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Understanding Replacement Roof Regulations


Reading time: 7 minutes


What are the building regulations for repairing a roof?


To understand what roofing building regulations are, it’s important to explain how the regulations define types of roof and their purposes. The most common roofs this covers are pitch roofs (using slates or tiles for overhanging edges) and flat roofs (using roofing felt). 


These definitions include the following:


  • Provide adequate insulation

  • Have sufficient ventilation for reducing condensation

  • Have effective drainage

  • Be weather resistant

  • Be fire resistant 

  • Prevent spread of fire

  • Be able to support weight


The building regulations for roofs and replacement roofs can be found in Approved Document A, specifically in Section 4: Roof Covering. This document provides detailed guidelines and requirements for ensuring compliance with the regulations in England, and also covers building work carried out on excepted energy buildings in Wales.

This is a broad set of requirements, and it is worth checking the relevant Approved Documents that you will find at the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) website. In addition to this, Approved documents do vary across the UK. For specific documents outside of England, check the following:



Is planning permission needed to repair a roof?

If you’re fixing a section of roof that’s basically a direct replacement for a part that’s damaged, it’s unlikely you’ll need planning permission on top of following the necessary Approved Documents. However, if you are making the following changes, you may need planning permission:


  • Removing or replacing more than a quarter of the roof

  • Changing the height and/or pitch of the roof

  • Installing solar panels

  • Adding roof windows or skylights

Even if the roof repairs don’t fall within these points, it’s still a good rule of thumb to check with the local authority to see if planning permission is needed or not.


What are your legal responsibilities when working on roofs?

Although not part of Approved Document guidance, there are legal requirements that do need to be understood when working on roofs and working with roofing materials. This is covered by the Health & Safety at Work Regulations.


This kind of work can be extremely dangerous and should be avoided where possible. This means to not take unnecessary risks and work at height within the safest manner. If you’re managing a team of contractors, it’s essential to be aware of the three key areas of best practice when working at height. These are risk assessment, precautions and method statements.

  • Risk Assessment
  • Precautions
  • Method Statements

While the levels of safety for roof repair might be lengthy compared to some other projects, these are essential steps to take to protect yourself and your team.

For more information about Building Regulations, head over to our dedicated Building Regulations hub for simplified explanations about the requirements for each building reg. 


Disclaimer: The information contained on this page is intended as an overall introduction and is not intended as specific advice from a qualified professional. Travis Perkins aims to avoid, but accepts no liability, in the case that any information stated is out of date.