Loft conversions are a great way to add space and value to your property. They can be costly and complicated, but careful planning and design can make the process of your loft conversion as smooth as possible. There are various different factors that can vary between loft conversions, so it’s important to have a architectural survey carried out on your existing loft to know what kind of conversion will be appropriate. If other conversions have been done on similar properties in your street, check to see which conversions have been done.
Loft conversions are appropriate for many homes, but your current loft needs to have at least 2.2-2.4m of ceiling height in order to undertake a conversion as some of this space will be lost to extra insulation or adjustments to the roof height. If you do not have the necessary ceiling height, adjustments can be made to the pre-existing roof or floor of the loft, but this will be expensive. Also consider the placement of the staircase, as you will need a suitable location for a permanent staircase on the floor below the loft.
There are different forms of loft conversion. Rooflight and dormer window loft conversions are the most straightforward. Rooflight conversions will simply require fitting rooflights into the existing roof profile, while dormer windows are vertical windows with their own small roofs that are positioned in the current roof. Dormer windows add headroom in situations where it could be restricted. There are also the higher priced hip to gable and mansard style loft conversions, but these will greatly improve the size of the space.
Some loft conversions, particularly simpler types like rooflight or dormer conversions, will be covered by permitted development rights and therefore not require planning permission, providing you do not intend on changing the size of the structure of your pre-existing roof. Hip to gable and mansard conversions tend to need planning permission. If you are in a conservation area you’ll need planning permission, and this will generally stipulate the type of conversion that you can use, as it’ll need to be a design that suits the area. If any of the walls of the loft are terraced, you will need a Party Wall Agreement. Building regulations will apply to all areas of loft conversions.
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