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Considerations before commencing a Loft Conversion

a picture of roofers toolsGovernment regulation regarding planning for loft conversions has been relaxed over the last few years, but before progressing too far, it is advisable to seek an expert opinion. There are still certain strict rules that have to be adhered to as well as Building Regulations that are still very much in place.

The current shortage of housing has encouraged the government and local council to try to make it as easy as possible for people to extend their living space rather than move home. Along with the ever increasing costs of moving home due to stamp duty and other expenses, now is an ideal time to think about extending your home skywards, and make use of all that wasted space in the loft.

The possibilities are almost endless as to what you may be able to use your loft space for. It can be rather exciting to ponder the options open to you in order to improve your living space.

No planning permission is now required for a loft conversions or roof extensions. However, there are certain limitations and conditions that must be met to satisfy both building and fire safety regulations.

Houses on designated land do not benefit from permitted development.
There are additional roof space volumes of 40 cubic metres for terraced house’s, and 50 cubic metres for semi-detached and detached.
It is important to bear in mind that previous roof space additions must be included in these volumes, and you need to make sure that previous occupiers have not used some of these allowances.

If you intend your loft conversion to have Dorma windows, it is worth bearing in mind that no part of the extension is higher than the existing roof. Any roof extension must not be built to overhang the outer face of the wall of the original house. Also, materials used on the outer extension must be similar to the original house materials.
Some roof extensions with Dorma windows may lend themselves to the inclusion of a balcony, but balconies or verandas are not permitted development.

It is also important to consider your budget and carefully take into consideration all the costs you may incur during the work. Here is a post we wrote getting the budget right for your loft conversion.

The above is not to deter anyone from exploring the possibility of a loft conversion for your home, far from it! As already mentioned, with preferences changing from local authority and cost advantages weighed against moving, now is a great time to start getting quotes!

Just remember to get expert advice from the outset. Not just on current regulations, but on making the most of the space available.

Get advice on maximising the space and usage of all those awkward nooks and crannies that will obviously be there due to the overall sloping roofs. It is amazing how someone used to designing these attic areas can come up with ideas to make an irritable angular corner into a feature that enhances the overall area.

In summary, you do not need planning permission to convert your loft space, however, always check the government regulations to be on the safe side. However, there are several important considerations one must address at the start of the project to make the best decisions about your conversion. Seek the advice of an expert to be clear on all safety issues and ensuring you are complying with the best standards. Furthermore, an experienced designer can give you some great advice on the best way to design and build our loft conversion.

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