Obtaining building warrant

Apply for a building warrant

A building warrant is the legal permission to start building work, or to convert or demolish a building. This permission is to make sure that the development meets building regulations. It covers structural stability, fitness of materials, damp proofing, sound insulation, conservation of fuel and power, drainage, ventilation, health and safety aspects, energy efficiency, emergency escape routes, ease of access and facilities for the disabled.

Building warrant and planning permission are two entirely different permissions. In most cases, you need both to carry out work legally. 

There are some things that you need to know before applying for your warrant:

Deciding who will make your application

If a building warrant is required, you will need to decide who will make the application. This can be yourself or an agent acting on your behalf. 

If you are unfamiliar with the building regulations, we strongly recommend you hire a suitably qualified building professional as your agent such as: 

  • Architects
  • Architectural technicians
  • Building engineers
  • Surveyors
  • Building companies
  • Conservatory and windows or doors companies

They will be able to draw accurate plans to scale. It is also often quicker and more cost effective.

Depending on your proposed work, you may also require the services of a structural engineer, or other building professionals.

You may wish to consider using an approved certifier of design for structural and energy designs. These are Scottish Government approved professionals who can self-certify that their design work meets the building regulations. This entitles you to a discount on your application fee.  

What you need to provide

When submitting an application please provide the following information:

  • Proposed and existing drawings of the design and construction
  • Location plan and site plan showing ownership boundaries
  • Certification – if you are using certifiers of design or construction
  • Structural checklist for building warrant applications (PDF 130KB)- we will only accept structural calculations for formal consultation if the checklist is completed; the structural calculations package along with any relevant accompanying, drawings, details and specifications should be submitted with the structural checklist

Remember that the work detailed in your building warrant application must be shown to comply with the Scottish Building Regulations.

The Scottish Government have produced guidance on what you need to do and provide to ensure a quality building warrant application is submitted.  The guidance provides an overview of the building standards system and processes, including helpful information on what aspects are important to make a good quality building warrant application.

Application fees

The fee required for each building warrant application or amendment is set nationally by the Scottish Government. It is calculated on a sliding scale depending on the estimated value of the work.

If your project has an estimated value of works of less than £10,000, you may be eligible to use our Fast Assessment service.

We cannot process your application until you have paid the correct fee.

How to pay

You can pay in different ways:

  • online at the time of your submission via the national eBuilding Standards portal
  • online using our payment form
  • by telephone with a debit or credit card
  • or contact us if you require an alternative method of payment

How to apply 

You can apply for building warrant online using the national eBuilding Standards portal.

Submit a building warrant application online

Alternatively, you can download the application form and send the completed form to our correspondence address.

View the building warrant privacy notice (PDF 323KB).

Building work without the necessary approval

If you have started work without building warrant approval (unauthorised works), you must stop all work and apply for a building warrant immediately. You need to state that it is a late application. This is a way of regularising the situation, but it does not remove the fact that the work has been carried out against building legislation. As a result, we will add appropriate fees for late applications.

If you have started and completed work without a building warrant, you must complete a submission for late certificate of completion form. You can do this online using the ebuilding standards portal or in paper by completing Form 6 - Submission for late certificate of completion and sending it to our correspondence address

For work carried out before 1st May 2005, without obtaining warrant approval or with warrant approval but without a certificate of completion, you will need to apply for a letter of comfort.