Converting your attic can be a fun, exciting (and much needed) project. They are extremely popular for good reason, but the truth is, not all homes are eligible for attic conversions. Your property may not be right for an attic conversion, because of building regulations, preservation restrictions and so many other factors.
Although it’s disappointing, because you won’t be able to convert your attic to use it as you had perhaps hoped, there are still ways to make the most out of the space. Let’s take a look at it all closer:
How To Find Out If You Can Have An Attic Conversion
Not every property can support a full attic conversion. Most houses will come with an allowance for a permitted development which means you can go ahead without any planning permission. Although, if you live in a conservation area or your roof height isn’t tall enough, it may be harder to achieve the conversion you are looking for.
An easy way to get an idea of if your attic is suitable for a conversion is to see if any other houses down your street have them. If they do, it’s more likely that you can have one too, it’s also worth asking to take a look in their attics too, so you can get an idea of what the space could look like.
The minimum height for a attic conversion is 2.2m, and you can measure this yourself. Run a tape measure from the floor to the highest point on the ceiling, if it’s more than 2.2m, the attic should be tall enough for a conversion. If you plan on changing the roof structure to change the ceiling height, then you will need planning permission.
Depending on when your home was built, it will have roof trusses or rafters. By looking through your attic hatch, you should be able to recognise which roof type you have. Rafters run along the edge of the roof, and this will leave most of the space below hollow. Whereas trusses are supports that run through the cross-section of the attic. Converting an attic with trusses is possible but having extra structural support is necessary to replace them. Of course, this will cost more.
Another thing to consider when you’re thinking about converting your attic and it’s eligibility, is where to put the staircase. This is an additional cost but can all be factored in but you may need to think about the space you need to sacrifice in order to convert your attic. Are you losing any? Is that space more useful than a converted attic? If the answer is yes, attic conversions may not be the best solution for you and your lifestyle anyway.
Launch An Appeal
If your planning permission application is refused but you feel that the decision is unfair, then you can launch an appeal. You must do this within three months (the deadline is for homeowners, developers with major projects have up to six months).
You can do this by writing down all the reasons why you think your planning permission should be approved. There will be forms sent to you by the council, and it may help to get a planning consultant with knowledge of your local planning department to help with your appeal.
The council has six weeks to respond, then a remaining three weeks for you to comment on its response and other evidence you have. Your neighbour’s get the opportunity to comment too and an inspector will visit your home where the final decision rests with them after another two-six weeks.
Overall, it can take up to five months from the first appeal to the final decision and it’s worth doing if you are adamant that your project abides by all planning rules.
So, You’re Not Eligible For An Attic Conversion – What Can You Do?
If it still turns out that you’re still not eligible for an attic conversion – don’t worry. There are still so many options that will mean you can access more space and storage in your attic.
Attic boarding is designed to install extra flooring into your attic to allow more room for storage in your home. You can fit this yourself or have it installed for you. It does not require any planning permission, it’s a simple task, and it’s affordable. Don’t be afraid to install attic boarding yourself with specialised attic boarding installation kits, just make sure you are safe and have a clean space to work around.
Standard attic boarding is a method that boards directly onto attic joists using the timber, it raises the level of the floor to accommodate the insulation. This is a quicker and easier way to install attic boarding, however it adds a lot of weight to the existing flooring and does not allow the insulation to breathe, resulting in damp and condensation.
Another option is to install raised attic boarding. This is a process that boards the floor above the insulation – this prevents it from being squashed or not getting enough airflow through the attic. A specialised product for this is our LoftZone StoreFloor which is the only product with the necessary BBA certifications and will not affect the NHBC warranty if you are placing this into a new home. Airflow has never been more important, due to the variety of household technology that is partly responsible for creating humid environments. It also holds up to 500kg per square metre of weight, which is the strongest attic boarding system available!
Contact The LoftZone Team Today!
We are an award-winning service, scroll to the bottom of our online page to compare the differences between us and other raised attic deck methods. Our team of attic experts are always happy to answer any questions or help you to make the most out of your attic space. Give us a call on 617-765-7444 (7 am to midday, EST). Or drop us a message at [email protected].