Do you need planning permission for a dormer loft conversion?

If you’re considering a loft conversion and want to know if you need planning permission, the answer is maybe. It depends on a few factors, such as the size and location of your property, as well as the type of conversion you’re planning. To get a better understanding of whether or not you need planning permission for a dormer loft conversion, read on. We’ll cover all the key points so you can make an informed decision about your project.


What is a dormer loft conversion?

A dormer loft conversion is a type of extension that projects vertically from the slope of a roof. It’s a popular choice for those wanting to create additional space in their home as it can add both floor space and headroom.

Dormer loft conversions are normally only suitable for properties with enough existing roof space. To be able to add a dormer, there must be enough height and width available on the sloping part of the roof. The size and position of dormers will be determined by the amount of space available and where the best light can be achieved.

As well as being an effective way to create additional living space, dormer loft conversions can also add value to your property. They are usually more expensive than other types of loft conversions but this cost is often offset by the extra value they add to your home.

Why you might need planning permission

You might need planning permission for your dormer loft conversion if the following applies:

-The dormer will protrude from the existing roof more than 15cm.

-The height of the dormer will be taller than 2m.

-The dormer will take up more than 40% of the existing roof space.

-You live in a conservation area or listed building.


How to apply for planning permission

If you are considering a dormer loft conversion, you will need to apply for planning permission from your local authority. The process can be complex, so it is important to seek professional advice before proceeding. You can take a look at a list of projects that needs planning permission.

There are a number of things to consider when applying for planning permission, including the size and location of your proposed dormer, the impact on the surrounding properties and the visual appearance of the finished conversion. You will also need to submit detailed plans and drawings of your proposal.

The planning permission process can be time-consuming, so it is important to start early. Once you have submitted your application, the decision-making process can take up to eight weeks. If your application is successful, you will be granted a planning permit that will allow you to proceed with your conversion.

What are the benefits of a dormer loft conversion?

There are many benefits to a dormer loft conversion, including:

1. Increased living space – a dormer loft conversion will add valuable extra living space to your home, which can be used for any purpose you desire, from an extra bedroom or playroom for the kids to a home office or gym.

2. Improved property value – as well as providing you with extra living space, a dormer loft conversion can also add significant value to your property, making it a great investment for the future.

3. Enhanced natural light and ventilation – compared to a standard loft conversion, a dormer loft conversion will let in more natural light and provide better ventilation, making it a much more pleasant place to spend time in.

4. Greater headroom – due to the sloped nature of most roofs, standard loft conversions can often be quite cramped and have limited headroom. A dormer loft conversion will create more headroom thanks to the addition of vertical walls, making it feel much more spacious.

5. Better energy efficiency – because they let in more natural light and air, dormer loft conversions can also help improve the energy efficiency of your home, saving you money on heating and lighting bills in the long run.

How to choose the right company for your project

When planning a dormer loft conversion, one of the most important decisions you will make is choosing the right company to carry out the work. There are a number of things to consider when making this decision, including:

– The experience and expertise of the company. Make sure they have carried out similar projects before and that they have the necessary skills and knowledge to complete your project to a high standard.

– The cost of the project. Get several quotes from different companies before making a decision. Make sure you are clear on what is included in the price and that there are no hidden costs.

– The timescale for the project. Find out how long the company will need to complete the work and whether this fits in with your own timeframe.

– The terms and conditions of the contract. Make sure you understand everything in the contract before signing it, including any warranties or guarantees that are offered.


If you are considering a dormer loft conversion, it is important to check with your local planning department to see if you need permission. In most cases, you will not need permission for a small dormer loft conversion, but if your plans are for a larger project, it is best to get approval before starting any work. With the right planning and permissions in place, your dormer loft conversion can be a great way to add extra space and value to your home.

What is included in an Architect’s Quote?

This short entry will give you an idea of the breakdown of an Architect’s Quote and what they are going to deliver to you.

On the basic level, this is what you’d expect to get from an Architect.

Basic Quote and deliverable

  1. Existing Plans, Section Plans, and Elevation Drawings (You can find an estimate here)
  2. Proposed Plans / Building Regulation Drawings
  3. Block Plans (You can get a copy from from £9.00)
  4. Location Plans (Again you can get a copy from from £9.00)
  5. Planning fees (~£150/submission)

However, you need to consider other deliverables from other consultants for your project.

Additional Costs from the Architect

  1. Managing the Land surveyors for the Existing Plans and Elevation Drawings
  2. Preparation of Bills of Quantities – This is to help builders price the project (this can be done by a Quantity Surveyor too)
  3. Tender Management of the builders (this can also be done by a Quantity Surveyor – I would recommend using one for projects above £50k)
  4. Management of the construction project (this can fixed price or a % of the construction)

Additional costs and deliverables from other consultants:

  1. Structural Engineer for Building Regulation Drawings
  2. Rights of Light Surveyors
  3. Environmental and Safety Consultants


How to get Existing Plans of Your Property?

How to get Existing Plans of Your Property?

You might be planning on renovating your home or just building an extension at the back of your property.

However, you might be faced with submitting your planning application and building regulation documents.

The one place that many home owners are confused is…”Where can I get my home’s existing plans?

Unlike other countries where the original construction plans are passed to the next owner, UK home owners are with no option but to produce them.

But… don’t worry

Where can I produce existing plans of my property?

Fairly simply you need to hire a professional surveyor or an architect to produce them.


An architect can produce the basic plans of your property for your planning and building regulation. However, they are limited in producing the drawings to a certain amount of details.

Some councils can accept them, and you should not be worried.

However, stricter councils such as City of Westminster, Islington, Camden, etc… will require higher detailed existing plans.

Land Surveyors

Where there are strict local planning requirements where scaling and accurate details is a must you may need to hire a land surveyor to produce existing plans of your property.

They can produce the existing plans of your property within high accuracy, fast and approved for planning and building regulation.

They are cheaper and more economical than hiring an architect to produce your existing plans. The charge rate for an Architect is around £100-150/hour compared to £20-40/hour for a Land Surveyor.

Take a look at this article on ways of saving money on your measured surveys. The article describes a way to save cost when engaging an architect.


Types of existing plans you can get

You can read more about the types of existing plans here.



5 Surprisingly Stupid Ways to Save Money on Measured Surveys

Types of Measured Surveys

Existing Plans for Home Owners

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