Building regulations and permissions

Loft conversions are one of the easiest ways to getting extra usable space, and is generally considered “Permitted Development”.

Normally planning permission is not required when you want to work on your loft, by either altering it or extending it, as long as this process doesn’t exceed certain specified limits and conditions.

Here are some of them:

  • The materials must be similar to the existing house.
  • No balconies added
  • The extension should not be higher than the highest part of the roof
  • For semi-detached or terraced homes, you must inform your neighbors about the changes and how they are affected.
  • The house is not in a conservation area

When you want to convert a loft into a livable space, there are certain building regulations that need to be followed.

Some of these are:

  • The new floor must be strong enough structurally
  • Safe stairs to the new floor
  • Safe fire escape
  • The structure is not endangered b the changes

In case you will need a planning permission, the architect or design firm will be able to guide you through the process

The purpose of the loft conversion is either to increase the storage facilities or to increase the living space of the home.  Work like installing a stair or any other more extensive work needed then Building Regulations are likely to apply.

You should contact Building Control for advice and present your proposal.

Some of the elements needed to satisfy the Regulations are in this list:

  • Roof
  • Any new internal elements
  • Walls and foundations
  • Doors and windows
  • Stairs
  • Electrics

Can the loft be converted?

Your loft must be assessed before any work is done on the conversion to make sure it can be converted, usually most lofts can. Factors like head high, roof pitch and structure, possible obstacles will tell whether your lofts is suited for change.

The minimum head height for your loft conversion should be 2.2 meters. Depending on when the house was built and the height of the loft can vary, also will either have roof trusses or rafters. Rafters run along the edge of the roof, trusses run through the cross-section of the loft.

Don’t neglect the changes to the floor below the loft when planning a conversion. Think about where the staircase will go and how much room it might take up.

If you need to remove sections of the roof or the entire roof to make room to gain headspace, this would increase the costs or will require planning permission, but if this is something you want to be done, it can be done.

We can help you asses the costs of your loft conversion based on the oft conversion type and the work it involves.

Your loft will need insulation to make it a habitable space, and the building inspector will determine what type of insulation is needed. You have a couple of roof insulation methods, depending on the specifics of your roof, as well as floor insulation and party walls insulation, that would prevent both heat loss but also noise as well.

Adding roof lights when converting your loft is the easiest method, and falls under “Permitted Development” and require the least structural changes.

Dormers will add additional space to your loft as well as a lot of light, and are made by opening up the roof. This is a job that should be done by specialized workers but will give you the maximum floor space and head height for your loft conversion.