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Dealing with Local Building Control for French Doors

Looking at having some French doors 1200mm fitted by creating an opening between two rooms. The wall is an interior weight bearing wall.
Had a three builders around and one says there is no need to get building control as we use standard 100 x 145 x 1500 lintel, the other says use 1500mm Catnic BXD100 steel lintel and the third says possible building regs may need notifying but thats free.
I am confused. I tried calling local building control but they seem to be unable to provide support - please put in an application - I think about £400 just to find out if I need to notify them or not.
If this is the case I might as well not go ahead.

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Replies

  • ElephantBoy57ElephantBoy57 Forumite
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    Work covered by building regulations

    The Building Regulations 2010 cover the construction and extension of buildings.

    You might also need building regulations approval for many alteration projects, including if you plan to:

    • replace fuse boxes and connected electrics
    • install a bathroom that will involve plumbing
    • change electrics near a bath or shower
    • put in a fixed air-conditioning system
    • replace windows and doors
    • replace roof coverings on pitched and flat roofs
    • install or replace a heating system
    • add extra radiators to a heating system

  • ElephantBoy57ElephantBoy57 Forumite
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    How much does building regulation approval cost?

    This can vary according to local authority fee rates and the nature of the work undertaken, but as a rule of thumb most conversion, renovation or extension work will cost around £100 to submit full plans and a further £200-400 for inspections. Approved Inspection fees are usually similar in terms of a total charge- usually around 1-2% of the cost of the work.


  • bigpappabigpappa Forumite
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    How much does building regulation approval cost?

    This can vary according to local authority fee rates and the nature of the work undertaken, but as a rule of thumb most conversion, renovation or extension work will cost around £100 to submit full plans and a further £200-400 for inspections. Approved Inspection fees are usually similar in terms of a total charge- usually around 1-2% of the cost of the work.


    So I need to submit full plans to cut a new door opening? So someone will have to draw plans up - few hundred and then pay what it looks like £400 for Building regs approval and inspection?
    So thats £800 on top of the work?
    I may just not do it.
  • DevilDamoDevilDamo Forumite
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    You mention French doors and then go on to refer to forming an opening to an internal load bearing wall between rooms. Are you really referring to a pair of internal swing doors as French doors are commonly those used as external doors?

    Structural alterations require a BR application and that can be done via a Building Notice application. The BN application fee would be calculated on the cost of the works and is normally done in bands, e.g. up to £2,000 and between £2,000-£5,000, etc... Yours would come under the lowest bracket and to give you an example, my Local Authority Building Control department would charge something in the region of £200 for it.

    A structural alteration would normally need to be supported by engineers’ calculations. For an opening like that, an engineer may charge up to £200 and it’s that you’d submit to Building Control along with your application. Or Building Control may well tell you themselves as to what beam/lintel they’d accept above but only once you’ve paid them.
  • TELLIT01TELLIT01 Forumite
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    Double internal doors between rooms were commonplace some decades ago, but no so common now.  That may be what the OP means and used the term French Doors to describe them.
  • edited 30 June 2020 at 10:55AM
    DoozergirlDoozergirl Forumite
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    edited 30 June 2020 at 10:55AM
    bigpappa said:

    How much does building regulation approval cost?

    This can vary according to local authority fee rates and the nature of the work undertaken, but as a rule of thumb most conversion, renovation or extension work will cost around £100 to submit full plans and a further £200-400 for inspections. Approved Inspection fees are usually similar in terms of a total charge- usually around 1-2% of the cost of the work.


    So I need to submit full plans to cut a new door opening? So someone will have to draw plans up - few hundred and then pay what it looks like £400 for Building regs approval and inspection?
    So thats £800 on top of the work?
    I may just not do it.
    Don't believe everything you read in the internet.  

    You wouldn't pay that much for a brand new house and don't need full plans, just building notice.  Whatever it is will be the lowest price point on your council's building control price page.  

    If you are creating an opening in a load bearing wall then you should have it inspected.  The reality of an opening that small in a single skin of brick wall using a concrete lintel is that most wouldn't bother with BC.  That wouldn't instil in me the greatest of confidence in the builder though.  

    The most important thing is to have a structural engineer to give the nod.  The inspector will only sign off on what the 
    SE has specified.  

    Frankly, it's cheaper to open up the whole wall, get it all signed off correctly and not bother with the doors.  The labour element is pretty large on doors, yet they remove the ability to place furniture on both sides of the wall in question and take up space when they're open.  The rest of the time they act just like the wall did.  
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
  • bigpappabigpappa Forumite
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    bigpappa said:

    How much does building regulation approval cost?

    This can vary according to local authority fee rates and the nature of the work undertaken, but as a rule of thumb most conversion, renovation or extension work will cost around £100 to submit full plans and a further £200-400 for inspections. Approved Inspection fees are usually similar in terms of a total charge- usually around 1-2% of the cost of the work.


    So I need to submit full plans to cut a new door opening? So someone will have to draw plans up - few hundred and then pay what it looks like £400 for Building regs approval and inspection?
    So thats £800 on top of the work?
    I may just not do it.
    Don't believe everything you read in the internet.  

    You wouldn't pay that much for a brand new house and don't need full plans, just building notice.  Whatever it is will be the lowest price point on your council's building control price page.  

    If you are creating an opening in a load bearing wall then you should have it inspected.  The reality of an opening that small in a single skin of brick wall using a concrete lintel is that most wouldn't bother with BC.  That wouldn't instil in me the greatest of confidence in the builder though.  

    The most important thing is to have a structural engineer to give the nod.  The inspector will only sign off on what the 
    SE has specified.  

    Frankly, it's cheaper to open up the whole wall, get it all signed off correctly and not bother with the doors.  The labour element is pretty large on doors, yet they remove the ability to place furniture on both sides of the wall in question and take up space when they're open.  The rest of the time they act just like the wall did.  

    Thank you. What I mean was internal double doors. Is there a standard width? The builder said tell him the size of doors I want and he will get the correct lintel.
    So reading up I was thinking 1200mm door frame - the doors being about 40mm less than that.
    The concrete lintel being a minimum of 150mm on either edge longer - so 1500mm minimum.
    Can I ask for a longer lintel - is that better?
    Also reading up and getting confused - can I ask for catinic bxd100 lintel?
    I believe the internal wall is just redbrick - not sure if its two brick thickness or one.
  • bigpappabigpappa Forumite
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    TELLIT01 said:
    Double internal doors between rooms were commonplace some decades ago, but no so common now.  That may be what the OP means and used the term French Doors to describe them.

    Yes  I meant double doors. Is there any standard size of double doors? Whats the minimum width I should go for?
  • Owain_MoneysaverOwain_Moneysaver Forumite
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    1. You need a Building Control application and appropriate fee. 
    2. You need a lintel.
    3. Building Control must approve the lintel calculation.
    4. Many supplies of lintels (structural steel suppliers) will do a simple lintel calculation for you free or very cheap when you buy the lintel, which will be accepted by Building Control. Otherwise you may need a structural engineer.

    Remember that although the lintel supports the weight of the wall above, it can only do this by transferring the load to the walls on each side of the opening, so the walls and foundations at each side have to take the point load which was previously evenly spread along the wall length. 

    You can have whatever size of opening you want but it will be significantly more expensive if you want the walls or ceiling to be flush across the division. You can have a central door or door with fixed side lights. 
    Once you've made the opening, you can have a stud wall in front of the existing wall and sliding/pocket doors (although that restricts the opening to less than 1/2 the wall width as the doors need space to retract). 
    A kind word lasts a minute, a skelped erse is sair for a day.
  • DevilDamoDevilDamo Forumite
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    bigpappa said:
    TELLIT01 said:
    Double internal doors between rooms were commonplace some decades ago, but no so common now.  That may be what the OP means and used the term French Doors to describe them.

    Yes  I meant double doors. Is there any standard size of double doors? Whats the minimum width I should go for?
    Just measure one of your existing single doors and double it. Standard internal door widths vary and a common size is 762mm (2ft6). Bear in mind the narrower the doors means you may have to open up both in order to pass between the rooms... assuming you went for doors smaller than 686mm.
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