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  • Writer's pictureSophie Baylis

Loft Conversion Ideas - what are the rules and regs around planning a loft conversion?

Updated: Mar 20, 2022

Extending your home and boosting your property’s value by converting your loft makes sense if you are struggling for living space. But before you take the plunge, Johnpaul Manning, MD of Insulation4less advises you understand the rules and regulations.

Q: Do I need planning permission before starting my loft conversion?

Many loft conversions fall under permitted development rights and don’t need planning permission unless you intend to extend your roof space by more than 50 cubic metres (40 cubic metres for terraced housing). However, strict rules apply. For example, you can only use materials similar in appearance to the existing house. Check out the complete list of limits and conditions at the Planning Portal.

What’s more, if you live in a listed or historically significant building, or a building constructed in an area of interest, you might need to seek permission from the local council before starting your project.

Q: What is the difference between planning permission and building regulations, and do they apply to my loft conversion?

Planning permission and building regulations approval are different and need to be handled separately.

👉 Planning permission relates to the external appearance of the building and exists to ensure that any landscaping changes are in keeping with the local environment. You’ll need planning permission before making external alterations if you live in a listed or historically significant building, or a building constructed in an area of interest.

👉 Loft conversions always need approval under building regulations, regardless of whether they need planning permission. Building regulations set the minimum standard for design and construction of buildings, and are there to ensure that work has been completed correctly. This includes things such as structural safety, and fire and energy standards.

If you're unsure about what permission or approval you need, contact your local council for guidance.

Q: Do I need to let my insurance company know I’m converting my loft?

Yes, you should inform your home insurer about any major changes to your home, especially projects that can affect its structural integrity, habitability or value. If your conversion could increase your property’s value, it could affect your building and contents insurance rates.

Read more about loft conversions:

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