What is the difference between ‘Planning’ and ‘Building Control’?

Put simply, Planners say what can be built and where, whilst Building Control ensure that what is being built complies with minimum standards. As an example, the Planners would doubtless have strong opinions if you were to propose building a replica of the Taj Mahal in your back garden; Building Control on the other hand wouldn’t raise any objections to its appearance as long as it was built in such a way as to be safe to use and met the requirements of the Building Regulations.

A word of warning – contraventions of the Building Regulations can usually be rectified, albeit at considerable cost; but contravening Planning regulations can result in having to completely remove the entire building or extension – this is not an area in which to take risks.

How much will my building works cost?

Or, put another way, how long is a piece of string? So many factors affect the cost of building works that each project simply has to be priced individually – hence the need for robust plans and specifications. As a very rough rule of thumb, domestic extensions in 2019 cost approximately £100/m2 (£1,000/ft2) but check here to see how even the smallest of jobs can attract considerably different quotations…

Building Contracts

Please don’t forget to engage your builder under a proper Contract. Of course, if you’re appointing 9yards to the full Design & Project Management Service we’ll look after this for you, including liaising with your Quantity Surveyor, administering the contract and certifying regular payments so you’ll have nothing to worry about.

But if you prefer to engage us only for the design aspect of your project (eg feasibility, preliminary design, Planning permission and Building Control approvals) then you really are well advised to cover yourself by appointing your chosen builder under a formal contract. There are a range of contracts available for small domestic works, however over the years we have found the most ‘user-friendly’ of these to be the ‘JCT Building Contract for a home owner / occupier’. The JCT is the premier contract range for construction and this contract has been specifically designed and updated for domestic extensions. It also carries the ‘Plain English Campaign Crystal Mark’ as evidence of its ease of use and even comes in two options: one for use when you don’t engage us to oversee work on site and another for when you do. It’s also very affordable at around £30. Find out more or buy your copy here:

JCT1 – JCT Building contract for a home owner/occupier with no consultant

JCT2 – JCT Building contract for a home owner/occupier who has a consultant to oversee the work

Latest News

  • Supporting the homeless

    Supporting the homeless

    9yards is proud to be supporting local charity ‘Hope outreach for the homeless’. These volunteers do amazing work on the ground that makes a real, …
  • Sponsoring CGS Ladies Hockey team

    Sponsoring CGS Ladies Hockey team

    9yards is delighted to be sponsoring CGS Ladies Hockey 1st team for the 2015/16 season. We’re sure you’ll agree the girls look fantastic in their …
  • Ratified Houzz Influencer

    Ratified Houzz Influencer

    9yards is now a ratified ‘Houzz Influencer’ – check us out on Houzz.co.uk


    We’re delighted to have completed our latest new office for Abbey Insurance Brokers in Lisburn. This represents a hugely significant win on Planning policy; additionally, …
  • Ulster Tatler Award Feature

    Ulster Tatler Award Feature

    9yards awards presentation has been featured in the prestigious Ulster Tatler magazine!