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Guidance and information

Construction is becoming increasingly technical. Our aim is to assist designers, contractors and building owners negotiate the legal and technical requirements of the construction process. This area contains:

  • regulations
  • guidance notes and
  • other technical resources on Building Regulations and related matters

The Building Regulations 2010 are supported by ‘Approved Documents’.  They give detailed technical construction guidance on specific subjects such as:

  • structures
  • fire safety
  • drainage

The success of any project will depend on using the right people in the construction team. Guidance on choosing your builder can be found at citizens advice.

Manual to the Building Regulations

A code of practice for use in England

The UK Government has issued a new 'Manual to the Building Regulations'. It is a short guide that gives an outline on how the Building Regulations system in England works.

Volume 1 of the guide gives an outline and is aimed at homeowners, builders, architects and professionals.

Volume 2 goes into more detail. The manual is only a summary. You should always rely on what is said in the legislation, rather than the guidance in this manual. You should think about what help you need with your project. There are professionals who can give you advice on your project. This can help you make sure that you adhere to the Building Regulations

Extending your home

Our Guidance E-book is our comprehensive Guide to Extending your Home.

This includes information in relation to:

  • loft conversions
  • basement conversions
  • domestic extensions
  • garage conversions
  • other alterations

The book contains information about the things you need to take into consideration when designing your extension.  Including radon and mining.  Hard copies are also available from our offices.

Renovating your home

This E-book is our comprehensive Guide to Renovating your Home which includes information in relation to:

  • refitting kitchens and bathrooms
  • re-roofing
  • thermal upgrading
  • alterations
  • alterations to heating systems

Hard copies are also available from our offices.

Home and Build

For further information on different types of projects visit the Home and Build website. You will find technical and practical guidance.

Party Wall Act

A booklet has been produced by the Department of Communities and Local Government.  It explains in simple terms the Party Wall etc Act 1996.

The Party Wall Act booklet is available from the Planning Portal.


Radon is a colourless, odourless gas which is radioactive.

It is formed within the ground where uranium and radium are present. It moves through cracks and fissures within the subsoil into the atmosphere. Or spaces under and in dwellings.

Where radon occurs in high concentrations it can be a risk to your health. Exposure to particularly high levels of radon may increase the risk of developing lung cancer. Unfortunately for us, because of the predominance of granite in Cornwall there is a chance that the level of radon within dwellings in some areas of Cornwall could be unacceptably high.

To reduce the risk all new buildings, extensions and changes of use that will have a residential purpose or provide sleeping accommodation may need to incorporate precautions against radon. 

You can find more information, including construction information, on radon on the BRE website. Or by contacting us. 

Fire Risk Assessment

If you plan to use your property as a holiday let then this type of premises is covered by the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2006. It maybe inspected by the fire service.  The requirements to comply with the legislation are higher that required for building regulations. The Government guide Do You Take Paying Guests ISBN 978140980531-1 applies to your premises. Some of this information is contained below.

If you make a Building Control application for works to your property you will receive a response from the Fire Service.  It will contain information to help you comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2006.

A fire risk assessment must be carried out by a competent person.  This is not a complex process. You may be able to complete it yourself.  Guidance is available at:

Further information

Further information is also available by typing Building Control in the 'search for' box at the top of the page.

If you are having construction or refurbishment work done, you may need to notify the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). You may have other duties as well. More information is available on the HSE website.

For compliments, comments and complaints about building control please visit our Listening and Learning page.