Tony Hugh

3rd Nov 2018


Loft conversion: 10 things to look before starting the job

A loft conversion can add a significant amount of value to any home, increasing your property’s worth by up to 20%. It can also save you the enormous upheaval of having to move house as your family grows and taking between 4-6 weeks it means you don’t even have to move out of your home. A worthwhile investment and an exciting opportunity loft conversions are becoming ever more popular.

This week we spoke to North West London builder Mark Smith of Anderson Design Solutions who founded his company over two decades ago. With a wealth of insight, he was happy to share his knowledge with our Go-Banana readers. And so for those who are looking to build their own loft conversion or hire a professional team here are Mark’s 10 top tips of what to look for before starting a loft conversion.

1: Building regulations

As a loft conversion is generally considered to be minor work it doesn’t require approval from the building regulation, in a semi-detached or terraced house under 30sqm or under 40 sqm in a detached house you do not need planning permission. However, you do need to give the building authority 48 hours’ notice before starting as they will need to come inspect your house.

2: Foundations of the house

Having a loft conversion will add significantly to the weight of the house so you may need to expose your foundations as well as any beams or lintels to ensure your house can carry the extra weight. Make sure to liaise with a structural engineer who will be able to advise where you may need to support your foundations with steel beams.

3: Roof

Your roof should be completely water resistant, most modern houses are fully lined with felt. However, if you can see the back of the roof tiles, you will need to invest in lining.

4: Height

Some lofts may simply not be tall enough to house a conversion. To meet building regulations your loft needs to be 180-90 cm, however it is advisable that your loft can reach 230 cm from the floor to the roof as this will help create a truly comfortable space.

5: Loft stairs

10 things loft conversions

Lofts are, often, extremely narrow and tight meaning it is not always easy to find stairs that can easily work to reach your new room. Loft conversions always require bespoke staircases that are custom built and fitted by experts. From the very beginning you need to make sure stairs are included in your plans, and ensure you have space for a land before to door to your loft, this should be around 15-20cm.

6: Fire safety

When a two storey house becomes three, there are some implications in terms of Fire Safety. Your loft will need 30 minutes of fire protection which could well mean re-plastering the ceilings below it and the loft room will have to be separated by a fire door. You will also need one escape sized window per room.

7: Insulation

Your new loft conversion will need heat insulation which isn’t always the simplest activity with an awkward sloping roof or jutting wall. You will need insulation cut and fitted between the rafters as well as on top. It may also be worth adding in underfloor heating to add in some extra warmth during the cold winter months.

8: Sky lights

Sky Lights can bring some wonderful natural light into your loft conversion, and in the summer months can be opened to prevent your room from becoming stuffy. However, for some privacy and a good night’s sleep it may be work adding black out lining as well as blinds.

9: Decorate efficently

With sloping walls and ceilings it is extremely important you use a light, airy all over colour to create a pleasant and warm environment.

10: Storage space

In a small room, it is easy for the space to feel cluttered and overloaded. Invest in some good storage space to make the room seem bigger and add a little zen to your interior.

If you have any further questions, or would like a little more advice feel free to contact us on

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