are published via the council’s website.


Ultimately, both ways of complying with building control inspection follow the same sets of rules, so both should result in a properly certified house renovation. Which way you choose to go will depend on the specifics of your build as well as your personal preference.

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Last updated | 27 Aug. 2021

Private Building Control Vs Local Authority Building Control: A Guide

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