Common building projects and issues

What you need to consider when starting building projects.

Preparing for a building project

Read our useful guide to renovating your home, published in partnership with Local Authority Building Control.

This guide gives advice on:

  • planning and funding a project
  • types of consent you may need and how to apply
  • building regulations compliance so you can sell your home
  • employing builders
  • conservatories 
  • alterations, including partition walls and structural alterations 
  • changing your doors and windows
  • re-fitting kitchens and bathrooms
  • re-wiring, lighting and electrical alterations 
  • replacing boilers and alterations to heating systems 
  • chimneys, flues and wood burners 
  • re–roofing 
  • insulation 
  • improvements outdoors, such as patios and outbuildings

There's also helpful advice on building projects on the LABC website.

Building over public sewers owned by Southern Water

If you want to build over a public sewer, you’ll need to check Southern Water’s requirements and get permission from them before you start the building work. 

A public sewer will usually serve two or more properties. If you want to build over drainage that only serves one property, it is classed as private drainage. This does not form part of Southern Waters network, and you don’t have to get permission from them.  

If you’re not sure what drainage needs involvement from Southern Water, contact them first or get advice from an architect or surveyor.

Energy efficiency

Find out when you need an Energy Performance Certificate and how to get one on GOV.UK.

Shared property boundaries or party walls

If you are doing work on or near a wall, or building a new wall, that is shared with another property:

Fire safety

To ensure you are meeting your responsibilities, read fire safety law and guidance on GOV.UK.

We've also advice on how to remove or change external fire escapes in flats or maisonettes.

The East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service can give advice about fire safety.

Garden walls

Find out how to check if your garden or boundary wall is safe on GOV.UK.