WHAT HEIGHT IS NEEDED IN MY ATTIC SPACE
FOR A SUCCESSFUL LOFT CONVERSION
TO TAKE PLACE?

When designing Loft Conversions for homeowners we at DISCOUNT PLANS have to take into consideration two factors. 1. Planning Guidelines and 2. Building control matters. The proposed loft design has to fall within Permitted Development design factors such as designing to volumes which is explained in another article here or SPD planning guidelines. As all DPL drawings are mainly designed to CONSTRUCTION format our designers have to take into account Approved Document Part K1 (Minimum Headroom clearances) This article will explain the minimum headroom needed to achieve a successful Loft Conversion for a final completion certificate to be issued.

2000mm is the golden rule for a minimum headroom clearance for Building Control to sign off any Loft Conversion development

After all completed loft construction works a required 2000mm headroom is needed for a successful building control sign off. The height is taken from the mid-top landing level on the stairs to the loft finished ceiling level. 2000mm needs to be achieved not only on the new stairs going into the loft room landing but also on the existing stairs leading down to the ground floor level making sure a continuous 2000mm headroom clearance is achieved to the underside of new stairs to existing stair run leading out of the property.

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2000mm lshape loft.png

​2000mm Needed
on proposed

​2000mm Needed
on exisitng

The building regulations guidelines have amended the rules slightly for stairs that have a reduced headroom similarly to a staircase located at a tight edge hip having a reduced Headroom clearance, See diagram Fig 1.1. In this instance it would be acceptable for a clearance of 1800mm to edge of the wall to ceiling distance and 1900mm from mid landing location can be allowed for an acceptable pass. This particular loft staircase example design can be found on new developments located around London, this particular property is located in barnet (North London) where the roof shape is unique looking like a modern style house consisting of a large flat roof area to support future solar panel installation scheme at a later date. The internal attic space is a large void area, which has an excellent opportunity to convert the disused space into a living area. This can be achieved by applying for a householder's application for a protencial proposed loft conversion. 

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1800mm loft height.png

​1800mm Needed
on proposed

​1800mm Needed
on proposed

​2000mm Needed
on exisitng

​2000mm Needed
on exisitng

EXISTING ATTIC HEADROOM SPACE WILL NEED TO BE 2300MM TO ACHIEVE A FINAL 2000MM HEADROOM WITHOUT THE NEED TO LOWER ANY 1ST FLOOR CEILINGS

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PROPOSED LOFT.png

Merton - Mid Terraced Property  

Existing Section through Attic space

Click to See Proposed

By the time the floor steels are added and the ridge beam installed including the thickness of all plasterboard and insulation etc. approximately 300mm will be taken off the total existing headroom measurement leaving a 2000mm overall headroom passable for Building Control standards to sign off your completed Loft Conversion. 

ADDING ALL THE BELOW DIMENSION THICKNESSES ALLOWS A FINAL TAKEOFF DIMENSION OF 2000mm FROM YOUR EXISTING HEIGHT OF 2300mm

  • Floor Beam 203mm thickness

  • The gap above the existing ceiling joist to the underside of floor steel 30mm 

  • Ridge Beam thickness 152mm (but set in the position of the existing timber ridge beam)

  • Plaster board 12mm

When following this 300mm takeoff rule the drawings work when scaling off. DPL draw all proposed elements (Sections, Plans and Elevations) to a scale of 1:50 so when Building control departments measure from drawings the drawings need to be accurate and show a 2000mm headroom clearance. If for example an Existing attic floor height is measured to 2200mm then the same 300mm will apply. 2200mm subtract 300mm will leave a finished internal headroom of 1900mm which will not pass building control approval in this situation because the ridgeline cannot be raised due to planning restrictions. The only other method to achieve a liveable loft conversion would be to lower the first-floor ceilings.

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DISCOUNT PLANS LTD

Architectural Design Studio

Established 2005

LOWERING 1ST FLOOR CEILINGS TO ACHEIVE 2000mm INTERNALY

If all methods fail and a ceiling removal is the only option then this would likely be the case in moving out. The disruption will be unlivable. The amount of dust will go everywhere, especially if your ceiling is constructed of lath and plaster. The Builders would most likely charge you in the region of £5000+Vat to £6000+Vat for the following:

  • Removal of plasterboard or lath and plaster and ceiling joists

  • Disposal of material

  • 1st-floor walls trimmed to setting out mark

  • Installations of Steels and new Ceiling joists

  • Fitting of new insulation and plasterboarding

  • Install and fitting of ceiling rose and wall decor (cornice)

  • Installation of lighting 

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Buckhurst Hill - Ceiling removal for Loft Conversion Design

" CONCLUSION OF ATTIC HEIGHT NEEDED "
2300mm WOULD BE THE MINIMUM HEIGHT FOR OUR TEAM TO DESIGN YOU A SUCCESSFUL LOFT CONVERSION WITHOUT THE NEED TO LOWER YOUR FIRST FLOOR CEILINGS

Please note that you will require structural calculations if any steel beams are designed within your scope of works, this will be charged separately to the engineer.

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

We hope you found this article useful to give you a small insight into what is involved in these cases. doing the homework first will save you £££££'s in the event of a surprise which you cannot carry out. Feel free to call our team for a free consultation over the phone and we will be more than happy to assist you on any technical matters. Regards John. D. 

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