Archive for September, 2015

Loft Conversion- How To Keep Within The Law

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

Loft Conversion – How To Keep Within The Law

loft conversion

A loft conversion can act as a useful way to add extra living space to your house.

Not only can it provide much extra living space such as an additional bedroom, work office or bathroom, but when done right, a loft conversion can also add value to your property too. This is good news if you go on to sell your property in the future.

Question is, how do you keep within the law when it comes to converting a loft.

Here are a few tips on how to stay on the right side of the law when it comes to your loft conversion.

Loft Conversion- Do You Need Planning Permission?

Planning permission is not usually needed when converting an attic or loft.However if you alter or extend the roof space then planning permission is usually required.

A loft conversion doesn’t usually need planning permission as it is considered to be permitted development .This applies providing that it falls within certain criteria including;

  • Terraced houses : A volume allowance of 40 cubic meters additional roof space is allowed
  • Detached and semi detached houses: A Volume allowance of 50 cubic metres additional roof space is permitted
  • The extension cannot be higher than the highest part of the roof
  • The materials used need to be in keeping with the existing house
  • No verandas, balconies or raised platforms are allowed
  • Side facing windows need to be obscure glazed;any opening to be 1.7m above the floor
  • Roof extensions not to be permitted development in designated areas
  • Roof extensions, except for hip to gable ones, need to be set back as far as possible, at least 20cm from the original eaves
  • The roof enlargement cannot overhang the outer face of the wall to the original house

 Loft Conversion- Building Regulations

Despite not always needing planning permission, loft conversions always require approval under  Building Regulations . Therefore, it’s advisable to adopt a full plans approach and to have a full scheme approved before appointing a builder. This will help on 2 counts;

1. It will help to take the risk out of the work

2. It will  enable your builder to be able to provide a more accurate quote for the work as opposed to a more vague estimate.

It’s also worth noting that if you are planning a loft conversion for a semi detached or terraced property, then you will need to notify your neighbours of your intentions as it will probably fall under the Party Wall Act 1996 

Loft Conversion- Moving Forwards

Without a doubt, having a loft conversion can provide a straightforward way of gaining extra living space (and adding value) to your home.  Keeping within the law with your loft conversion doesn’t have to be a complicated process. If in doubt simply contact your Local Authority Building Control who will be able to advise you on any building control conditions that will affect your loft conversion.

Alternatively ,if you are considering a loft conversion in South Wales and would like us to take care of it all for you ,contact us here and we’ll happily get straight back to you to arrange your FREE quote.

Finally if you found our post on “Loft Conversion- How To Keep Within The Law” useful, then please post a comment in the comment box below.

Good luck with your loft conversion,



Barn Conversions – The Ups And Downs

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015

Barn Conversions – The Ups And Downs

barn conversions

Many people dream of owning a property in the heart of the countryside, but are barn conversions all that they’re cracked up to be?

During the 1800’s barns were traditionally built for the storage of farm tools, crops and to house livestock. However by the later part of the 20th century, barns were starting to be used more and more for barn conversions to create the ideal spacious home in the country.

And  recent development in housing reveals that barn conversions are now very much on the increase.

Little wonder then that so many people want to get their hands on these former hay lofts and agricultural garages.

So is a barn conversion the way to go when it comes to building your dream home?

Within this post we are going to look at a few of the ups and downs of barn conversions.

Barn Conversions – The Ups

 Space Availabilty

One of the most obvious advantages of a barn conversion is the living space that it can provide. Barn conversions generally benefit from high,arched ceilings and large wooden doorways ,which make the interior of the home appear even bigger.

Blends traditional with modern 

Converting a barn can provide a great way to blend both traditional and modern designs.

Provide The Ultimate Countryside Experience

Barn conversions can provide a beautiful, serene countryside existence. Living in a barn can provide you with a once in a lifetime experience and can really turn your dream home into a reality.

Hold Their Value 

Barn conversions generally hold their value well.


Barn Conversions- The Downs


Getting your hands on a barn to convert, can be difficult as they don’t come up for grabs very often.Often barns are found in places where planners would not dream of granting permission.

We covered how to find a barn to convert within our post “Barn Conversions- How To Get Your Hands On One.”


Barn conversions can come at a cost both financially and emotionally.

The conversion costs for converting a barn tend to be more than building a house from scratch(especially if you have to use special materials to comply with listed building requirements ). Heating bills can be more expensive too.

Strict Planning Laws

Many barns come with strict planning regulations that limit what you can do with the property. Even when planning permission is granted, the entire process can be complicated and costly.

Before considering a barn conversion, it’s a good idea to pop into your local authority to speak with the planning department regarding any planning requirements.

Structurally Unsound

Barns were originally designed for animals and not for people to live in. Therefore in order for a barn to be comfortable as a home, walls often need to be insulated and refinished ,which can result in some of its space being reduced.

Overall the pro’s can indeed outweigh the cons of converting a barn; especially as barn conversions can indeed  provide the perfect dream home within a beautiful rural location.

However, if you’re considering a barn conversion, it’s worth speaking to local planners and choosing a skilled local builder who has several years of experience in the building industry.

If you’d like a free quote for a barn conversion in South Wales, please contact us here.