Building control and loft conversions: what you need to know

When converting your loft space into a liveable space, the building regulations will apply and you will need to ensure building control visits your project to sign it off. In this article we will outline how the regulations apply to loft conversions and what you will need to be aware of before construction work begins.

The building regulations look to ensure that:

  • The structural strength of the new floor is sufficient
  • The stability of the structure (including the new roof) is not endangered
  • Safe escape from fire is possible
  • Stairs to new floor are safely designed
  • Reasonable sound insulation between the conversion and the rooms below is in place

It is important to note that if your house is more than three storeys high or is a different dwelling such as an apartment or maisonette, the requirements may be more extensive and extend to other parts of the building. You should contact your chosen building control body if you are unsure how the regulations apply to work that is being carried out at your home. It is also good practice to check whether the work you are carrying out falls under the Party Wall Act 1996.

Before you start planning your loft conversion, you need to check that your space is suitable for a conversion. You will need to check the height (ideally a minimum 2m of headroom is required), that there is enough floor space to make a useable room and whether any chimneys, tanks, pipes or services would need to be moved if the construction work takes place.

Because loft conversions are a complex project, we would always recommend that you get professional advice beforehand. You should get plans drawn up by an architect, have these approved by building control and also check with your local authority whether planning permission is required or not.

When it comes to choosing a building control inspector for your project you have two options: you can work with your local authority’s building control department, or you can choose an Approved Inspector – like us! Get in touch with us today for a quote for our friendly, professional and reliable building control service. We inspect hundreds of loft conversions every year.