Inspection of Building Works

Embleton Village Hall Walker Bros Highly Commended 2011To ensure that your building works comply with Building Regulations and other relevant associated legislation, the Council's Building Control Surveyors carry out inspections of building work as it progresses.

Once you or your builder have decided when to start, you must give at least two days notice to the Council in writing. A Building Control Surveyor will call on the commencement date even though there may be nothing to inspect. He will introduce himself, discuss the job and answer any queries. If the job is being done under a Building Notice, he will discuss the proposals with your builder and arrange to carry out periodic inspections. He may require you or your builder to submit further details for consideration.

Commencement is the first of up to nine mandatory inspections. (Not all nine are relevant to all jobs.) Stages of work to be inspected are listed below:-

  1. Commencement.
  2. Excavation for foundations.
  3. Foundation constructed.
  4. Damp proof courses laid.
  5. Over site ready for concreting (with damp proof membrane laid if appropriate).
  6. Drains laid and visible for checking layout and construction.
  7. Drains backfilled and ready for testing for water tightness.
  8. Occupation.
  9. Completion of work.


More than one inspection may be carried out at one visit. Inspections one and two often coincide as do four and five and seven and nine.

These inspections are not necessarily the only ones your Building Control Surveyor will make. Some jobs will require extra specific inspections such as reinforcement of concrete structures and fire protection to a structure and often you will be asked by your Building Control Surveyor when you intend to plaster or line the ceilings so that he may call to inspect beforehand. In addition, he may call unexpectedly at other times to check on the work in progress.

To avoid unreasonable delay a Council must carry out inspections two to six within one day of being notified.

Once written confirmation of commencement has been received, all other inspections can be arranged by telephoning the Building Control Office. Often same day inspections will be possible following telephone calls before 10am.


When work is found not to comply with the Regulations, your Building Control Surveyor will request that it is altered or removed to put things right. Hopefully, this will be done but if not, then he may serve a legal notice on the building owner requiring him to do so.

Normally the notice will give you 28 days to rectify the work. You can seek advice from a professionally qualified person if you disagree with the notice, and if you tell the Council this, the 28 days will be extended to 70 days. If the report you get from this person persuades the Council to withdraw their notice, your expenses may be recovered from the Council.

If the Council does not accept the report, or if you don't have one prepared, legal proceedings will continue which may lead to a fine which increases day by day until the work is made to comply.

Similar action may result if you carry out work without approval or without notification of inspections. Enforcement is rare as, normally, common sense prevails. Your Building Control Surveyor is, after all, merely ensuring that your building is a safe and healthy place to live, work or visit. To help him achieve this you are advised to request the final inspection before your builder leaves the job. Any problems can then be quickly and efficiently put right.

Completion Certificates can be issued on satisfactory completion of works.

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Contact us

0303 123 1702

Allerdale Borough Council
Allerdale House, Workington, Cumbria,
CA14 3YJ