Underpinning Back to Blog



You do not require planning permission to carry out maintenance on your home’s foundations. Underpinning, foundation work and maintenance is considered a permitted development. If you live in a building that is listed or a building that is located within a designated area, such as a National Park or an Area of Outstanding National Beauty, we recommend that you contact your local Planning Authority to enquire about listed building consent and designated area planning permission.

Building regulations

Although planning permission is not needed in the vast majority of underpinning cases, when it comes to foundation work and maintenance this is classed as ‘building work’ and it is therefore subject to building regulations. Foundation work requires a lot of skill and poor work can lead to serious dangers and health risks. For this reason we strongly recommend employing a reputable tradesman to carry out the job.

The reasons for new underpinning usually revolve around the existing foundations having moved from their original positions or storey extensions. Underpinning is the process of increasing the height and also the strength of foundations to support extra weight. It is a necessary process to go through when extending a home and foundations generally need maintaining every 30 or so years. Some homes are more prone to movement than others and low quality foundations can lead to a serious loss in a building’s structural integrity.


During the underpinning process, a design engineer or building control surveyor will normally assess the quality of the work before it is concreted and sealed into place. This process is strongly recommended by almost all professional tradesmen. The inspection ensures that the foundations will be able to support a property for the foreseeable future. If the foundations are not deemed to be of a high enough quality, then the engineer or surveyor can theoretically order that the job be corrected.

For more information relating to underpinning and foundation work, please visit The Planning Portal.


The information contained within this article is strictly for guidance only.  Cost2Build recommends that you always check current sources of information in case regulations have changed. Cost2Build cannot accept any liability for miscommunication of the law in the case of a change in regulation or any action done to a property based on the information held in this article.

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