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Frequently asked questions…

Click on an FAQ question to view the answer.

Q. Do I Need Planning Permission?
Planning Application sign

Most loft conversions do not need planning permission unless:

  • you live in a conservation area or your house is a listed building;
  • you want to put in dormer windows facing the road or if the position of a dormer window would invade your neighbour’s privacy;
  • any part of the conversion (including a dormer window) will be higher than the existing roof;
  • your house has already been extended to the limit of its permitted development (15% of its original size). You may still be able to add a loft conversion even if you have had some extension work done.
Q. How Long Does Planning Permission Take?
How long does planning permission take concept
This varies from council to council but, generally, you should get a decision within 8-12 weeks.
Q. How Much Does Planning Permission Cost?
How much concept image
Planning Permission costs £206.00 including VAT throughout the UK. The Building Control Application fee for Building Control approval varies and there will be further charges for inspections.
Q. Is The Design Of My Loft Conversion Free?
Are design costs extra concept
No, the cost is detailed in the quotation.
Q. What Are The New Insulation Requirements For Loft Conversions
Insulation requirements concept image.
Approved Document L of the Building Regulations which became effective on 1st of April 2002 requires that the materials used in any construction meet certain thermal performance requirements. In the case of roof windows this means that the ‘u’ value (thermal performance) must be less than 2W/m K.
Q. What Building Regulations Apply To Loft Conversions?
Building regulations concept image.

Building Regulations are concerned with the finer practical details, to make sure that the work complies with Health & Safety for construction and habitation.

Approval for a loft conversion is required if the space is to be used on a regular basis as a ‘habitable space’.

We would submit the plans to the Building Control Office on your behalf; these can take 5 – 8 weeks to process. Administration fees and site visits by the Building Control Officer vary throughout the UK, with each authority having their own scale of charges. An average budget of around £600 should be allowed.

The local authority will inspect work in progress to ensure regulations are being properly observed.

Q. Will A Loft Conversion Add Value To My House?
Add value concept

Estate agents say a fourth bedroom is the single most valuable feature a family house can have and usually converting an attic is, generally, simpler and cheaper than building an extension.

The most importantly, a loft conversion should not look or feel like an ‘add-on’ because if it does it will add little to the value of the house. The staircase is the key to making a conversion look as though it is part of the original house.

Wherever possible the stairway should be a natural continuation of the original staircase so that the transition from ‘old’ to ‘new’ is seamless and within the conversion itself the style should follow that in the rest of the house i.e. skirting boards, architraves, picture rails, ceiling heights etc.

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North Pound Cottage
Shillinglee Road
West Sussex

Telephone: 0845 838 1516

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