In some areas of London, four out of 10 homes have had loft conversions. While this figure is mainly reserved for London’s inner city boroughs such as Westminster and Kensington and Chelsea, even the outer boroughs are embracing the loft conversion trend.

The popularity of loft extensions is, in part, due to the high cost of moving in the capital, the recent rise in house prices and the jump in stamp duty on properties over £925,001. A loft conversion is an effective way to get more living capacity out of the space you already have. However, not every property is suitable for a loft conversion and did you know it is possible to have one, even if you own a flat?

Ceiling height

For a loft conversion to be a viable 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 there is still 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 increase the ceiling height. However, if you live in a conservation area it is unlikely you will get planning permission to alter the roof.

Access and stairs

Staircases are a vital part of a loft conversion, not just for access but for building regulations too. There must be at least 1.9m of headroom for the stairs and the maximum pitch is 42 degrees. There is no minimum width. Take a look at our blog on stairs for a more detailed view.

Loft conversion in a flat

It is possible in some cases to add a loft extension to a flat. To do this you will need to own the freehold for the flat as well as the loft space. It is also highly likely you will need to have a party wall agreement with any flats below and to the side of you. Take a look at how we transformed this top floor mansion block flat with a loft conversion. 

Planning permission

In London, the criteria for planning permission varies from borough-to-borough and even within your borough the rules can be different depending on the area you live in. For example, if you live in a conservation area. Not all loft conversions need planning permission and we can help you determine if you need planning permission or not. If you do need planning permission, or live in a conservation area, we can help you through the process and come up with designs that will hopefully pass the planning process.

What would make my house not suitable for a loft conversion?

Unfortunately, not every property is suitable for a loft conversion. Here is a list as to why one may not be right for your property:

  • The ceiling height is too low and raising the roof is not possible
  • You do not own the freehold to the loft space. A surprisingly common issue in London
  • You live in a conservation area or live in a listed building and are not permitted to make alterations. However, it is normally possible to find a design solution that will pass the conservation rules and keep the planners happy.

Want to add more space to your home with a London loft conversion? Then contact Simply Loft today for a free site survey! 

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