Building Warrant - Exemptions

Do I need a building warrant? It seems a simple question but such is the complexity of the technical standards, it is not feasible to provide an exhaustive list. Hopefully the information in this section does however provide clarification in relation to the most common minor works undertaken by householders. Please note that this section applies only to proposed work to houses up to 2 storeys in height. Flats and maisonettes have more strict controls as do commercial and other non-domestic properties.

You can read the full lists of exemptions (PDF) which are contained in Schedule 1 and Schedule 3 which are within Section 0 of the Technical Standards on the Scottish Government website.

Please remember the rules relating to planning approval differ from building standards. If you require further advice please contact us.

Definitions

Before you read about the exemptions, it is important that you read the definitions to ensure there is no ambiguity in what these buildings are:

  • Carport
    A roofed building for vehicle storage, which must be fully open on at least 2 sides, except for any roof supports
  • Conservatory
    A conservatory means a building attached to a dwelling with a door and any other building elements dividing it thermally from that dwelling and having translucent glazing (including frames) forming not less than either: a) 75% of its roof area and 50% of its external wall area or b) 95% of its roof area and 35% of its external wall area.
  • Covered Area
    A roofed building, open on at least 2 sides, except for any roof supports
  • Greenhouse
    A building used mainly for growing plants, which is either detached from the house or attached, but not entered from the house
  • House
    In this part means either a detached, semi or terraced house, not a flat or a maisonette
  • Porch
    A building attached to and providing a covered entrance to a house

Buildings Detached from a House

If you propose to build any of the following single storey buildings, within the curtiledge of your house, you will not, subject to the specified conditions, require a building warrant. Separate rules apply if you stay in a flat, see below.

  1. a garage
  2. garden hut or store
  3. a building used for keeping animals, birds or other livestock for domestic purposes
  4. a carport or a covered area
  5. a greenhouse
  6. a summerhouse
  7. a swimming pool cover
  8. an underground or substantially underground air raid shelter

Specified Conditions

The following conditions apply to both the detached and attached buildings listed above.

  1. In the case of detached buildings 1,2 and 3 above, the proposed building must be at least one metre from the boundary unless it is located more than one metre from the house. 
  2. The area of the proposed building must not exceed 30m2  or in the case of a porch and conservatory 8m2
  3. The proposed building must not contain a flue or a combustion appliance i.e. a stove, boiler, etc.
  4. The proposed building must not contain sanitary accommodation i.e. bathroom, shower-room, wc, etc.

Buildings Detatched from but within the Curtilage of a Flat or Maisonette

If you propose to build any single storey building, next to a flat or maisonette, you will not, subject to the specified conditions, require a building warrant.

  1. The building must not have an area of more than 30m2
  2. The building must be at least 3m from the flat or maisonette or any other part of the building containing the flat or maisonette
  3. The proposed building must not contain a flue or a combustion appliance i.e. a stove, boiler, etc.
  4. The proposed building must not contain sanitary accommodation i.e. bathroom, shower-room, wc, etc.
  5. If the building is in excess of 8m2, it must be constructed to comply with the building regulations 

Internal Alterations to Houses

A building warrant is not required for alterations within a house (not a flat or maisonette) subject to the following conditions:

  1. The floor area of the house is not increased
  2. There must be no alteration to an external wall, a separating wall, a load-bearing wall, the roof or any other element of structure
  3. The alterations must not affect the wastewater drainage system of the house
  4. The house being altered must have no more than 2 storeys.  

Installing Solar or Photovoltaic Panels

A building warrant is not required for the installation of solar or PV panels on the roof of a single or two storey house provided that the existing roof structure is capable of taking the additional loading. If however the roof structure does require strengthening then a building warrant is required.

Other General Exemptions

You do not require a building warrant to build: 

  • A wall, provided it is not more than 1.2 metres in height
  • A fence, provided it is not greater than 2 metres in height
  • General repair work to replace, by material of the same general type, defective render, cladding linings or coverings or involving the replacement of a fixture or appliance, by another of the same general type
  • Fitting a stairlift within a dwelling

Contact Us

Building Standards

buildingstandards@moray.gov.uk

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