Loft conversion FAQ

How do I know if my loft can be converted?

You must have a minimum height of 2.2m (approximately 7ft) from the existing ceiling joist to the underside of the ridge (the apex of the roof) then you should be to convert your loft into a useable space.

Why should I convert my loft?

Not only will a loft conversion create lots of additional living space, but the majority of estate agents agree; a converted loft can add more than 20% to the overall value of your home, making it an extremely worthwhile investment (as well as making it more appealing to the potential buyer).

Do I need planning permission?

The right answer is that it’s unlikely. This is because new regulations came into play in 2008 that stated that most loft conversions didn't require planning permission any more (as they had previously). They are now considered to be permitted development, subject to the following:

  • A maximum volume allowance of 40 cubic metres of additional roof space if you’re converting a loft or attic in a terraced house
  • A maximum volume allowance of 50 cubic metres additional roof space if you’re converting a loft in a detached or semi-detached house
  • You are not allowed to extend your loft beyond the plane of the existing roof slope of the main elevation that fronts the highway
  • No part of the loft conversion or extension, including the dormer, can be made higher than the highest part of the roof
  • All the materials you use have to be similar in appearance to the existing house
  • No balconies, verandas or raised platforms are allowed without planning permission
  • Dormers may not to be on the front elevation facing the road or may invade your neighbour’s privacy
  • Any side-facing windows should be obscure-glazed.Any opening must bea minimum of 1.7m (approximately 5.5ft) above the floor
  • Roof extensions or loft conversions, apart from hip to gable ones, should be set back to at least 20cm from the edge of the room
  • Your house should not have already been extended past the permitted development limit of an additional 15% of its original size

How long will it take to get planning permission if I need it?

It varies as the decision is made by your own, individual local council, however, if you work on the basis of eight weeks you shouldn’t be far wrong.

Do Building Regulations apply?

They will do because Building Regulations are totally different to getting planning permission, as building Regulations set the standard for the design, construction and health and safety aspects for all building projects.

We are here to ensure that all plans are submitted on your behalf and you get issued with a certificate on the completion of work. Further details can be found on the government’s Planning Portal website.

Do any other permits or regulations apply?

If there is a need for any additional permits, such as for skips and scaffolding we will organise these for you as and when required.

How long does a loft conversion take?

A 'normal' loft conversion is going to take some 4 to 5 weeks to finish. If we think there will be any delays, for whatever reason, we will let you know in plenty of time.

Do I need to consider fire regulations when converting a loft?

If you intend to build on the second floor – as with any double storey house - then yes, you are going to require fire doors. However, if your property is a single story bungalow and you are remaining on the first floor you won’t need fire doors, but you will need to install a suitable smoke alarm in either case.

Can I expect a written guarantee?

Yes! A reputable builder will always offer a guarantee with their work. All our work is fully guaranteed for a period of 10 years, thanks to the Guild of Master Craftsmen and the FMB.

Is there likely to be much disruption in and around my house?

A quality builder should keep any disruption to a minimum. We have completed lots of loft conversions around the Yorkshire area and we always try our best to respect the home in which we are working. We want to cause the minimum amount of disruption possible when we commence work.

Consider though, that for the first few weeks of a loft conversion, scaffolding will be erected and from the fourth week an opening needs to be cut out and the staircase fitted.

Will we need to move out when work is being done?

No. Most of the work will be done from the outside until we fit the staircase and by this time the structure will be fully secured.

How important is it to be fully trained when doing loft conversions?

Well, if you’re thinking of doing the conversion yourself, we would suggest that you be very careful. You will be dealing with electrics and, in many cases, gas.Every member of our team is very experienced in converting lofts, as each one has worked with us for a minimum of 3 years. They're all time served trained.

But it goes further than that, because our electricians are all NICEIC / Part P registered, our joiners are experts in their field and our plumbers are, as you would expect, fully Gas Safe registered.

Will a builder always offer a free survey and quote?

We can’t speak for every builder, but all our quotes and surveys are provided for free and without obligation.

How much is the architects/building regulations fee?

For a loft conversion you are looking at a fee of approximately £1,350 + VAT.This is taking into account architect and building regulations fees, (including any structural calculations).

The above is not an exhaustive list. If you have any other questions or need further information, please don’t hesitate to contact us on Leeds 0113 370 8931.