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Building regulations

Any building work you do must follow building regulations.

These are rules to make sure all building work is:

  • safe
  • energy efficient
  • sustainable

For detailed guidance on building regulations, download building standards technical handbooks on

Getting a building warrant

A building warrant is legal permission to carry out building work. If you need a warrant and start building work without one, you could be fined.

To get a building warrant, the work you plan on doing must meet building regulations.

There are certain types of building work that do not need a warrant. However, these must also follow building regulations.

Appointing an agent

You can appoint an agent to act on your behalf to make sure your plans meet building regulations. This could be an architect, a building engineer or a building surveyor.

If you appoint an agent, they’ll apply for a building warrant for you.

Using an approved certifier

Approved certifiers are Scottish Government scheme providers.

They certify that their work meets your local council's building standards. This can help you meet building regulations and get a building warrant.

Check how to find an approved certifier.

Get advice from your local council’s building standards department

They can:

  • tell you if you need a building warrant
  • advise you on building regulations
Aberdeen City CouncilAberdeenshire CouncilAngus CouncilArgyll and Bute CouncilClackmannanshire CouncilComhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council)Dumfries and Galloway CouncilDundee City CouncilEast Ayrshire CouncilEast Dunbartonshire CouncilEast Lothian CouncilEast Renfrewshire CouncilEdinburgh CouncilFalkirk CouncilFife CouncilGlasgow City CouncilHighland CouncilInverclyde CouncilMidlothian CouncilMoray CouncilNorth Ayrshire CouncilNorth Lanarkshire CouncilOrkney Islands CouncilPerth and Kinross CouncilRenfrewshire CouncilScottish Borders CouncilShetland Islands CouncilSouth Ayrshire CouncilSouth Lanarkshire CouncilStirling CouncilWest Dunbartonshire CouncilWest Lothian Council

During building work

A surveyor from the council's building standards department will inspect the work.

They’re there to make sure the building work meets:

  • building regulations
  • the terms of the building warrant

They will not check the quality of the build. That’s up to you and your agent, architect or designer.

If you need to change design or materials during building work

Discuss this with your agent, architect or designer and your local building standards department.

They'll tell you how to apply for an amendment to your warrant. If you appoint an agent, they’ll apply on your behalf.

When building work is finished

Submit a completion certificate to your local council. If you've used an approved certifier of construction, also include their certificate.

The building standards department checks that the work meets:

  • building regulations
  • the terms of the building warrant

They’ll accept or reject the certificate within 14 days.

You must have an accepted completion certificate before you can move into or use the building.

If your certificate is rejected

The building standards department will tell you why and explain how you can appeal.

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