Building regulations

Last updated: 20 July 2017

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

Building regulations 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 don't 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 don't need a warrant. However, most of these will still need to follow building regulations. Always check with a professional or the building standards department of your local council.

Meeting building regulations

The best way to make sure any building work you do meets building regulations is to contact your local council's building standards department.

They should be able to:

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

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, and they can certify to your local council that their design work meets building standards.

During the building work

While the work's taking place, a Building Standards surveyor from the council's building standards department will visit to inspect the work.

They will only be there to make sure the building work meets the Building Regulations. They won't check if it's built as you would like it – this is up to you and your architect or surveyor to decide.

If you need to change your plans during the building work, you have to discuss this with 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 need to submit a completion certificate. If you've used an Approved Certifier of Construction, you should include your certificate at this time.

Once the Building Standards department receives your certificate, they'll make reasonable enquiries to make sure the work done follows building regulations. They'll then either accept or reject the certificate within 14 days.

You must have an accepted completion certificate before you're allowed to move into or use your newly built home or extension.