How to plan a loft conversion

Are you looking for more space? Want to add value to your home? Then consider a loft conversion and make the most of wasted space at the top of your house. On top of this a conversion will be cheaper than relocating for more space.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) say the cost of converting your loft equates to around one third of the cost of moving to a property with an extra room. On top of this, a conversion will add up to 25% in value to your home.

If you’re considering a conversion then your first step is to make sure you have sufficient space. If you can measure 2.2m from the floor to the ceiling in your loft there’s enough room for a conversion. An expert will be better placed to judge though.

Properties with pitched roofs tend to be the easiest to convert but there are structural considerations for almost any projects. In a lot of cases steel beams will be needed to strengthen the floor and roof.

Accessing your loft conversion
An early consideration you’ll need to think about is the use of stairs to access the loft conversion. Building Regulations state that if you want to turn the space into a bedroom, bathroom, study or playroom you’ll need permanent stair access. This could be in the case of a fixed ladder, but spiral stairs are a particularly attractive option.

With the staircase you need to consider how much space you’ll lose on the floor below. Always consult with experts who’ll be able to draw up plans to show you more in-depth analysis.

How long will the loft conversion take?

Generally speaking, the average loft conversion is completed in four or five weeks. However, with larger lofts and bigger projects you can expect work to take up to eight weeks.

Disruption will be minimal with scaffolding erected outside your home and most of the work taking place at the top of your house. This means materials aren’t lugged up and down your stairs and waste will likely go down a chute and into a skip. Whilst work can be noisy, there won’t be a large amount of mess.

Remember, all electrical and gas work needs to be completed by qualified experts so always check the credentials of companies who quote for the work.
Will I need planning permission?

So long as the roof’s shape isn’t going to be altered you won’t need planning permission. What’s important though is to always check with your local council before any work commences.

Instances where planning permission will be needed include:

  • Properties in conservation areas or listed buildings
  • If the extension will be higher than the original roofline or may overlook neighbours
  • If permitted development has already been exhausted with previous extensions.


Facts & Figures You’ll Love To Share

  • By converting your loft into a bedroom ensuite you can increase home value by as much as 20%.
  • A loft conversion is a cost-effective way to increase living space in the home.
  • A loft conversion can suit any need, including a bedroom, bathroom, living room, playroom or home gym.
  • Avoid thousands of pounds worth of fees and charges by converting your loft rather than moving home.

Evy Coe

Evy works for Quotatis as a Content Marketing Executive. She loves to write about interior design and help homeowners with their DIY projects.