Are you thinking to extend your livable space in your home? Maybe add some external extensions to the side or back of your home? Or maybe even converting your dusty, useless loft above your ceiling and turning it into a useful asset?
I tell you, converting your loft is the best option for extending your usable space in your home. It adds a great deal of property value and is a less expensive option than adding external extensions. It also recycles your supposedly unusable space in your attic.
If you are planning on converting your loft into a habitable space, you may not be considering it to be subject to some building restraints like those typical house extension projects than is normally attached to the front, side, or back of your home.
Yes, a loft conversion for your home is usually considered by authorities to be a permitted development, meaning it does not require an application for planning permissions. But certain conditions and limits must be met.
Like any other new buildings, any changes in your loft require building regulations to make sure that you follow safety measures. These building regulations are what they call Parts L, K, B, and P.
Part L demands that every loft should have insulation. Part K requires minimum headroom of 2m in all escape routes like stairs to prevent anyone from accidents like falling. Part B is all about fire safety. Lastly, Part P calls for electrical safety and that means you need to hire a professional to make sure that everything is under control.
And also, adding of up to fifty (50) cubic meters, or forty (40) cubic meters for terraced homes, fall under permitted development. But if you are living in some places like in a conservation area or a listed building, you will need to secure a planning permission. You will also need a planning permission if you are considering on altering your roof height or shape.
Roof lights and dormer lofts can also be considered to be permitted developments and it must not be sitting forward of the roof plane on your home on the principal elevation. They also must not be higher than the highest part of your existing roof.
Here are also some conditions from planningportal.co.uk that homeowners should meet for any loft conversions:
- A volume allowance of 40 cubic metres additional roof space for terraced houses*
- A volume allowance of 50 cubic metres additional roof space for detached and semi-detached houses*
- No extension beyond the plane of the existing roof slope of the principal elevation that fronts the highway
- No extension to be higher than the highest part of the roof
- Materials to be similar in appearance to the existing house
- No verandas, balconies or raised platforms
- Side-facing windows to be obscure-glazed; any opening to be 1.7m above the floor
- Roof extensions not to be permitted development in designated areas**
- Roof extensions, apart from hip to gable ones, to be set back, as far as practicable, at least 20cm from the original eaves
- The roof enlargement cannot overhang the outer face of the wall of the original house.
So before anything else, homeowners should ensure that everything is under control to avoid violating laws or rules or even accidents caused by lack of safety measures in your homes. At the end, safety is all that matters.