Alvaston Loft Conversions Ltd > News > ASK ALVASTON: “IS MY HOUSE SUITABLE FOR A LOFT CONVERSION?”

Clients regularly approach Alvaston Loft Conversions with one simple question, “is my house suitable for a loft conversion?” … The short answer to this is yes, most likely.

Regardless of your loft size, shape, home location or any other possible hurdle, an established loft conversion company *cough*Alvaston*cough* should be able to conjure up a solution and hatch a master plan for even the trickiest of homes.

Now, we’re not saying that ALL projects are a smooth ride, but they are all worth the effort in the end. Many home loft conversions will require planning permission, some will even require two or three applications before loft conversion planning permission is granted, but don’t let that deter you.  With careful calculations, meticulous planning and a sprinkle of creativity – your home should be suitable for an attic conversion of some capacity.

Alvaston Loft Conversions complete free home surveys before ALL of our projects, even the ones we are almost 100% confident about. But, if you want some added reassurance before you call us out to assess your current loft space, below are some key indicators that your home is a strong candidate for a loft extension (and our recommended solutions)

Is My Loft Height Enough for a Loft Conversion?

Building regulations dictate a required MINIMUM roof height for all loft conversions if they are to be considered as a habitable room. This loft conversion building regulation differs depending on the type of roof you have in your home; the two main loft types are traditional cut rafter roofs or modern trussed roofs.

In a traditional cut rafter roof, the rafters create an ‘M’ shape that meets your loft floor in the centre. The minimum roof height for a traditional cut rafter roof at its highest point is 2.2 metres.

The rafters in a modern trussed roof create a ‘W’ shape, and they meet the rooftop at its highest and most central point. The minimum roof height for a modern trussed roof at its highest point is 2.4 metres.

Problem Solving: Alvaston Loft Conversions has two feasible solutions if your current loft room doesn’t meet these height requirements – but, it is not very often that a loft doesn’t fulfil this requirement.

The first and most common height fix is to quite literally, raise your roof. Although it can run up a cost, and will almost always require planning permission, the option to raise your roof and carry out a loft extension is feasible.

Your second loft plan to tackle this issue is to lower the ceiling of the room below your loft.

Is a Basic Loft Conversion Possible in a Conservation Area?

If you are lucky enough to live in one of the country’s conservation areas it is likely that your property will be doused in history and full of unique character features, which is fantastic until it comes down to home renovations and construction.

Even the most basic of home renovations, such as a small loft conversion, will require stringent planning applications and they must satisfy a string of niche and fairly strict restrictions or loft conversion regulations before permission is granted.

If your loft conversion plans look set to alter the exterior of your home or its physical structure and roofline, a dormer loft conversion, for example, you can guarantee that obtaining loft extension planning permission will be much harder than a stripped-back basic loft conversion.

Problem Solving: Alvaston has completed attic conversions in conservation areas for many years. We complete planning applications ourselves, and our loft conversion designs utilise every inch of already available roof space, to eliminate the need for too many structural changes and having minimal impact on the homes exterior, outer shell or roofline.

Evidently highlighting and annotating our plans and intentions on our loft conversion drawings means we never encounter too many hurdles or questions in the planning permission phase.

Is There Enough Space In My Attic for a Loft Conversion?

When considering if you have adequate ‘space’ for a loft conversion, you must assess the available floor space in your loft, as well and the pitch of your roof.

The most widely acceptable roof pitch is 30 degrees or above. As aforementioned, there is a minimum roof height requirement for a home loft conversion and the higher the roof pitch angle, the more head height you will have in the centre of your attic conversion.

With regards to the footprint, also known as floor space, the internal measurements should be a minimum of 5,500mm from side-to-side (inclusive of a chimney) and a minimum of 7,500mm from front to back.

Problem Solving: You can increase the footprint and headroom of your loft by opting for a dormer loft conversion or by redesigning your existing roof.

Is My Chimney or Water Tank an Obstruction for an Attic Conversion?

Chimneys and water tanks very rarely cause any trouble when completing a loft conversion. More often than not, chimney stacks must remain in the same position, especially if you don’t want to have to go down the planning permission route, but you must factor them both in when measuring the available floor space of the loft room – this is usually without complication.

As for water tanks, these can be moved when more habitable space is required, or purely if it becomes an eyesore or an obstruction on the available living space. Water tanks are commonly replaced for slick sealed systems.

Do I Qualify for Permitted Development Loft Conversion?

A permitted development loft conversion is an attic extension that doesn’t require the homeowners to obtain planning permission from the local authorities before their chosen loft conversion company can commence work.

The most effective way to make sure your home falls under permitted development is to have Alvaston Loft Conversions, or any architect, come and thoroughly assess your property and its location.

Some of the criteria that must be met for a permitted development loft conversion are:

  • Additional roof space must not exceed 40 cubic metres for a terraced house loft conversion
  • Additional roof space must not exceed 50 cubic metres for detached or semi-detached homes
  • Materials should be similar in appearance to those used on the existing house
  • Loft extensions must not protrude beyond the plane of the current roof slope of any elevation that fronts a highway
  • Loft extension can NOT be higher than the highest point of the existing roof
  • Balconies, raised platforms & verandas are NOT allowed as permitted development
  • Loft extensions are NOT permitted development if the home is on designated lands – National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Beauty, The Broads, Conservation Areas and World Heritage Sites
  • Side-facing windows must be obscured and openable parts of the window must be a minimum of 1.7m above the floor of the room they have been installed
  • Roof extensions must not overhang the outer face wall of the original house
  • Loft extensions should set back at least 20cm from the original eaves – this does not apply for hip to gable loft conversions
  • Protected species must be safeguarded, and a licence must be required if any protected species are present in your loft – bats, badgers, birds etc.

Do You Need Planning Permission for a Loft Conversion?

More often than not, planning applications are not required to complete a home loft conversion. To be entirely sure if you need planning permission it is best to have an architect or loft conversion company come and physically assess your home, or if you want further details and information on planning permission, you can read our handy online guide.

If you have read the above and you have decided that your home is suitable and ready for your dream loft conversion, or if you have any further queries on loft conversion costs, planning permissions or permitted development loft conversions, call Alvaston Loft Conversions on 01922 402 720 and book your free home survey NOW!

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