Customer Information (Frequently Asked Questions)

We have listed the most frequently asked questions and provided an answer in brief. You can find further supplementary information by clicking on the relevant links associated to the question.

What are building regulations about?

Building Regulations are a legal requirement and we work with the construction industry to ensure any building work is carried out to an appropriate technical standard and ensure that any building is safe to use. We check and inspect a wide range of work right through from small domestic alterations, to new dwellings, through to large scale commercial developments. Please see our related pages and photographs that show the range of projects that we are involved.  We understand that the Regulations can be complex, particularly when you may not often be involved with them we are here to help and our web site should provide all the relevant information for you.

If your proposed work relates to either volume housing or any building other than domestic premises then please contact our Commercial Team.

Refer to our supplementary guides for more information and further sources of information are: 

www.extendingyourhome.com/birmingham and www.planningportal.gov.uk/buildingregulations

Who appoints the building contractor when you extend or alter your property?

You are investing in your property and it is important that you make the best choice in terms of your building contractor. Acivico will inspect the building work as it progresses, however we do not appoint the contractor as we are independent of this arrangement, the duty of care for the competence of the contractor lies with the owner.

There are a number of builders trade associations, the following are the most common: Quality Mark builders, Federation of Master Builders, National Federation of Builders.

What do I do if building work on a neighbouring property encroaches on to or causes damage to my property?

These aspects are not a matter that is covered within the remit of Building Regulations and therefore not anything that the Acivico have any legal powers to get involved with. There is, however, a remedy, which is a civil matter of a duty of care. This is clarified within the Party Wall Act. Legislation can be found at www.legislation.gov.uk/all?title=party wall act.

When is a Building Regulations Application NOT required?

There are types of buildings that do not require Building Regulations approval as they are either not considered habitable or of a sufficient size to be a risk. 

  • Construction of a carport (if open on two or more sides with a floor area of 30 square metres or less)
  • Erection of a conservatory with an internal floor area of 30 square metres or less, and wholly or partly glazed with glazing which complies with the safety standards of BS 6206, and with the conservatory area separated from the main dwelling by the existing external door
  • Construction of a detached garage that is more than 1 metre from the boundary and has an internal floor area of 30 square metres or less.
  • Erection of garden fences and  walls within your garden 

If your project does not fall into one of the above categories, or if you are unsure whether you should be submitting an application for your building work, please contact our customer advisors on 0121 675 7006 and select option 2 to speak to a member of the team who will be able to help you.
We also have a more detailed guide to building work: www.extendingyourhome.com/birmingham

Is there a charge for making an application?

Yes, there is a fee payable. The amount will depend on the type of work you are intending to carry out, and these fees are outlined on our application forms and you can refer to supplementary information on fees.

Do applications for work that is for disabled persons need a fee to be paid?

There is an exemption for people registered as disabled. Refer to supplementary information on fees.

When can I start work?

You can start work, in all cases, within 48 hours of an application being correctly deposited. See our supplementary guide for more information.

How do I book a site visit?

You can use a variety of methods to suit you to book a site visit by one of our surveyors. Refer to our downloadable leaflet. 

Please advise us of any cancelations as soon as possible quoting your address and where possible your reference number.

technical queries or any advice about my building plans before they are submitted or even if I am not sure of what I want to build?

Yes, our surveyors are available by e-mail and phone so please call to arrange an appointment. Acivico would be happy to provide general advice on any procedural or technical elements of your building regulations application - please contact us on 0121 675 7006 and select option 2 to talk to one of our customer advisors.  If your query is of a technical nature, we may need to refer you to a surveyor; we endeavor to deal with queries on a same-day basis.  

Are copies of completion certificates are available from Acivico Ltd?

Copies can be provided for Building Regulations applications which were submitted to Acivico Ltd or Birmingham City Council and where the work on site was inspected by us at completion. There is a charge for this service and copies can be requested in any of the following ways:-

T: 0121 675 7006 and select option 2 to speak to one of our customer advisors

A: Acivico Ltd, PO Box 2062, 1 Lancaster Circus, Birmingham, B4 7DY (stating the property address that you require the completion certificate for)

E: building.consulta[email protected]

Please note that certificates can only be provided for building work which has been supervised by Acivico Ltd or Birmingham City Council.  To help you find out whether an application has been or is being processed, you can carry out an online search by clicking here.

My property had building work done to it before I bought it, can I get a copy of the Completion Certificate?

Yes, so long as the work was supervised by Acivico Ltd or Birmingham City Council and the work on site was inspected by us at completion.  Please follow the process outlined above.

The work to my property was not supervised by the local authority – who do I contact to get a Completion Certificate?

If the work was supervised by an Approved Inspector you should contact them to request a copy of the Final Certificate as Acivico Ltd cannot provide this to you.

Will I need Planning Permission?

Planning permission is entirely separate to Building Regulations and therefore some types of building work do require Planning Permission but there are others which are exempt.  For planning advice please contact the Planning Department in Birmingham City Council.  They can be contacted on 0121 303 1115 or you can email them at [email protected].  There is also a list of Planning related FAQs and answers available online - please visit the Planning webpages  www.birmingham.gov.uk/planningapplications

What are Permitted Development Rights?

Permitted development rights are specific to Planning Applications, and don’t apply to the building regulations.  More information about permitted development rights can be found on the Planning pages on Birmingham City Council's website.

Will I need to have a drains survey carried out?

For all advice and guidance on public drains that might be affected by your building project, please contact Severn Trent Water Ltd on 01902 793 550 or click this link to download the application form from their website. We will inspect the building work as it progresses and we consult with Severn Trent as part of the Building Regulation process.