Replacing roofing felt: building regulations

Felt is a fabric made from fibre pressed together. It is usually used in roof construction. In the UK, felt is put in between joints to improve the insulation of the roof. It is also used as temporary support before the roof is completely done. If you are planning to reroof or thinking of changing your roofing felt, check building regulations first.

The rules

A roof is a very vital part of a structure and needs to be built correctly to serve its purpose - that of protecting the house from the elements and improve insulation.

If your roof is giving you problems and you would like to replace it, you might be wondering if you need to change felt which is part of the insulation system. Roofing felt is used for different reasons such as protection from the elements, to serve as an extra layer if the roof blows off, and to comply with fire regulations safety.

  • New roof construction

If you are constructing a new roof and will use roofing felt, building regulations require that you apply for permission. In short any new construction needs planning permission.

  • Modifying a roof

Reroofing does not need a permit provided the following conditions are met:

* Planned alterations are not more than 150 mm from the roof plane

* Any modification should not be higher than the highest part of the roof

* Side windows should be glazed

However, there are situations where you will need a building approval such as the following:

* Structural alterations are planned

* Differences in the performance of new coverings in cases of fire

* Repairs that are more than 25% of the entire roof surface require that you improve roof insulation

Other notes

The above are indications what to do when constructing a new roof or altering an existing one. If your roofing felt is degraded, building regulations indicate you do not need to replace it depending on the roof cover you have. The reason is sarking serves no further purpose once you have slated or tiled your roof.

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