Which Lofts Cannot be Converted?

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If you're a homeowner looking to create space converting your existing loft into living areas can be a cost effective alternative, to moving to a new property. This is especially true in real estate markets like London, where a loft conversion can be an option.

Can you convert your loft?

The good news is that most lofts can be transformed into a playroom, office or extra bedroom – any space you desire. However there are factors you should consider to ensure that your loft is suitable for your intended purpose. These factors include,. Are not limited to;


First and foremost it's important to determine the owner of the loft space. If you're a leaseholder residing on the floor flat for instance there's a chance that the loft belongs to the freeholder – even if access can only be gained through your property. In cases purchasing the space from them would be necessary, before proceeding with any renovation work.

The height of the headspace

The minimum required headroom, in your loft can vary depending on the type and age of your building. As a guideline having a ceiling height of least 2.2 meters at its highest point is necessary when considering a loft conversion.

If your loft falls short of this requirement it is unlikely that you will be granted permission to raise the pitch of your roof by authorities. However there might be a solution you could potentially lower the ceilings in the rooms below if they already have sufficient space to accommodate this alteration. It's important to note that pursuing this option would involve expenses and delays for your project.

Obstacles to consider

In properties older ones, obstructions such as water tanks and chimney stacks are often present in the loft space. While these obstacles do not necessarily prevent a loft conversion they may require removal or reorganization of the layout, which can result in costs and longer conversion times.

Although water tanks and chimney stacks are not challenges when converting a loft it's crucial to factor, in the expenses and potential delays associated with addressing these aspects during your planning process. This will help ensure that you stay within budget and adhere to your timeline.


The location of the property plays a role as different councils have rules. If your property is situated in a conservation area the rules regarding alterations might be more stringent. However this doesn't necessarily mean that a loft conversion is impossible.

A good way to gauge whether your property is suitable for a loft conversion is, by observing buildings in the neighborhood. If other properties nearby have already undergone loft conversions it's highly likely that you can do the same with your loft.

It's important to note that many loft conversions can be done without obtaining planning permission long as they fall within permitted development rights and meet conditions. Regardless of whether planning permission's needed or not you'll still need to acquire a building regulation certificate and follow the regulations outlined in the Party Wall Act 1996 if there are any party wall agreements involved.

For information about these conditions and permissions you can refer to our dedicated page on loft conversions. It provides an overview of the process and offers advice, on how you can initiate your own loft conversion project.


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