New Building Regulations Will Slash Costs and Red Tape for Self Build Homes

Posted by Alan Kelly on July 31, 2015 at 09:27 PM

I have announced major reforms to the Building Regulations that will slash costs and reduce red tape for people who want to self-build their homes.

Under the reforms, people building single dwellings or extensions will be given the choice of opting out of statutory certification and may instead show by alternative means that they have met their general obligation to build in accordance with the minimum requirements of the building regulations. Additional guidance, including a Sample Preliminary Inspection Plan, will be published to assist with this process.

The reforms will broaden the pool of people who may certify building works for building control purposes. In other changes, a new fit-for purpose local authority inspection process will be developed to ensure that building standards do not slip in respect of these types of builds and, for the first time, local authorities themselves will be covered by the regulations.

The major reforms I am announcing today will benefit people in county Tipperary who want to build their own homes by lifting a huge burden of cost and red tape off their backs. My approach restores the balance of power to consumers. Nobody who invests in building their own home would spend money on substandard work but people should not have to pay at inflated rates for excessive inspection services.

I am satisfied that the new arrangements will level the playing field for individuals and families planning to build or extend their home. They will no longer be held to ransom by excessive quotes for design and completion certificates. Owners who wish to invest in statutory certification may, of course, continue to do so and I believe many will do so where reasonable and affordable prices can be obtained.

These sensible new Regulations will provide a welcome boost to construction of new homes in the county as well as to builders’ providers and other suppliers.

I firmly believe that local authorities should be setting the standard when it comes to the construction of homes and, given the roll-out of the Social Housing Strategy, we must ensure that we have well-built homes for families across Ireland. There will be no slackening in the oversight of multi-unit developments. In 2014 new, more stringent building regulations were implemented for all dwellings. Their purpose was to ensure that we never had another Priory Hall episode or poorly built housing estates around the country again. The Building Control Regulations will remain mandatory for all multi-unit developments in the country. 

I am committed to providing an alternative to the technical assessment procedure for registration open to certain practice-trained architects under the Building Control Act 2007. In keeping with the recommendations of the Joint Oireachtas Committee Report on the Title of Architect (2013) and the Fennell Report (2013) the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government will continue to work with stakeholders to identify a special entry route having due regard to the practice-trained experience and subsequent career circumstances of such candidates for registration. Plans are also advancing for the statutory registration of architectural technologists which it is anticipated will further broaden the pool of certifiers for building control purposes.

The new regulations will come into effect from 1st September 2015.

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