Practical considerations

Planning a loft conversion? Create more space and add value to your home with our top tips

Regulations

Planning permission
You don’t need planning permission for every loft conversion, and the rules were relaxed on 1 October 2008, but it’s still safest to check before starting work. You will certainly need consent if:

• You live in a listed building or in a conservation area.
• If any part of the extension will be higher than the original roof or overlooks neighbours.
• If the house has already been extended to the maximum volume within permitted development rights.

Party walls
If you live in a terraced house you must comply with the rules on party walls. Visit www.rics.org/partywalls or call the RICS helpline on 0870 333 1600.

Building regulations
If the conversion is to be used regularly as a “habitable space”, your design must comply with building regulations on issues such as energy efficiency, fire safety, ventilation, lighting and insulation. This permission is obtained separately from planning consent. Plans have to be approved by your local authority’s Building Control Officer, which can take two months.

For advice on all these issues, visit www.planningportal.gov.uk.

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