Loft Conversion – How To Keep Within The Law

loft conversion

A loft conversion can act as a useful way to add extra living space to your house.

Not only can it provide much extra living space such as an additional bedroom, work office or bathroom, but when done right, a loft conversion can also add value to your property too. This is good news if you go on to sell your property in the future.

Question is, how do you keep within the law when it comes to converting a loft.

Here are a few tips on how to stay on the right side of the law when it comes to your loft conversion.

Loft Conversion- Do You Need Planning Permission?

Planning permission is not usually needed when converting an attic or loft.However if you alter or extend the roof space then planning permission is usually required.

A loft conversion doesn’t usually need planning permission as it is considered to be permitted development .This applies providing that it falls within certain criteria including;

  • Terraced houses : A volume allowance of 40 cubic meters additional roof space is allowed
  • Detached and semi detached houses: A Volume allowance of 50 cubic metres additional roof space is permitted
  • The extension cannot be higher than the highest part of the roof
  • The materials used need to be in keeping with the existing house
  • No verandas, balconies or raised platforms are allowed
  • Side facing windows need to be obscure glazed;any opening to be 1.7m above the floor
  • Roof extensions not to be permitted development in designated areas
  • Roof extensions, except for hip to gable ones, need to be set back as far as possible, at least 20cm from the original eaves
  • The roof enlargement cannot overhang the outer face of the wall to the original house

 Loft Conversion- Building Regulations

Despite not always needing planning permission, loft conversions always require approval under  Building Regulations . Therefore, it’s advisable to adopt a full plans approach and to have a full scheme approved before appointing a builder. This will help on 2 counts;

1. It will help to take the risk out of the work

2. It will  enable your builder to be able to provide a more accurate quote for the work as opposed to a more vague estimate.

It’s also worth noting that if you are planning a loft conversion for a semi detached or terraced property, then you will need to notify your neighbours of your intentions as it will probably fall under the Party Wall Act 1996 

Loft Conversion- Moving Forwards

Without a doubt, having a loft conversion can provide a straightforward way of gaining extra living space (and adding value) to your home.  Keeping within the law with your loft conversion doesn’t have to be a complicated process. If in doubt simply contact your Local Authority Building Control who will be able to advise you on any building control conditions that will affect your loft conversion.

Alternatively ,if you are considering a loft conversion in South Wales and would like us to take care of it all for you ,contact us here and we’ll happily get straight back to you to arrange your FREE quote.

Finally if you found our post on “Loft Conversion- How To Keep Within The Law” useful, then please post a comment in the comment box below.

Good luck with your loft conversion,



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