1. Can the attic be converted?
Generally yes but potential may
be limited and/or expensive due to limited available
height, structural constraints, building status (listed
or protected), planning requirements and conditions.
2. Do all conversions need
No, conversions incorporating
roof windows to the rear only do not require planning
permission – except on listed/ protected properties.
All other roof alterations e.g. Dormer windows, windows
to the Front or Side, require planning permission
3. Can bath/shower rooms be
located in the attic?
Yes, they are a common feature
of conversions now. However negative head pumping is
usually a requirement because there may be no static
pressure in the attic due to the height of the existing
4. Will my conversion be high
Unless the answer is yes at the
outset, don’t do it. The initial design details
will show what height is available and what the options
for improving that, if necessary are.
5. Can I have a conventional
stairs to the attic?
A priority objective of the design
is to have access by means of a conventional stairs.
Usually that is possible though sometimes it can be
difficult even requiring re-design of the existing stairwell
area and can be expensive to achieve.
6. Can I put Velux or dormer
windows to the front?
Yes. However planning permission
is required and that may not always be granted.
7. Are Dormer windows worthwhile?
Generally yes. they can provide
the extra head-height required to gain access to the
Attic room. If part of the attic room is low they can
increase the size of the attic room greatly and can
sometimes allow for the attic room to have habitable
status. However planning permission is required.
8. What will the status of the
finished attic room be?
Often due to the design of the
original roof, the new converted attic room may be classified
as Non-Habitable. This will be the case if the room
does not have 2.4m finished floor to ceiling height
over 50% of the floor area. It may not therefore qualify
as a bedroom or living-room but falls under numerous
9. Do Bye-Laws
govern the conversion of the attic space?
No – the Bye-Laws were replaced by the Building
Regulations introduced (and since updated) under the
Building Control Act of 1990. All conversions must be
done in accordance to the Building Regulations and the
Conditions attached to Planning Permission, where applicable.
10. What if
any structural support is used in the attic?
All proper attic conversions require the full redesign
of the original roof and ceiling support system. This
in-turn usually requires the incorporation of steel
beams to support the new roof design and the suspended
floors, which keep all the added weight off the existing
ceiling joists below.
11. Will the attic conversion
All our attic conversions are certified to comply with
Planning and Building Control Requirements. This certification
is known as ‘Opinion on Compliance’.
12. What are main Do’s
and Don’ts for a Householder?
- Get a layout sketch with estimate
- Get working drawings before commencement
- Agree a written contract
- Visit/access Contractors offices
- Get written certification on completion
– now defined as ‘Opinion on Compliance’.
- Rely on words & statements,
get references Customer, or Trade or Bank or Other
- Depend on verbal guarantees
- Consider preceeding without validating
- Consider builders without landlines
and permanent addresses – mobiles are disposable
- Depend on Contractors that are
not registered with relevant industry associations
such as the CIF, National Guild of Master Craftsmen
– ask to view membership details.