What are the requirements for a Loft Conversion?

Considering a loft conversion? Then it’s a good idea to find out every aspect of this type of home renovation, including the requirements needed to ensure you’re eligible for one in the first place. 

Before you go full steam ahead, investing money into a loft conversion, it’s always a good idea to see if not only whether it’s possible but also whether it’s worth repurposing your loft into living space, whether that’s a bedroom an ensuite or an office or play room.

Does Your Loft Have What It Takes?

First and foremost, it’s a good idea to take a look at your loft space and what you have available to you. Does it have the necessary requirements? Here we go through exactly what’s needed, from height to pitch and more.

Does it Offer Enough Height?

One of the first steps in assessing your loft’s potential to be expanded is to see whether it has enough height or headroom. You’ll need to measure from the top of the floor joists through to the underside of what’s known as the ridge beam. For real comfort you’ll want at least 2.4m however, some have been known to get away with 2.2m. 

It’s worth noting however that the finished product will eat into this headroom massively and in some cases will leave your original height of 2.2m at a mere 1.9m. This won’t just feel claustrophobic but could be an issue for any of your taller family members. You’ll also need to measure the headroom available to you for staircases which require a minimum of 1.9m at the centre of the flight itself. If you’re measuring lower than the above minimums, your loft is likely too small to convert.

What Roof Pitch Do You Have?

Generally speaking, the steeper the pitch in your roof, the easier the conversion will be as it’s considered they’ll me more useable space. Your pitch and the gradient you need will depend greatly on what you’re looking to have done. A Velux conversion will need a far different gradient and span to that of a dormer conversion. Do bear in mind however that you won’t be able to change your roof pitch or raise the height of the ridge without gaining full planning permission.

Planning Permission – Do I Need It?

Once you’ve established whether your loft space has the room to convert, it’s then on to determining whether planning permission is required.

Many are shocked to find out that actually, this isn’t always required, in fact, for a great deal of loft conversions, planning permission isn’t needed as it falls under what’s known as ‘permitted development rights’. Having said that, if your loft conversion plans exceed the limits of permitted development then you will need to gain planning permission before doing anything. This will require you following strict building regulations in place to help ensure work is done safely.

Does My Loft Conversion Fall Under Permitted Development?

First things first, will your loft conversion fall under permitted development? If it does, then planning permission will not be a requirement for you. This will save you time and money so it’s worth investigating. It’s of course always much easier to have an expert look into this for you. The likes of Clapham Construction Service will provide you with a free consultation in which they’ll take a look at your loft space for you and let you know if it falls under permitted development however, generally speaking, your loft conversion will fall under permitted development if:

  • It’s no larger than 40/50 cubic metres, depending on your home
  • It doesn’t extend beyond the plane of the principle elevation
  • It does not extend higher than the very highest point of the roof
  • There are no veranda, balconies or raised platforms
  • The materials used are similar in appearance to existing materials on the rest of the home
  • Any side windows are obscure glazed windows
  • Any/all side windows are a minimum of 1.7m above the ground
  • Your home is not within an area of outstanding natural beauty
  • The roof extensions must be set back at least 20cm from the original eaves, with the exception of hip-to-gable conversions
  • It must not overhang the outer wall of the original house

If you think your loft conversion will exceed these restrictions, then planning permission will be a requirement for your loft conversion. It’s also important to note that the list above, for permitted development, only applies to those in houses. If you’re in a flat, a maisonette or even a converted home, then you’ll need planning permission.

I Need Planning Permission

In order to gain planning permission, you’ll need to speak with the relevant experts who’ll help you gain planning permission. From architects to structural engineers. Once you have the plans, you’ll then need to submit to the relevant planning office in order to have your plans assessed and subsequently approved/denied.

Have Clapham Construction Do It For You


If that all sounds like a lot of work and hassle, then you’ll be pleased to know that Clapham Construction Service, loft conversion specialists in London, can do all of it for you. From assessing your loft space to ensure it’s possible to convert in the first place, to checking whether you need planning permission and if so, dealing with all of it for you; Clapham Construction Service have you covered. For more information, take advantage of their free consultations by calling 0203 950 7957 today.

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