Your dream loft conversion can become a reality. Yes, the world of planning permission and building regulations can be intimidating, but TIG excell have worked on hundreds of conversions and extensions and are here to help. If you’re in any doubt about how to move forward with your loft conversion, why not get in touch today for a chat?
Is planning permission necessary for my loft conversion?
The short answer is, it depends! Sometimes authorisation is needed, but often it is not. Planning permission is one of the first things to think about when considering a loft conversion, it needs to be untangled before any work can start, so don’t put it off, look into it right away!
What affects the need for planning permission?
Planning permission for loft conversions is controlled by your local authority, so different areas have different rules. It worth checking on your local council’s website or getting in touch with them directly to learn about the specific requirements in your area. If you don’t fancy diving into the nitty gritty technical details, then give us a ring for some friendly advice. We’ve worked all over London and can give you a quick indication of what you need to think about.
If you’re lucky enough to live in a conservation area then you might find there’s a little more red tape involved. Older buildings can have more stringent restrictions about modifications, particularly if they’re listed. Find out when your home was built and double check online to find out if it has a unique status. This is less of an issue with newer builds.
Surprisingly the local wildlife can also affect the need for planning permission. If you’ve had bats living in your loft (more common than you might think) or birds nesting in your roof, anything like that, you should definitely check that it’s allowed to extended. Looking after wildlife is priority for many local councils, so making sure you’re not disturbing any non-human residents is vital.
Remember, if you last looked into planning permission for your loft conversion some time ago, check again. The rules can change and often do, what was once allowed doesn’t always stay permitted, so check and check again.
What sort of building is normally permitted?
Bear in mind this is only a rough guide, there are lots of caveats and complex factors to take into account, but there are a couple of common themes for the types of work that are permitted without planning permission. Work that doesn’t require planning permission is referred to as a permitted development but, as with planning permission, rules vary based on local authority.
Generally speaking, you can extend a terraced house by 30 cubic metres, or a semi or detached house by 40 cubic metres. Dormer windows offer a good way to extend and stick within these limits. Bear in mind you can’t build higher or wider than the existing roof without planning permission and balconies and verandas are off limits. This doesn’t, however, stop you from raising and levelling out the sides of the roof, so long as the central height doesn’t increase. Juliette balconies do not require planning permission since they don’t have an actual platform.
Help with planning permission
If your loft conversion is going to require planning permission, it might be worthwhile getting a bit of help. Securing planning permission can be a real hassle, taking the workload of your hands will free up valuable time you can spend elsewhere. If paperwork isn’t filed correctly the whole process can drag out for weeks, especially when subsequent corrects and resubmissions are needed. Not only is this a drain on time but it can also cost more.
Although it might seem like something that could go unnoticed, you shouldn’t even consider ignoring proper planning permissions. Councils have been known to order the demolition of buildings and extensions that have been built without it.
Is planning permission worth it?
In some cases, depending on where you live and what you want to do, you may need planning permission. Yes, it’s a pain, but it certainly doesn’t mean you can’t have your dream loft conversion. Even if it costs a chunk of change to sort it out, a professional loft conversion can add 20% or more to the value of your home, so you’re likely to come out of the project in profit overall. Not to mention the advantage of having a beautifully extended home. Just ensure you get it right from the start, bring in some outside help to create the technical drawings and structural calculations to be sure work goes ahead promptly and properly.
As well as considering planning permissions you will still need to comply with building regulations. These govern the standards to which you must build. Don’t worry, they’re not a massive hurdle, they are simply regulations which exist to ensure the house is safe to live in and has sufficient insulation to not become an environmental disaster. While they are a legal requirement, you do not need to seek permission before carrying out the work in most cases.
If you’re unsure whether your dream loft conversion will require planning permission, or simply want someone to take the workload off your hands and get the job done properly, get in touch with TIG excell. We’ve seen it all and can untangle even the most complex local regulations to deliver the result you want, every time.