Any building work in England (including new building, modifications, change of use, etc) needs to (a) comply with current building regulations, and (b) potentially, be notified to the Local Authority.
This means that if you alter the electrical installation in your house, you may be legally required to notify the Local Authority's Building Control department, who will ensure that the building regulations have been complied with. In electrical terms this essentially means that all work is compliant with the British Standard BS7671 Wiring Regulations (17th Edition), with some additional requirements, as well as being compliant with all the other building regulations.
If you don't notify the Local Authority of notifiable work, you risk a fine of up to £5000. More practically, however, when you come to sell your house you will find the lack of appropriate paperwork will be spotted by the solicitor, which will cause problems. Should your house suffer from damage caused by or linked to an electrical fault, your insurance may refuse to pay out.
So what work is notifiable?
Notifiable work includes:
Non-notifiable work might include:
Note that this is a guideline provided for information and convenience, and no responsibility is accepted for any inaccuracies. For full information, consult the Building Regulations Approved Document P, current edition.
If you need notifiable work to be carried out, you have two broad options:
(Note that even non-notifiable work must be carried out according to BS7671; if a Local Authority finds that non-notifiable work is unsafe and non-compliant, they can take enforcement action, which may result in work being condemned and fines up of to £5000. An accident arising from non-compliant installation could lead to considerably greater liability.)
If you require further advice having read this, do feel free to contact us, or your Local Authority's Building Control department.