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Loft Conversion Plans

I can’t imagine why we still have so many homes with huge attic spaces just gathering dust. UK property prices are climbing all the time and by extending upwards we have the opportunity to create substantial additional living space whilst at the same time adding considerable value.

Depending on the style and size of the property there are usually several options available when it comes to converting the loft. The simplest design option is a straight forward Velux conversion. This is usually achieved by adding one or two Velux windows to each elevation, dropping in a floor and finding the cleverest way of gaining access.

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Loft Conversion Plans (1)Most architects, where possible, take the conventional route by installing another flight of stairs rather than seeking more creative routes so if you want something a little different then choose your architect carefully.

Other popular design options include a Dormer conversion and a Mansard conversion. The dormer is extremely popular as it’s usually the most cost effective solution for a large loft. That said, the Mansard option gives even more space as it is built across the full width of the back elevation and sits within newly built up party walls.

Where the architect has to be really creative is when the existing roof is too low. In other words he has to raise the overall height of the roof to be able to design a loft conversion that will provide enough head room.

Semi detached hipped roofs also need special considerations to come up with the best plans.

Do I Need Planning Permission For A Loft Conversion?

The short answer is no as most loft conversions fall within permitted development. You will however need architect plans for your loft conversion in order that you can satisfy building control that all the work carried out meets the current building regulations.

Loft Conversion Plans (3)You will also need structural calculations for the newly installed steel supports that take the weight of the new flooring and roof sections.

If you need to raise your roof level higher than the highest point of the existing roof then you will need to submit a planning application.

Here are some of the main rules that apply with regard to permitted development:

Other rules apply for individual properties, listed buildings, houses in conservation areas and property within a clause 4 area.

Lawful Development Certificates

Loft Conversion Plans (7)Do bear in mind that should you need to sell your property the buyers solicitor will ask for proof that your loft extension is a legal build. If you’ve taken the permitted development route you will be hard pressed for anyone to be able to confirm that your build was in fact legal under the PD legislation. That being the case your only option is to apply for a Legal Development Certificate which means having plans done and making an application to your local planning department.

Given that the cost of a LDC is around the same price as a Full Planning Application you might want to consider whether it would make life a whole lot simpler if you just opted for a full planning application right at the start.


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