Building Regulations for Paving and Paths

Paving is often used to create hard surfaces that are attractive and need very little maintenance. These surfaces can be used as pathways, patios or driveways. Usually paving projects do not need to have building regulations approval. However, some regulations do apply to paving and pathways. Read on to find out more about the building regulations that your paving project may have to meet.

What are building regulations?

Building regulations are in place to make sure that buildings and other structures are constructed safely and are environmentally friendly. The regulations are a set of standards that building work must meet. These standards are set by the government and enforced by local authorities. Any building work that does not meet these standards may be subject to enforcement action. This can include having to alter the building work or even entirely remove it.

Do building regulations apply to paving?

Most building regulations do not apply to paving. However, there are some regulations that paving work may need to meet. These regulations are in two areas:

  • Drainage requirements for the building
  • Access to the property

Drainage requirements

A lot of paving work will not have any impact on whether the property meets building regulations for drainage. However, it’s important to check. Paving doesn’t drain correctly can cause severe damage to the building over time. If your paving runs right up to the wall of the building, make sure that the drainage is properly managed. If the water from the paving runs off towards the building this may affect the foundations.

There are other building regulations that specify the height of the damp proof course or membrane of the building. Installing new paving can sometimes affect this by raising the height of the ground next to the wall. If this is a problem, there are solutions available such as including a dry area next to the wall or sloping the paving away from the building. Professional paving companies will be able to advise you of the appropriate way to manage any drainage issues.

Access to the property

Any alterations to paving work must not have a negative effect on access to the property. This means that carrying out elevation work that adds steps to the access route to the property is not allowed under the regulations. Paving work must improve access to the building, or keep it the same as it was before.

There may be other regulations in place if you live in a listed building or a conservation area. If you’re not sure, check with your local authority. Their website may offer guidance on building regulations in your area.