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What is a loft conversion?

Over the years, we have experienced that the public have been confused as to what a loft conversion is.

There are a number of different ways that a loft can be converted. However, not all loft conversions can be classified as habitable rooms unless they are constructed to comply with current Building Regulations.

For example, a loft conversion that has none of the following cannot be classified as a loft conversion i.e. a habitable room – a bedroom, an office or a spare room – it is merely just a tidy loft storage area with no resale value.

Plans approved by Building Control.

Work inspected and passed by building control.

Insulation to comply with the correct U-Values.

A proper fixed staircase.

A new lobby and fire door to the entrance of the loft conversion.

Minimum height restrictions for staircase.

Smoke detectors.

Electrical certificates.

Final certification from building control.

Failing to have a loft conversion that complies with all current building and fire regulations could cause you the following problems.

  • Invalidate your fire insurance.
  • Problems with selling your house in the future as your loft storage area will be seen as an extra room

See below how a loft should be done:


From your initial inquiry, our consultant will visit you and quickly determine the feasibility and potential of your loft. (Minimum height in loft space to the highest point 2.4 metres / 8 feet). After measuring, your specific requirements will be discussed with you and advice will be given to you on what is the most suitable conversion for your property. Shortly after your consultation, you will receive a full specification and fixed price quotation that is valid for acceptance for 30 days.

Once you have accepted our quote and decided to use Loft Masters to convert your existing loft space into a habitable room, our surveyors will measure up and draw plans ready to submit to your Local Authority. We also have the facility to also use an external registered firm of Architects for large commercial projects.

Prior to submitting to the Local Authority, draft plans will be submitted to yourselves for approval. Once the plans have been approved and signed, they will be submitted to the Local Authority for determination under the Section 63 of the Town and Country Planning Act General Development 1990. (approx 2-3 months for approval to be granted)

Some properties may not require planning permission, provided the loft conversion does not exceed 40 cubic meters on a terraced property and 50 cubic meters on others. This condition only applies when properties are not located in a Conservation Area and are not at the junction of two public highways.

All flats require planning permission.

Once planning has been approved we will then prepare Building and Fire Regulation plans and submit to your Local Authority Building Control department for design appraisal and structural calculations to justify the proposed design to the Structural Engineers department for checking and approval. (approx 4 – 6 weeks for approval)

Upon approval, we will then serve the necessary Statutory Commencement Notice upon the Local Authority Building Control Department in accordance with the Regulation 14 of the Building Regulation 1985 (amended 1994).

Loft Masters will then obtain the following permits from your Local Authority prior to the works commencing.

a) Skips & material use and storage on the highway (Local Authority Highways Section)
b) Waste disposal containers (New Roads and Street Works Act 1991)

Commencement of work:

a) Erect independent tubular access scaffolding to facilitate access to the roof area.

b) Create initial external opening to the loft area and provide temporary weather proofing and secure.

c) Provide replacement water storage tank with valves, tank lids etc. where necessary.

d) Remove and replace central heating feed and expansion tank complete with insulation jacket and ball valve.

e) Block off and secure existing loft hatch and make ready for plastering.

f) Cut into existing brickwork and prepare to receive structural steel bearing spreader plates.

g) Install approximately 100 x 600 x 20 mm structural steel spreader plates to support steel beams.

h) Provide 25 tonne mobile telescopic crane for site duties.

i) Liase where necessary with the following government bodies : –

1) Local Authorities Highways Department.
2) Metropolitan Police Traffic Division.
3) Local bus Operator ( in case a diversion is required )

j) Install heavy duty steel beams ( RSJs ) and universal beams ( UB ) in accordance with Structural Engineers design with ends of steel beams bearing securely upon structural steel spreader plates. Provide structural steel spliced beam connections incorporating where necessary fabricated bolted spliced connections comprising of 20mm end plates with 10mm fillet welds all around and a minimum of 12 super strength grade 8.8 bolts per connections.( where specified provide structural steel cleated connections ). All steel structure to be coated with Brosteel intumescent coating to provide a minimum of 30 minute fire resistance.

k)Install new independent structural floor joists incorporating 200 x 50 stress graded SC3/SC4 kiln dried structural floor joists at 400 centres. Joists to be fixed directly to steel frame and solid webb noggins to be placed between structural joists at steel beam connection point to prevent floor movement. Secure structural floor joists below stud wall partitions to avoid deflection or bowing.

l) Form structural walls to dormer incorporating 100 x 50 stress graded structural kiln timber at 400 centres. Provide triangulated bracing through dormer stud work to avoid movement and vibration. Clad dormer with 18mm external quality plywood to achieve stability against vibration through wind and other loadings. Finish internally with fibreglass insulation, foil backed plaster board and skim of plaster. Provide and fit PVC-U fascia board, soffit,guttering and down pipes to dormer. Fix coloured small plain tiles to match existing at appropriate gauge, all in accordance to BS747 Code of Practice 144 Part III 1970. Provide Code 4 lead flashing where necessary on all roof junctions. Flat roof to be constructed of plywood on softwood joists, finished with 3 layers of felt, infill with fibreglass insulation, foil backed plaster board for vapour barrier finished with skim of plaster.

m) Supply and fit PVC-U windows to ( BBA,BSI and EN ISO 9002 ), internally glazed. Glass sealed units, Pilkington glass, low “E” to comply with document “L” of the Building Regulations as of the 1st April 2002. Provide alternative means of assisted escape in the event of fire through a Velux fire escape window, fitted to front slope of roof.

n) Internal partitions are formed of the following 100 x 50 SC3 sawn vertical timber studs complete with base middle and head rails overlaid with laminated plaster board and filled with acoustic and thermal insulation, and skim finished on either side.

o) All electrics to comply to Electricity Board requirements.

p) Plumbing and heating : to deal with all plumbing points, rooting in copper tubes as required to new radiators and taps. Customer to supply all sanitary ware, pump, water heaters. Loft Masters to supply radiators.

q) Prior to installing new stair well, ensure that all door ways are temporarily sealed . Install new stairwell, closed tread softwood string staircase to provide access to converted area. Fix softwood handrail to match/similar to existing.

r) Second fixings: Supply and install 150 mm moulded/shaped skirting through out converted area. Supply and install 75 mm moulded/shaped architraves to door openings through out converted area. Fix 30 minute fire resistant timber doors to habitable areas within converted area. Provide and fix self closing devices to all doors including the existing stairwell. Create storage area with access hatch with chip board flooring. Install Smoke detector system on each floor, interlinked and wired to the mains.

s) Arrange final inspection with the Local Authority Building Control.


Loft Masters give a full ten-year guarantee, with an optional insurance backed warranty, with an after sales service, which is second to none.


With an insurance indemnity of £10Million, and as members of Fairtrades and the government approved Trust Mark, you can rest assured that Loft Masters will provide you with an excellent service from start to finish.

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