- 5-FOOT RULE EXPLAINED - 
What height determines the liveable area in a room with sloping ceilings?

This article has been put together to explain the principle of calculating the area of a room such as a loft conversion with a sloping roof or ceiling. On Plan loft conversion designs when measured can look very large, on plan but in real life can be very decisive, please read on. 

DPL WORKS WITH OUR CLIENTS TO ESTABLISH THE BEST DESIGN FOR YOUR LOFT CONVERSION WITH REASONABLY COMPLIANT LIVING SPACE

"WOW MY LOFT SPACE LOOKS MASSIVE ON THE DRAWINGS
ONLY TO FIND THAT IT'S NOT AS BIG AS INITIALLY THOUGHT WHAT HAPPENED"

ALLOWABLE CALCULATED FLOOR AREA:
In order to determine the correct floor area of a room from drawings or when designing it must be measured in the following manner:
 

Room with a sloping roof or Ceiling:
The area where a sloping roof or ceiling reduces the height of the room to less than 1.524m (5 feet) this area should not be included when calculating the floor space.

Include area:
 
Subject to any other exclusion, measurement of the floor area should include any floor space formed by a bay window extension, or any area at floor level, which is occupied by fixed cupboards


Exclude area: 
Subject to any other exclusion, measurement of the floor area should exclude any floor space formed by a projecting chimney breast


Unusable Space: 
Unusable Space: Subject to any exclusion where the space immediately behind the door is no wider than the door itself, this will be considered an unusable space and will be excluded from the measurement of the floor area of the room. If this space is considerably wider than the door itself, e.g. wide enough to place a wardrobe without a reduction of the circulation space, this space can be included

 

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The allowable 5-foot rule being 1524 mm in Height would be in line with the midpoint of the proposed Velux as shown above

The below Plan is a typical Loft Conversion with sloping ceilings to the front of the property (leading down to the eves void space) the area marked in RED shows the truly usable area calculated working by the above formula. The intention of the client was to divide this Loft area into 3 ROOMS realistically the Loft Space is only suitable for One Large Room. After Hatching the area of allowable liveable space for each room the annotation of 3 Bedrooms needed to be re-referenced to 2 STORE ROOMS to the front of the Loft area as shown.

 

The council has minimum room to go by, and the sizes vary depending on the size of room accommodations as such -  

  • 7.5sqm2 - Single Bedrooms

  • 10.5sqm2 - Double Bedrooms  
     

TYPICAL LOFT CONVERSION PLAN AND SECTION EXAMPLE OF ALLOWABLE AREA SHOWN CALCULATED 

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usable floor area section.JPG

Section Showing 1524 mm Height restriction:
1301mm away from eve's storage cupboard wall, which is roughly in line with the center line of the proposed Velux window within the front roof slope at high level.  

Disclaimer: 
Please note these are guidelines only and you may wish to check with your local Council.

 

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Established 2005

CONCLUSION: Under Permitted development, any raised decking or patio area below 300mm is allowed, any higher than 300mm Planning permission is needed. The results of approval will be based on a per house merit and your case officer will be the judge of making the final decision. 
 

THE COUNCIL OFFER A PRE-APPLICATION SERVICE, GIVING AN INSIGHT INTO ACCEPTANCE OF DESIGN BEFORE ANY APPLICATION IS TAKEN OUT BY THE CLIENT

DPL DESIGN TO THE RULES AND ARE REALLY NOT CONCERNED ABOUT WHAT OTHER ILLEGAL METHODS HAVE TAKEN PLACE ON OTHER HOUSES.  SUBMIT YOUR PLANS TODAY TO OBTAIN YOUR CERTIFICATE.

Appeals are more successful if you use and hire a professional planning consultant to prepare documentation and act on your behalf

EACH PROJECT WE TAKE ON IS STARTED FROM SCRATCH SO EVERY NEW JOB IS DESIGNED WITH CARE AND EXPERTISE TO GET 100% SATISFACTION

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