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How to check that your home is suitable for a loft conversion

While the idea of a loft conversion might sound desirable, it’s important to keep in mind that, unfortunately, not every home is suitable to have one. In this blog post, we’re taking a look into loft conversions and how to check if your home is suitable.

Building regulations

For a loft conversion to be an option – and for it to pass building regulations – your ceiling height will need to be 2.2 meters from the floor joist to the highest point. This means that there must still be enough ceiling height (around 1.9-2.0m) once the roof has been insulated and the floor built up.

If you find there is not enough ceiling space, it might be possible to come up with a solution to extend the ceiling height. However, if you live in a conservation area, it is unlikely you will get planning permission to customise the roof.

Can you afford it?

Before getting too carried away with the technical aspects of a loft conversion, first you must work out whether or not you can even afford one. Loft conversion costs start at around £15,000 for a single ‘room-in-the-roof’ conversion, so, it’s important to keep in mind that they don’t come cheap!

If you don’t have the financial capabilities to fund a loft conversion just yet, your home is therefore unsuitable. That being said, there’s nothing stopping you from planning, right? As you save up for your loft conversion, have a play around with conversion ideas and strategise for the equipment and manpower you’ll need to make it happen.
Loft boarding from Instaloftis award-winning and will protect your insulation, wiring and more. As well as this, you will need to find and new windows (preferably skylight windows), flooring and fire safety equipment.

Keep staircases in mind

Staircases are a very important part of a loft conversion – not just for access, but for building regulations too. There must be 1.9m of headroom for the stairs and the maximum pitch should be 42 degrees.

What about if you have a flat? It is possible, in some cases, to add a loft extension, but you will need to own the freehold for the flat as well as the loft space. It is also likely you will need to have a party wall agreement with any flats beneath and to the side of your flat.

The area you live in

Not every property is suitable for a loft conversion and this can be due to the area in which you live in. For example, if you live in a conservation area or in a listed building, you are not permitted to make changes and therefore a loft conversion is more than likely unattainable.

In saying this, however, it is possible to find a design that will pass the conservation rules and keep the planners smiling. For more information on this, contact your local council and collect their thoughts and guidance. The last thing you want to do is spend time, money and effort converting your loft when your home is not suitable for one.

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