Loft Conversion Regulations
Building Regulation for loft conversions ensures that all conversions are safe and habitable. While they create an important framework for loft conversions built in the UK, our designs and practices regularly surpass the requirements laid out by Building Regulations. We treat these requirements as a minimum, rather than a guideline for all our loft conversions. This approach means that our clients benefit from safe, spacious, high quality loft conversions.
While there is no real minimum ceiling height for building regulations, which should be at least 1.9m (usually more at the highest point to make up for the sloping walls). There are, however, headroom requirements for the staircase. The stairs require 1.9m of clear headroom.
As previously mentioned, we use these figures as minimums rather than guidelines – in most instances it’s best to add more headroom to a loft conversion to ensure that there is more usable space.
Building regulations are primarily concerned with sound insulation, rather than heat insulation, in a loft conversion. If you live in a terraced or semi-detached house, the building controller may require that your reinforce insulation between your home and your neighbours to improve privacy. The loft conversion will also need insulation from the other rooms in the house so noise doesn’t travel through the entire house.
There are a number of options for heat insulation – many local authorities accept thin multi-foil insulation materials which are more space efficient than insulation board. If you would like to reduce heating bills and improve your home’s thermal efficiency, you may choose to use more eco-friendly heat insulation or add more insulation than the minimum requirements.
If your loft conversion forms a 3rd or 4th storey to your home, the structure needs to be separated from the rest of the house with half-hour fire protection. This means that we will need to use two layers of plasterboard when building and fire doors must be installed. This may affect the overall design of your loft conversion, but it is essential that your new loft meets fire safety requirements.
Depending on your design, you may need to ensure that the loft conversion staircase leads to an external door or fit a sprinkler system to your home. Mains powered, interlinked smoke alarms will also need to be fitted within the stairway.