Home extensions have always been a popular way of getting more out of your home and obtaining new space, elaborate extensions, conservatories and annexe’s are all part of this staple, however, not all of us want to extend outwards, to many the only logical conclusion is to go up.

All of us has a loft, house or bungalow, we all have that additional space between our homes and our roofs, for many of us this is a storage space, to keep all of our clutter and unused items we can’t bare to part with, however, over the years this underutilised space has become the new frontier for home extensions.

The attic, or loft, is an already built canvas awaiting development and conversion and can be a very popular option for those with less land surrounding they’re homes. Attic and Loft can be converted into the brightest room in the house and can allow for beautiful views and equally beautiful design choices.

As with all elements of home design and extension, there are certain rules. Planning permission can be confusing when it comes to loft conversions. Unlike normal extensions, loft conversions typically don’t require planning permission as the loft itself is an existing room, however, permission is needed if significant alterations are made to the roof, this, unlike planning permission for extensions, is based on the safety of the current structure of your home.

There the limits and conditions are as follows.

  • 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.