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  • Loft conversions

    Not only are Loft conversions a terrific way to improve the value of your home, but they also offer other great incentives. Turn your unused and unwanted empty attic space into a luxurious new living space for you and your family.

Planning and Building Regs

Planning Permission for Loft Conversions.

Planning Permission is not normally required for a Loft Conversion. It is only required if you wish to alter the roof space beyond specified limits. Party Wall agreements will need to be followed up as the dividing walls to the home are always shared unless your home is detached.

New regulation’s have recently come into force as of 1st October 2008. These state that a Loft Conversion to a home is now considered as a Permitted Development. This means that a new Loft Conversion does not require any Planning Permission if it falls within the new specified guidelines

1. For a terraced house the total area of the new dormer/s should not exceed 40 cubic metres.

2. For a semi detached or a detached property the limit is set to 50 cubic metres. This would have to include the new gable wall if you want to change a hipped/sloped roof to a gable ended/straight roof, to maximise the area as much as possible.

3. The front shape of the roof should not be changed, no dormers will now be allowed to the road side of the property unless you are developing a bungalow or a detached property. Planning Permission will need to be applied for both these types of properties.

4. If you want to add a Veranda, Raised Platform or a Balcony then you will need to apply for Planning Permission.

5. Any Windows facing to the side of the property will need to be of obscure glass and should be at least 1.7 metres above the new floor level, for safety.

6. No part of the Dormer should be any higher than the highest part of the actual existing roof height.

7. Any new materials to be used should be similar to the existing ones, this would include tiles and gutters.

8. All dormers should be set away from the eaves at least 20cm, this is not applicable for conversions of hipped/sloped to gable/straight roofs.

9. If you already have used up a few cubic metres on an Extension to the property then this will be deducted from the allowance that is allocated under the Permitted Development. Anything further will need to be discussed with an Architect or your Local Authority.

10. If you are living in a Conservation Area, Listed Building, National Park and the Broads, an area of Outstanding Beauty or a World Heritage site then you will need to apply for Planning Permission.

Planning Permission for Extensions.

The new law that came into power on the 1st of October 2008 also covers Extensions. This means that an Extension or any type of Addition to your home would fall under Permitted Development. Although there are some conditions to follow.

1. Materials used to build should be similar to that of the existing property.

2. Extension on the side of the property must be single storey extensions and should not exceed a height limit of 4 metres. The width should also be no more than half that of the original house. Double side Extensions will need Planning Permission.

3. You are only allowed to cover up to half the area around the grounds of the existing property layout with Extensions and other additional buildings.

4. A minimum gap of at least 7 metres has to kept from the rear boundary walls for all two storey extensions.

5. The roof pitch for two storey extensions must also match the roof pitch of the existing property as should the eaves and ridge height. No Extension

should be any higher than the existing height of the property, be it a single storey extension or a double extension..

6. The depth allowance is no more than 3 metres for a two storey extension to the rear of a property. This also includes the ground floor.

7. For a single storey Rear Extension the maximum depth is 3 metres for an attached property, be it a semi detached or a terraced house. For a detached property the maximum depth is 4 metres.

8. Verandas, Balconies or Raised Platforms will not be considered under Permitted Development.

9. The maximum eaves height for an extension that is built within 2 metres of a boundary wall should not exceed 3 metres.

10. An Extension should not come out at the front of the home which faces a road. The building must be in line with the existing property.

11. Any upper floor windows that face the side of the property must be of obscure glass and also be at least 1.7 metres above the floor level.

12 If the house falls within number 10 of the Planning for Loft Conversions section above then you will need to apply for Planning Permission.

Building Regulations for Loft Conversions.

1. Good sound insulation and fire proofing must be in place between the new Loft Conversion and the room/s below.

2. The strength and stability of the roof existing and new are built correctly and will not cause any danger.

3. Fire is a common enemy and sufficient escape ways must be in place. This would include new stairs that are evenly placed and come exactly in line with the top floor of the house. No margin of error is allowed so that a person might trip or hurt themselves. A fire escape hatch must be in place and should meet the measurements of height and width provided by the local Fire Chief.

4. The new wood to be used including doors must also comply with the guides set out in the Building Regulations.

5. The new floor must be strong and should easily hold the weight of the New Loft Conversion.

6. All the new wood should be correctly connected to the property.

7. Fire alarms must be working and put in correct place.

Building Regulations for an Extension.

1. Foundations must be deep enough for the weight of the new Extension.

2. Bricks to the lower part of the extension must comply with building regulation guidelines. New walls should be strongly tied to the existing house.

3. Sufficient damp proofing should be in place and should follow the line of the existing Damp Proofing.

4. Insulation is in place within the walls, roof and floor area.

5. Ventilation gaps are in place to keep a steady supply of fresh air flowing to prevent damp and moisture.

6. Windows and patios are well supported from above by the correct lentils.

7. Manholes are moved or at least still accessible should they need to be accessed in the future.

8. Drainage is correctly flowing. Fresh water to fresh water and sewage to sewage.

9. Electrical wires are correctly laid and trunked from floors to walls, socket points and ceilings.

10. Correct doors and windows are used.

11. The floor is crack proofed. Usually achieved with wire mesh under the new concrete slab.

12. Internals walls are fire proof.

13. Any wood used should also comply with the Building Regulations.

14. Roofs should be leak and water proof and also be able to hold sufficient weight for snow and ice.

15. Gutters must be correct and divert water away from the property.