Loft conversions are easily the most sought-after house extensions style by homeowners today, and for good reason. Simple, inexpensive, minimally disruptive, and extremely versatile in their design, they also add incredible value to a property.

Not only does this make loft conversions popular options for home upgrades, they may also cause some homeowners to underestimate the need for careful planning and the diligence that is required to design and build the perfect loft conversion.

This doesn’t have to be true for you. Keeping in mind some fundamental dos and don’ts can help save you a lot of trouble, and make the loft conversion process smooth and stress-free.

Here, let’s look at some of the most important Don’ts of loft conversions:

1. Don’t forget to check the suitability of your property

Don’t forget to check the suitability of your property

Though loft conversions are renowned for being well-suited for almost any style of home or property, it’s always best to first check and not assume.

One of the key aspects that determines the suitability of a property is the availability of adequate roof space that allows for a head height of at least 2.3m. You can check this by measuring the space between the ceiling joist and ridge of the roof.

2. Don’t forget about your budget

Don’t forget about your budget

It is easy to get caught up in the exciting designs and details of your loft conversion, but it is just as important to stick to your original plan and budget. Whether you are creating an additional bedroom, bathroom, or even an office nook, your budget should include not only the costs of floor reinforcements, insulation, and installation of the staircase, but should also take into account the costs of:

  • Building materials
  • Fittings and fixtures
  • Wiring and lighting
  • Soundproofing, etc.

A detailed budget allows you to assess the feasibility and value of this home improvement project.

And as loft conversions can range from £35,000 to £85,000 it is also a good idea to find out the ceiling price of properties in your neighbourhood. This can help you determine if your loft conversion will be a valuable investment, especially if you hope to sell the property in the future.

3. Don’t forget about planning permission (or neglect you neighbours)

House extensions and Planning permissions

Loft conversions are often assumed to be one of those extensions and renovations that could be done without requiring planning permission. However, it is important to realise that this is not always the case.

Extensions, including loft conversions, may require planning permission if they do not meet the specific criteria of permitted developments. Similarly, more complex loft conversions such as hip-to-gable and mansard conversions, and loft conversions that are to be constructed on properties listed in conservation areas, will also require planning permission. 

The planning portal provides homeowners with in-depth information about the criteria for permitted developments as well as the requirements for planning permission.

In addition to planning permission, building regulations approval must also be secured to ensure the build of your loft is in accordance to the standard safety guidelines.

Likewise, party wall agreements should be acquired before commencing the build. This is especially important if you live in a semi-detached or terraced property, as your neighbour has a right to dispute any extension. Speaking to your neighbours about the proposed loft conversion, obtaining consent, and securing a valid party wall agreement helps to avoid the delays and additional expenses of any legal disputes.

4. Don’t miscalculate the dimensions and proportions

The home remodel design

The plan of your loft conversion ultimately determines its success. 

Though loft conversions are extremely versatile in their design and use, there are a few things that must be considered in the planning stage in order to allow for a beautifully designed, and smoothly flowing space. These include:

  • The position of the staircase- Think about head room, ease of access, and the overall balance of the room.
  • Furniture placement- Once again, think about head height, dimensions of the furniture pieces, and how you hope to use the room.
  • Position of light fixtures, heaters, air conditioners, and electrical sockets- Because all of these help determine your comfort and convenience.

Careful thought and deliberate planning can help you to maximise the space, optimise the design, and create a more cohesive room that is perfectly suited for your needs.

For instance, thinking ahead to where you might like a reading lamp placed, or where you may want a light switch or socket to be accessible, allows you to make decisions that not only affects the design of the loft space, but also the way in which your loft may be used.

5. Don’t forget about storage

Don’t forget about storage

Another important, but often over-looked, aspect of designing a loft conversion is the loss of storage space. 

As the roof or attic space is usually utilised as a storage area, converting this space into a functional room results in the need for an additional storage area. While decluttering and reorganising may help, you may also need to consider installing built-in shelves that can help offset the loss of your attic space.

6. Don’t forget about the future

Don’t forget about the future

The future is here. Naturally, we are talking about your future energy bills and maintenance costs that will be determined by the decisions that you make today. 

This is why it may be a smart idea to invest in energy efficient appliances that will help cut down those bills and even your carbon footprint. Upgrading your heating system to an energy saving one, while installing LED lights in your loft (and in other parts of your home), can help drastically reduce your energy consumption.

Similarly, plan ahead for future maintenance costs and ways to minimise them. Ensure that the plumbing and wiring in your home and loft is checked and upgraded regularly in order to prevent large and expensive repairs down the line.

7. Don’t ignore the experts

Don’t ignore the experts

As tempting as it may be to DIY the loft conversion, it is best not to succumb to this temptation. A loft conversion is nowhere near as simple as it seems, and having the right help and expert advice to oversee this project goes a long way towards ensuring its success.

The best loft conversion specialists can help you in:

  • Designing the loft conversion in accordance to council requirements and safety standards
  • Coordinating with the local council and securing the requisite planning permission, building regulations approval, and party wall agreements
  • Choosing the right materials (based on the aesthetic, cost, and availability)
  • Optimising the space to best fit your design requirements (and to include hidden storage) 
  • Designing the ultimate bespoke loft conversion based on your specific needs

Most importantly, the loft conversion specialists can help you to avoid the many mistakes that could prove to be costly later on.


There is no doubt about it. Loft conversions are truly one of the best forms of home extensions which help you upsize, upgrade, and elevate your property. But they are not without their pitfalls.

Luckily, it is just as easy to avoid these mistakes as it is to make them. Simply put, having a clear plan and design, and the best loft experts to guide you, allows you to create the ultimate loft conversion that adds space and value to your home.

If you are looking to construct the ultimate loft conversion, contact the incredible team at Good Design and Build today! We specialise in creating exceptional, bespoke lofts that are the perfect fit for your home!

Author: Amol

Amol is an architectural designer and has worked on hundreds of residential projects in London since 2008.Having done his M.Arch from the Glasgow School of Arts he gained valuable experience in London working in the construction industry managing high-end residential projects, before founding Good Design and Build in 2015.You will meet him for initial consultation and work closely with him during all stages of your project