Many of the questions we receive from readers concern headroom, or rather the lack of it, in their current roof space and how this will effect their plans to convert the loft.
The simple answer is that there is no minimum height needed to convert your loft.
At least not according to the building regulations.
But, of course, there is a proviso here.
It doesn't matter how great your loft conversion is - if you can't stand up in it then it has been a colossal waste of time and money.
So What Is The Minimum Height Needed?
Obviously you need to be able to move around comfortably without having to stoop like the crooked old man who found a sixpence but the fact is that the available headroom, or rather the lack of it, can usually be sorted out by raising the height of the building or adding a dormer.
Where a property already has a steep pitched roof the eventual loft conversion will be much easier and ideally you are looking for headroom in the loft of around 2.2 to 2.6 meters.
The ideal scenario is if you can stand upright in the centre of your loft and raise your arm above your head without crunching your hand on the inside of the roof.
If you can do that - then happy days and you can more or less begin to think about planning your project.
Of course, the pitch of the roof may mean that it is only the centre of the loft in which you can stand upright but this isn't a problem as the various dormer designs will generate adequate headroom throughout the loft conversion.
If you aren't building a dormer and will instead just be installing skylight windows than it obviously becomes essential that you can move around freely in the existing space. Because of this you should be looking for headroom of around 2.8 meters at the apex of the loft.
If, however, you can't stand upright in the loft as it stands than things become a little more complicated and will usually involve raising the height of the house.
This will of course involve applying for planning permission and it should be remembered in all cases that converting the loft will require you to apply for approval under the building regulations.
There is an alternative to raising the height of the property if you are struggling for headroom in the loft. If the ceiling height in the existing second floor bedrooms is quite generous than it is possibly to think about lowering the ceiling to generate the extra space needed to convert the loft.
This can be an expensive option and some properties may not be suited to this kind of development.
For more info see the related pages below
Vermiculite Loft Insulation is an echo-friendly alternative to traditional insulation materials
The old loft water tank will need to be moved if the roof space is being converted into a habitable room
Structural calculations for loft conversions are of course hugely important to ensure safety and that the proposed plans meet building regulations