Loft conversions

A loft conversion, which involves converting your roof space into extra living space, is an excellent way to add value and room to a home.

Why not use your roof space to provide an extra bedroom for the growing family, a play or recreational area or an office? This can be an easy and cost-effective way of maximising available space and could allow a growing family to stay in their current home instead of moving to a bigger property.

Converted roof spaces are regarded as permitted development  and do not require planning consent, provided certain conditions are met. Any additional roof space created must not exceed:

  • 40 cubic metres for terraced houses
  • 50 cubic metres for detached and semi-detached houses

These allowances also include any roof space additions made by previous owners.

There are restrictions on the height of the roof extensions and windows, particularly according to whether they are side facing, and opening or non-opening.

Building regulations approval is required for loft extensions. You are advised to book appointments with your local building control department well in advance to avoid holding up the building work. Building control officers can also advise on whether existing loft conversions are safe to use if you have any queries as a prospective purchaser.

It is worth contacting your local planning authority to discuss your plans for extending your loft prior to commencing work, to see whether it comes within permitted development and whether you would need to apply for planning permission.

Not every home is suitable. Ceiling height and the practicalities of installing a staircase are key considerations.

You should also check to see if your area is subject to a Part 4 Direction, particularly if you live in a designated conservation area which would require you seek planning permission.

Why not use the service of a chartered surveyor to advise you and/or project manage your building extension for you. Our Find a Surveyor service will help you find chartered surveyors in your area.

Further information