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Building regulations for loft conversions

Posted by NK Lofts on 11/04/2017

planning permission

Find out whether you require planning permission for your loft conversion and which building regulations you will need to fulfil, with this handy guide.

Do you need planning permission?

For the average loft conversion, planning permission is not needed as the addition of 50m3 to your home falls under permitted development. If you have a terraced home, this requirement is reduced to 40m3 and fewer. However, you need planning permission for any developments if your home is located in a conservation area, or if you live in a listed building.

Certain alterations to the exterior of the property will need planning permission, too. If you want to create extra headroom in your new loft, you will need to comply to certain rules to avoid planning permission.

Simply put, as long as the new projection from your roof sits on the existing roof slope and is not a vertical continuation of the building’s facade, you will not need permission.

A dormer conversion is the perfect solution, as it provides your loft space with extra headroom and falls under permitted development.

dormer conversion

If your development requires planning permission, you need to submit professionally drawn up plans to the relevant local authority.

Important building regulations

A reputable loft conversion team will understand exactly what building regulations apply to your loft conversion, and fulfil them before the conversion is inspected. Specialists will also be able to have your conversion signed off first time by an approved inspector, or the local building control services.

However, here are building regulations that are most relevant to loft conversions and a breakdown of the important information.

Part B

Part B covers fire safety measures in your loft conversion.

For example, due to the storey height of most loft conversions, and the difficulty of escape from an upper storey window, all doors leading to the loft must have a 30 minute fire resistance rating. The window that is the best means of escape from the loft must be a minimum of 0.33m3, to provide a feasible escape route to occupants.

Part K

Part K is a regulation that is in place to minimise the possibility of injury caused by collisions, falling and impact. Essentially, Part K requires that all escape routes have a minimum of 2 metres headroom, including stairwells. If the stairs are under a sloping roof, this is reduced to 1.8 metres.

Part L

Part L of the building regulations concerns the U-value for thermal efficiency. Put simply, your loft conversion must meet targets to ensure that it is energy efficient and the new development has minimised heat loss through the property’s roof.

With modern insulation and professional fitting, Part L is very much achievable in any property of any age. Not only will you be getting a new room in your property to do with as you wish, but you may be saving a tidy sum in the long run; with a newly energy efficient roof and wall insulation.

Part P

Part P refers to the mandatory use of a certified electrician, who will guarantee that the electricals in your loft conversion are of professional standard and fulfil Part P of the building regulations.

A simple breakdown of building regulations:
Part A           Structural safety
Part B           Fire safety
Part C           Contaminants and moisture resistance
Part D           Toxic substances control
Part E           Sound resistance
Part F           Ventilation
Part G           Sanitation, hot water and water efficiency
Part H           Drainage and waste disposal
Part J           Heating and appliances
Part K           Protection from collision, falling and impacts
Part L           Conservation of fuel and power
Part M           Access to and use of building
Part N           Glazing safety
Part P           Electrical safety

NK Lofts provide everything you will need to turn a dusty loft space into a fully functioning attic room. We have completed stunning loft and garage conversions in Coventry, Northampton, Peterborough and the surrounding areas, and will not sign off on a project until we have complete client satisfaction. From planning stages to finishing touches, and all the technicalities in between, NK Lofts has you covered with quality service and a portfolio of previous conversions completed to the highest standards. Contact our friendly team today, to arrange a free loft survey and quote.