Thursday 31 August 2017
Permitted development rules make a loft conversion much easier (because you don’t need planning permission), but you’ll still need a “completion certificate” to show that the work complies with building regulations.
This is issued by your local council’s building control department. In some cases, your project might fall outside permitted development, in which case you will have to go through the planning process before work starts.
A loft extension is almost always faster and cheaper than digging out a basement, which will include excavating and underpinning. And unlike a basement, the work can sometimes be done while you are still in residence.
Once finished, the extra light and views a loft offers are a bonus. You may also be able to improve your home’s overall insulation while you are at it.
Plenty of companies specialise in loft conversions but all architects can design one — and come up with innovative ideas. Using an architect makes particular sense if you combine extending upwards with other changes to your home (new stairs, for example).
WHAT IS PERMITTED DEVELOPMENT?
A loft conversion usually comes under “permitted development” (ie, you don’t need planning permission) but special rules govern conservation areas and “listed” buildings. To stay within the rules you need to ensure:
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