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Building regulations

If you want to start building work, you'll usually need to make sure the work follows building regulations.

Building regulations (Scottish Building Standards) are rules made by the Scottish Ministers to make sure all building work you carry out is:

  • safe
  • energy efficient
  • sustainable

Building warrants

A building warrant is legal permission to carry out building work. If you do not have a warrant before the work starts you could be fined.

To get a building warrant, the work you plan on doing has to meet Scottish Building Standards.

Find more information on how to get a building warrant.

There are certain types of building work that do not need a warrant. However, these will still need to follow building regulations.

If you need a building warrant, it may also be a good idea to use an Approved Certifier of Design and/or Approved Certifier of Construction. These are Scottish Government scheme providers. They can certify their design work meets your local council's building standards.

You should always seek advice from the building standards department at your local council. 

They should be able to:

  • tell you if you need a building warrant
  • give advice on building regulations


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During the building work

While the work is being done, a Building Standards Surveyor from the council's building standards department will visit to inspect the work.

They are there to make sure the building work meets the Building Regulations and the terms of the building warrant. They will not check the quality of the build.  This is up to you and your architect or designer.

If you need to change the design or materials from your plans during the building work, you should discuss this with your architect or designer as well as your local building standards department. They'll tell you how to apply for an amendment to your warrant.

After the building work

Once the building work is finished you should submit a completion certificate to your local council. If you've used an Approved Certifier of Construction, you should include your certificate at this time.

Once the Building Standards department gets your certificate, they'll make enquiries to make sure the work done follows building regulations and the terms of the building warrant. They will accept or reject the certificate within 14 days. If your certificate is rejected they will tell you why.

You must have an accepted completion certificate before you can move into or use your newly built home or extension.

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