5 Building Regulations Books you should read before building anything

We’ve put together a list of 5 most important building regulations books in the industry. From historical presentation of Building Control in the United Kingdom and through the final stages of project delivery, these highly informative materials are bound to bring value to your investment and organisation.

If you are starting your development in London and surroundings, we are most definitely happy to help. We have the experience, the knowledge and the energy to offer you the best counselling regarding the building regulations in the UK we are capable of. We can do the applications for you, advise you regarding the timeframe and costs involved, design the entire development project for you or just undertake the survey.

However, if you’re working within the industry, already have the knowledge or you simply wish to learn more about the existing building regulations in the UK, here are 5 books we wholeheartedly recommend based on our experience, discussions with other professionals and recommendations we have received ourselves. When you are starting an important project for yourself or a client, you want to do your homework and know all there is to know.

None of these books are a breeze to get through (although some are better worded for the general public than others), but giving the importance of the matter, should they be?

If you are improving or extending existing homes, you must have a look at the 5 essential home extensions books.

Not only we recommend you to read them, but these are absolutely necessary before investing any money into your building project.

  1. Building Regulations in Brief, 8th Ed (Apr 2014)

Building Regulations in Brief, 8th Ed

Answers questions like “What are the duties of the Local Authority?”, “What does the Bulding Act 1984 contain?” and “Can I appeal against a local authority’s rulling?”, among others. The book is a no-nonsense approach to Building Regulations and every CAD designer, average builder, trader or DYI enthusiast in the UK should have a copy of this. As a Chartered Building Surveyor you should probably know this by heart already.

AMAZON Waterstones

The new version of this book, published on 17 April 2014, includes all amendments up to December 2013 (including the changes to Leaflets L1A and L2A regarding the conservation of heat and energy in new buildings which came into effect April 2014).


The no-nonsense approach has made it a firm favourite with all involved in the building industry including designers, building surveyors and inspectors, students and architects. A ready reference giving practical information, it enables compliance in the simplest and most cost-effective manner possible. Building Regulations in Brief cuts through the confusion to explain the meaning of the regulations, their history, current status, requirements, associated documentation and how local authorities view their importance, as well as emphasizing the benefits and requirements of each regulation. It’s an essential purchase for anyone needing to comply with the building regulations.


This simple approach to the regulations, without delving too deeply into detail, gives a perfect guide for the DIY person, student, site operative and architect as well as other professionals across the board; the key being that it helps you to locate the vital information. It is also extremely cost effective compared to the full documents which are not easy to read or as accessible due to the multiple volumes.

— Mark Heggs, MBEng, MIHEEM, MICWCI, University of Leicester

  1. Guide to the Building Regulations, 3rd Ed (Dec 2015)

Guide to the Building Regulations 3rd Edition (Dec 2015)

A really handy reference book (link updated for the latest edition, printed in December 2015). Any Architectural Technician would find this book easier to flick through, than trawling through the Approved Docs every time. The diagrams are very clear and the text is well explained. Written to save time for hard-pressed users, Guide to the Building Regulations will be a welcome companion for architects, construction professionals and building control officers alike.

AMAZON Waterstones


This practical time-saver manual summarises what the Approved Documents to the Building Regulations (England and Wales) and associated guidance require and explains how to comply. Fully up to date with the 2010 amendments to the Regulations (Parts F, G, J and L) and produced by the official publishers of the Approved Documents, this brand new manual is comprehensive in scope.

Structured by ‘Part’ of the Building Regulations and highlighting key compliance issues, the guidance focuses on the more difficult areas such as Part L. Advice is also given where third-party guidance and standards cited in the Approved Documents have been revised but the Approved Document itself has not yet been updated, making this undoubtedly the most current book on the topic. An uncluttered and user-friendly layout allows the essentials to be assimilated quickly and enables readers to navigate easily from section to section.

  1. The Building Regulations: Explained and Illustrated, 14th Ed (Nov 2016)

The Building Regulations: Explained and Illustrated, 14th Ed

The Building Regulations: Explained and Illustrated provides a detailed, authoritative and well illustrated guide to building control in England and Wales. This latest edition (14th as of February 2016, which will be launched again as a re-revised edition in November 2016) has been fully revised throughout to ensure it continues in that strong tradition. In particular, Part B Fire, Part G Hygiene and Part L Conservation of Fuel and Power have seen major changes to reflect recent changes to the regulations.

AMAZON Waterstones


′The cost of getting some detail wrong far outweighs the price of this book … For any builder, plumber or carpenter working in the UK I would say that this book is a must. Even if it the only book you own it is worth having.

A host of smaller changes to the administration of the Regulations are also included.


Well arranged and easy to follow, The Building Regulations: Explained and Illustrated is an excellent publication that allows students and experienced professionals alike to become familiar with the often wide array of Building Regulations in the UK, with detailed examples of many areas of applying regulations to real situations. After purchasing the book, many questions I had in regard to applying Building Regulations to actual problems both in new build as well as existing modernisation or alteration to properties were quickly resolved and simply understood because of the manner in the way the book is written; and this will, I am confident, be experienced by students and professionals alike who add this to their data bases.

Alan R. Jenkins

  1. Understanding the Building Regulations (Understanding Construction), 6th Ed (Sep 2014)

Understanding the Building Regulations (Understanding Construction) , 6th Ed

Presented by it’s author and other specialists as the most concise, jargon-free and compact guide to the UK building regulations at the moment, Understanding the Building Regulations seeks to simplify what are at best extremely complex and detailed regulations in the United Kingdom.

AMAZON Waterstones


The book tries to explain using as little wording and instructions as possible the Approved Documents [running from document A (Structure) through to Document P (Electrical Safety)] that forms the main thrust of this book, but let us tell you right now that that is extensive ground to cover.

Considering the price, its importance and the accessible language used throughout the material, this remains one the most user-friendly, informative and useful books on the subject and we can easily recommended it for those studying construction, the operatives in the construction industry and the actual construction and design professionals of any level, as one of those core textbooks that form a personal technical collection.


This is a publication drafted by a building control expert who seeks to give clear, sensible and straightforward guidance that will be accessible to everyone concerned with construction of buildings in England.

David Phythian, BA MSc FCABE MRICS, Building Engineering

  1. Building Construction Handbook, 11th Ed (April 2016)

Building Construction Handbook, 11 edition (4 April 2016)

With the first edition published back in 1998, the 11th edition comes after quite a few years of regulation changes and information gathering: Building Construction Handbook is now the essential, easy-to-use resource for undergraduate and vocational students on a wide range of courses including NVQ and BTEC National, through to HNC and HND, to Foundation and three-year Degree level. It is also a useful practical reference for building designers, contractors and others engaged in the construction industry.

AMAZON Waterstones


The book presents the basic concepts and techniques of building construction and is packed with straightforward and easy to follow illustrations which outline the principles, processes and concepts of building and construction being discussed. This method reflects the primary means of communication on site between building designer and contractor. Addresses areas including site works, substructure, superstructure, internal construction and finishes, and domestic services.

This new edition has been updated to reflect recent changes to the building regulations, as well as new material on the latest technologies used in domestic construction.

Building Construction Handbook covers all the necessary basics you need to get started on any general construction subject in a straightforward, concise manner.


Antony Holland tip: We’ve converted the Building Regulations Approved Documents into web format (instead of downloading PDF documents) to make them easier to work with, reference, and link to as necessary and they can be found at https://www.specifiedby.com/building-regulations