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Loft Conversion

Loft conversion can be an easy and cheap way to get an extra room into your home, the space is already there. Master bedrooms with en-suite and dressing rooms, cinema, children’s rooms can be achieved with good architectural design. Adding a dormer roof extension give you even more space with better headroom. There are no special planning restrictions in Leeds city council or the west Yorkshire.

Design Considerations

All good design should achieve what you need whilst being buildable in accordance with the regulations and your budget. Height is a major factor in making these rooms work as the roof pitch will generally pitch down to the floor. We recommend that you have a minimum of 2.4 Meters (8 foot) from the top of the ceiling joist to underside of the rafters. Staircases need 2M head room over at least half of the tread. The new stairs will also have to form part of the escape route which needs to be protected from fire for a period of 30 minutes. Windows can be put in the roof using velux’s, gable ends or built into a new dormer. If you are putting a bathroom in the roof you need to think about the waste as it can be difficult to get new pipework through the floor. On 2nd floors or rooms with a finish floor over 4.5 but under 7.5 meters you need a sealed/protected landing top or bottom.

Under the new permitted development right most roof conversion can be done without the need for planning permission. If planning is required the usual criteria and justification will have to be met. Over looking, dominating and keeping in character, size and scale to its neighbours will be the points to consider. We will consider all planning policies both national and local before you submit so you have the very best chance of success.

To find out more about planning read our planning permission guide.

Design Options

When you have determined the best position for the stairs, landing and structural elements you can then begin to design the rooms. Sloping roofs can be hard to work around, but with the correct layout they create a nice feature. It is best to work with the shapes you have and let each room get the full triangular profile where possible. Adding dormer can create extra space and add feature to the external roof too. Be careful when choosing the material finish outside as sometimes the small dormer side/cheeks will not look good if you try matching the tiles. The dormer is different you cannot always blend it in so choose finishes that enhance the angles and make if prominent and purposeful. Velux windows are the most obvious way to light into.
Other options are building up the gable, forming hip dormers and in some situation putting a new roof on. Depending on the planning limitation due to the surrounding properties it may well best to put a new roof on, this can be designed around what you really want and surprisingly not much more to the build if you use attic trusses.

Find our gallery to see our built loft conversion designs in Leeds, Headingly, Holbeck, Pudsey, Morley, Castleford, Pontefract, Wakefield, Horsforth, Wetherby, Seacroft, Rothwell, Harehills, Dewsbury, Tadcaster, Garforth, Swillington and West Yorkshire.

Permitted Development Loft Conversion

A loft conversion for your house is considered to be permitted development, not requiring an application for planning permission, subject to the following limits and conditions:

A volume allowance of 40 cubic metres additional roof space for terraced houses.

A volume allowance of 50 cubic metres additional roof space for detached and semi-detached houses.

No extension beyond the plane of the existing roof slope of the principal elevation that fronts the highway.

No extension to be higher than the highest part of the roof.

Materials to be similar in appearance to the existing house.

No verandas, balconies or raised platforms.

Side-facing windows to be obscure-glazed; any opening to be 1.7m above the floor.

Roof extensions not to be permitted development in designated areas**

Roof extensions, apart from hip to gable ones, to be set back, as far as practicable, at least 20cm from the original eaves.

The roof enlargement cannot overhang the outer face of the wall of the original house.

Building Regulations

You will always need a building control certificate for any changes to the roof, especially when creating habitable rooms ie bedrooms. When designing a roof your architect or architectural designer must consider the following:

Structure, the new floor joists and roof will need to be supported, this is generally done via steel beams designed by an engineer.

A protected fire route must be provided, this is 30 minutes all the way down to the final exit, existing doors will need upgrading to fire doors.

Detection and sounded alarms will be required and need to be interlinked.

The stairs will need sufficient headroom 2.0M and not be too steep (under 42 degrees).

Reasonable sound insulation between the conversion and the rooms below.

All the designs we present to you will be with the intension of passing building regulations and be buildable.

Building and Builders

Most of the work in roof conversions is in the roof, however when the new stairs goes in there will certainly be a dirty period when it advisable to move out if you can. Once you have your detailed drawing approved it is time to get some prices we can recommend you builders we trust. There are specialist roof conversion companies out there, but with detailed drawings most competent builders can do the job. We advise that any quotation you consider will be written up clearly and well detailed. Both you and your builder need to know exactly what is included in the price or disagreements will occur at the messy end of the project. We have extensive on site knowledge and work closely so we will always advise where we think areas need exploring or issues may arise. We advise that you use our drawings in line with the quotation and any additional information we don’t provide such as plumbing and electrics is agreed in detail before the first fix goes in. it will be costly changing thing once the initial preparation has been built. We offer help throughout for both you and the builder, we will come to site if help is required.


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