The rules and regulations to consider, loft conversions
Thinking of expanding your home for 2020 but have minimal ground space? Then don’t go out, go up!
For some, having a loft conversion is still seen as a high value low yielding investment that’s second to moving. But throughout recent years more people are seeing the added benefit that can come from building up and the added investment it can bring to your home. With new and more commonly used financing options it’s becoming more convenient to invest in your home and increase its property price by up to 20%. In some cases 22%, so if your home has a pre-conversion value of £180,000 that’s an increase of almost £40,000.
But we realise unless you’re a property investor, the value of your home might not be the main reason for expanding, but it’s one that should be considered.
So hopefully your interest is peaked! You need more space? You don’t want to move? You can’t move? And you’re now aware of the added financial benefits?
But is your home suited and is it possible to convert your attic into a dream loft space? There are many rules and regulations that building companies such as ours and architects will guide you through making sure everything is compliant, but if you do wish to do some of your own research and measurements you’ll need to check for some key rules and regulations, starting with loft height. Firstly you’ll need make sure that when you measure from the bottom of the ridge timber to the top of the ceiling joist there is least 2.2m of usable space. If it is less then 2.2m you’ll need to consider raising the height of the roof or lowering the loft floor, reducing the room height of the room below.
Secondly, According to current rules in building regulations there is no minimum height for habitable rooms but by law you will need to make sure that the doorway into and out of the loft room has a minimum headroom of 2 metres. So think where that would be and if access in and out of the room can be built. The most ideal place for a staircase is in line with a roof edge.
Planning permission may not be needed if you are keeping within the current limits of your home but if you are considering extending the roof space or added a dormer that is higher than the current highest part you will need to look at gaining planning permission. You may also need planning permission if you live within a conversation area. One thing to note is whether or not planning permission applies building regulations always will and be prepared for council inspection officers to on occasion visit and check.
One final check to make is if your home is connected to another property either semi-detached or within a terrace. If it is, your loft conversion will be subject to The Party Wall Act 1996 which bounds you by law to give adjoining owners notice.
Those are just a few things to take into account when considering converting your loft, but the safest and secure route is to engage with a loft conversation specialist such as ourselves and let us review your home for free. To start the process head over to our ‘Start A Project’ page and fill out the short questionnaire.