can you have a loft conversion in a semi detatched
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Can you Have a Loft Conversion in a Semi-Detached House?

Yes, you can.

There are limiting factors which need to be considered when having a loft conversion in a semi-detached house, but some of them apply to any kind of loft conversion:

  • Budget
  • Roof Type
  • Planning constraints
  • Access from the floor below


The simplest type of loft conversion using only roof lights is still likely to set you back £25k including design, permissions, structural alterations, a staircase, electrics, heating, lighting and finishes.

For an extra £5k-£10k you could have a dormer conversion which will give you significantly more usable floor space, but essentially the more space you gain the more expensive the project will become.

The value of the property will also increase for gaining an extra room and it will increase by a bigger amount for a bigger and better loft conversion, but the precise amount depends on many factors.

Roof Type

Semi-detached houses can have different types of roofs which will affect the loft conversion process.

The easiest type of roof to work with is also one of the most common types of roof; one where there is a gable at the side and the main part of the roof slopes down from the centre of the house to the front and back, aka a duo-pitch roof.

This allows for plain roof lights at the front and a dormer to the rear of the property, giving the best value usable space for the cost.

If your house has a hip instead of a gable, it is still possible to have a loft conversion, but it will require a hip-to-gable loft conversion, which will be more expensive than if It were a gable type roof being converted.

Aside from the cost, a hip-to-gable conversion nearly always requires planning permission, whereas the previous example with a standard gable can normally be done without applying for planning consent.

Planning Constraints

Loft conversions on semi-detached houses don’t automatically require planning permission as long as they stay within the bounds of what is known as ‘Permitted Development’.

Permitted Development covers a range of extensions, conversions and other home improvements and was created to reduce bureaucracy within the town planning system and allow small, straight-forward projects to be completed without the need for oversight.

A loft conversion in a semi-detached house falls within Permitted Development so long as it:

  • Is not on ‘desginated’ or protected land
  • Does not create more than 50m3 of additional roof space
  • Does not extend the roof out at the front of the house
  • Is made of similar materials to the rest of the house
  • Is not higher than the existing roof
  • Doesn’t have a veranda or balcony
  • Is set back at least 20cm from the existing eaves of the roof
  • Does not disturb any bats

The type of roof on your semi-detached house may determine the requirement for

Access from the Floor Below

A proper loft conversion should have a proper staircase.

Your new staircase needs somewhere to start where it doesn’t impede the existing layout of the property and it needs at least 2m headroom at all times until it terminates in the loft.

In some cases the new staircase can mimic the original stairs and continue upwards without needing drastic remodelling of the floor it starts on, but sometimes this will put it into the eaves of the roof and mean that a dormer is required just to create the necessary headroom.

If you are unsure about the potential location of the viability of a staircase for your loft conversion, please give us a call and we will be happy to discuss it with you.

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