Building Control - Loft Conversions

Non-habitable use

If you wish to use your loft area for normal light storage only, boarding over the existing ceiling joists will not require approval under the Building Regulations. If other works are to be undertaken see the notes below.

Habitable room

The conversion of a roof space into a habitable room or rooms may require you to meet all or any of the below requirements to obtain Building Regulation Consent: (The general guidance set out below relates to conversions where the maximum number of storeys will not exceed three. In all other cases contact Building Control Services for advice).

The following guidelines are to advise you of certain requirements. If you are considering converting your roof or loft area into a habitable room the advice given below is in general terms and will not cover all possible factors. If after reading these notes, you are still not sure what may apply to your proposals please contact Building Control Services for advice.

  • The existing stair should be enclosed and discharge directly to an external door or be within an enclosure allowing access to two alternative exit doors front and rear of the property.
  • Installation of new supporting beams and floor joists.
  • The replacement of existing beams or lintels.
  • The exposure of the foundations.
  • In the case of a house of two storeys or more, the upgrading of the existing upper floor ceilings to achieve a ½ hour standard of fire resistance.
  • The fitting of a fixed stair or ladder with handrails and guarding.
  • The construction of a ½ hour fire resistant stair enclosure in the new storey and upgrading if necessary of the existing stair enclosure to a ½ hour standard of fire resistance which should lead to directly to the ground floor entrance door. A minimum of 2.0m headroom should be maintained on the stair.
  • The existing doors within the stair enclosure except those to bathroom and cupboards will need to be replaced with fire resisting doors.
  • The provision of thermal insulation within the existing roof together with a vapour barrier to reduce or eliminate condensation.
  • The provision of mains powered battery backup, interlinked smoke detection and alarm within the property with smoke detectors within the stair enclosure at each storey level. These should be installed by a registered electrician.

Additional permission that may be required