Do You Need Planning Permission For A Loft Conversion?

Do you need planning permission for a loft conversion

Do You Need Planning Permission For A Loft Conversion?

It’s no wonder that loft conversions have become increasingly popular over the past few decades. The advantages you will have by converting a loft into a living room or even a storage room will be endless and when you have questions like Do you need planning permission for a loft conversion? That’s where we came in. Here are a few pros of converting your loft.

  • Converting your loft is a fantastic way of enlarging your house, without eating up the space of your lovely garden. If you need to make an additional room for your child or a guest or even for you, then converting your loft will be the best choice for you. You would not have to move to a bigger house which will be more expensive.
  • Converting the loft increases the value of your house significantly. If for example, you are deciding to sell your house then converting the loft before selling can increase the value of your house dramatically. This will allow you to sell your house for a handsome amount of money.
  • Also, the living room will have a better view through the windows as it will be at the top of the house. There will be more windows for natural light.

But, (yes, there is always a but in the imperfect world) it is not always trouble-free, there are many factors which you need to consider before deciding whether it is the right way to add more value and space to your house. You might be asking yourself, do you need planning permission for a loft conversion? Don’t worry you are not the only one who asked me this type of question. Here are a few common questions that people ask me while converting the loft.

Do I Need Building Regs For A Loft Conversion?

In most cases, yes. You will need to meet building regulations which in most cases will be sorted by the builder team.

In these two cases, you will need to meet the building regulations-

  • If you want to convert your loft to a storage room
  • & if you want to convert your loft into a living space.

The builders will do the building regulations. They will need to check if the pillars will be able to hold the additional weight. And if you don’t meet the building regulations then you will be at risk. Building regulations are done to ensure that the house is safe. They check the following features of a house.

  • Fire Safety
  • Floor and beams, if they are strong enough to support
  • Sound Insulations, so that neighbours are not disturbed often
  • They also check the stairs and the walls. Because they need to support the additional load as well.

Do You Need Planning Permission For A Loft Conversion?

You will be glad to hear that most of the loft conversion doesn’t need planning permission unless your home is exempt from committed development rights. Those in maisonette or flats do not benefit from permitted development rights, That is because converting a loft falls under permitted development. But there are some limitations as well. So before starting the project you must contact your local authorities. They will examine everything and tell you if you need planning permission or not.  Also, someone posted another similar question, Do I need planning permission for a loft conversion? If so, then what are the requirements to avoid that. I thought it was a great question because it’s very rare that people ask for requirements.

Now, read this one very carefully, because these are the requirements given by the government and if you don’t fulfill the requirements then you will need planning permission. The requirements are-

  • The loft conversion should not extend beyond the plane of the existing room.
  • If you live in a detached property you can extend up to 50cm3 and if you live in a terraced house then you can extend up to 40 cm3.
  • The extension should not include any verandas, balconies, or raised platforms.
  • Your home must not be included in certain design areas like parks, or areas of outstanding natural beauty.
  • The extension must not pass the main outer wall of the house.
  • Any side-facing windows must be 1.7 meters above the ground.

However if you apply for a lawful development certificate, and if you get it then you will be tension-free. Because this certificate proves that your loft is lawful and it is built by fulfilling all the government requirements. Hopefully, now you know,  do you need planning permission for a loft conversion or not.

How Long Does It Take To Make Loft Conversion

8 weeks +/- 2weeks. These two weeks may vary depending on the kind of conversion you make. If it’s only for storage then it will take less time.

Can I Convert My Loft?

This is one of the most asked questions, so I highlighted it more. Usually, people who got the very first thought of converting their loft, ask me this question like can they covert the loft or do you need planning permission for a loft conversion? For that, you don’t need to go to an expert to decide, but I can help you get a rough idea if you can convert your loft or not.

Look Around

Yes, the first thing to do is to look around your neighbor’s house, if you see they have converted their loft, then you can be almost certain that you can also convert your loft.

Measure The Height

Measure the height of the loft, if the minimum height is 2.2 meters then you can surely think forward to convert your loft.

The Type Of Roof

If you have a rafter roof, which is a hollow triangular shape inside, then it will be easier, but if you have trusses, which have structural support in the middle, then it will be difficult but possible.

The Type Of Floor Below

See if you have the right floor below and then consider which way the staircase should be. It’s always better to have a master plan before starting the work.

What Type Of Loft Conversion Should I Go For?

This is the second common question that people ask me after, “Do you need planning permission for a loft conversion”. So there are many different types of loft conversions. But 4 of them are the main types of loft conversions.

  • Roof light
  • Hip-to-gable
  • Mansard
  • Dormer

1. Roof Light Conversions

Roof Light Conversions

If you are putting in the roof light in the front of your property. Then you will have to do the planning permission. But mostly the conversion doesn’t need any planning permissions unless you don’t exceed the highest part of the roof. And it’s always good to check from the local authority. And it is a really amazing way to build your loft. Firstly, because it is very cheap and secondly, you won’t need to extend the place externally at all. Sounds great right? But there is a huge disadvantage. You will have less space. That’s why people mostly prefer space over money. Some prefer using Velux windows which have pros and cons too. If you like the noise of the rain then Velux windows are for you. Sometimes there will be too much light when the sun is too low.

2. Hip-To-Gable Conversions

Hip-to-gable conversions

Mostly, you don’t need to make planning permission for this hip-to-gable blade. Because hip-to-gable conversion falls under permitted development. However, if your property is listed or in a conservation area, there may be planning restrictions and you may have to apply for planning permission. Before carrying out any building work, what I always recommend is that you contact your local authority to check their planning policy requirements, especially if other extensions or improvements have already been added to your property by you or a previous owner. The hip-to-gable basically replaces your roof by extending it vertically.

3. Mansard Conversions

This conversion increases the pace of the house a lot. This conversion is much more expensive compared to both two types of conversions. Mansard conversions are suitable for most property types, including terraced, semi-detached, and detached houses. Mansard roof extensions are often not acceptable where no other houses in your row have been extended, and where the roofline remains unbroken.

4. Dormer Loft Conversions

The most common loft conversion in the UK. They are suitable for almost all houses with sloping roofs.

This extension is basically a square-shaped box created at 90 degrees angle to the floor. You can hit two birds with one stone because you will expand not only your headspace but floor space too. The dormer windows provide transformative natural light, which allows more light to enter.

Also, people ask me, do I need permission for a loft conversion, especially when I want to convert into a dormer. The answer is No, you don’t need planning permission for that. Because they fall under permitted development. But there are some limitations as well.

How To Choose The Right Builders?

It’s better to go with the reputed worker because they can be trustworthy. Also if you don’t find any recommendations then is the site for you.

So these were the most common questions which I tried my best to answer. Also, many people ask me about the total cost, but I can’t provide the proper range unless I know the type of conversion you want to make and also the current conditions of your loft. I hope this article helped you to know everything from, “ Do you need planning permission for a loft conversion, to how to choose the right builder. And also this will help you on the entire journey of Loft Conversion.


Do you need planning permission for a loft conversion?

you are in luck!
Online Architectural Services (OAS) is your most trusted assistant to help you achieve the loft conversion! With a team of expert and experienced architectural designers, we are always eager to help you out! Just send us an email at or call us on 07833 444298 or 20 8123 1574 to arrange a personalized estimate for your Loft conversion today!


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