The Cost of SI.9 on SMEs (very small enterprises)


02 December 2015

The omission of the significant costs associated with complex administrative building control procedures BC(A)R SI.9 is a frequent mistake, even by members of key stakeholder bodies involved in the formation of the regulations. The time and cost required for even modest SME projects is considerable.

For a minor SME fit-out with a construction budget of €25,000 for an  internal “change-of-use” fit-out, SI.9 building control procedures introduced in 2014 will cost €6,273 including Vat i.e. 25% of the value of the project. The Blog has received other SI.9 quotes for similar projects at over twice this cost (see end of post for full breakdown).

A recent Q+A in the property section of the Irish Times on 25th November 2015 gave incomplete advice for such a change of use scenario; see the extract below without any mention of BC(A)R SI.9 costs:


“Change of use: I’m starting my own business within the next two years. I’ve got a concrete garage which is sound, but the roof is made of asbestos and is in bad repair. I’m thinking of converting the garage into a kitchen. Obviously it would need a new roof but I’m wondering if there was any other regulations or permission I need to have a kitchen in there. It already has access to water and electricity.

Planning permission is required for all developments… you will also be required to prepare…[a] Fire Safety Certificate Application; Disability Access Certificate Application; and a Commencement Notice (in advance of building works commencing on site)…” (Link to Full Article here)

Assuming a 30 Sqm internal area, a €25,000 (incl vat) fit-out budget and a 3 week construction period, here are the overall fees and charges one could expect. The following calculation does not include any of the additional administrative costs for the builder. The fit-out will take less than 3 weeks to complete.

Statutory permission fees

  • Measured survey (entire property, required for planning and FSC): €700
  • Initial planning, preparation of sketch proposals, meetings and pre-planning consultation with Planning Department (incl OS maps €40): €800
  • Preparation of Planning application (documentation, drawings, specifications): €2,000
  • Preparation of Fire Certificate application (FSC incl. drawings and reports):€900
  • Preparation of Disabled Access Certificate (DAC incl. drawings and reports):€900
  • Building Control Appointments: professional Design, Assigned and Ancillary Certifiers: €5,100 (see breakdown below*)
  • Health and Safety Appointments: Project Supervisor (Design Process): €700
  • Health and Safety Appointments: Project Supervisor (Construction Stage): included in Builder’s costs
  • Total professional fees: €11,600
  • SubTotal fees and costs incl Vat @23%= €14,268

 Local Authority Application fees & costs**:

  • Newspaper advertisement (planning): €220
  • Planning Fee €108
  • FSC application fee: €87
  • DAC application fee: €800
  • Sub-Total fees + costs: €1215

Total costs incl fees: €15,483

For a minor SME fit-out with a budget of construction budget of €25,000 incl vat for an internal “change-of-use” fit-out, no external modifications or extensions, planning and building control procedures will cost €15,483 incl vat, over 60% of the construction budget of the project.

40% of this figure relates to Building Control (Amendment) Regualtions SI.9 introduced in March 2015, at €6,273 incl. vat.


*Building Control Costs (BC(A)R SI.9):

  • Preparing docs for upload; outline spec, notification plan etc: €1,500
  • Site Visits incl written reports for circulation & uploading to BCMS @ €400.00+VAT per visit and subsequent written report. Assume 4 visits: €1600
  • Completion Certificate Stage: €500
  • Ancillary certifiers (x 2 engineers): €1500
  • Subtotal BC(A)R SI.9 costs: €5,100 (minimum cost)
  • Total incl. vat @ 23%: €6,273

**All costs except statutory application fees are Plus VAT @ 23%.

Other posts of interest:

Building Regulations Amendments: 20 Feb 2014: Seanad debates (

98% say “Building Regulations introduced in recent years are acting as a barrier to construction” | Knight Frank Survey

How much does Building Control cost in the UK (Northern Ireland) for apartments?

What do Building Control Regulations cost for a typical apartment?

“After 18 months of operation the industry view of SI.9 is pretty conclusive: it’s not working”

Inadequate Regulatory Impact Assessment for S.I.9- Look Back 2

Self-builder’s Letter to ISME & SFA: BC(A)R SI.9

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