Below are some FAQ’s clients ask on a fairly regular basis. In order to try and simplify matters and save you time and make things easier for you, we’ve given the answers to all of the common questions regarding House Extensions and Loft Conversion’s here. Click on any of the questions below to view the answers to many Loft Conversion questions we get asked by our customers:


Every project is unique therefore you need to book a design visit with Access Builders so we can quote accordingly and offer the best price for your loft conversion project.

Yes. If your conversion is for habitable accommodation then it needs to be planned professionally to ensure it confirms to stringent building regulations. Access Builders offer a ‘design’ service, where our Architect will produce your plans to the highest standards and specifications.

Under regulations that came into effect from 1 October 2008 a loft conversion or small dormer extension is considered a permitted development, and generally does not require planning permission. Permission is required if you plan to extend or alter the roof space more than specified limits and conditions:

  • Volume increase of 40 cubic metres for terraced houses or 50 cubic metres for detached & semi-detached houses. No extension beyond the plane of the existing roof slope of the principal elevation that fronts the highway (i.e. no dormer to face the street).
  • No extension to be higher than the highest part of the roof Materials to be similar in appearance to the existing house (i.e. in keeping with the house and street). Side-facing windows to be obscure-glazed; any opening to be 1.7 metres above the floor. Dormer extensions, excluding hip to gable dormers are set back, as far as practicable, at least 20cm from the eaves. Roof extensions are not permitted development in designated areas, i.e. National Parks, Conservation areas, World Heritage Sites.

However the majority of Loft Conversions including those with quite large dormers do not require Planning Permission as the development can be completed under Permitted Development Rights.

No. It is not feasible or practical to convert some lofts. Access Builders offer a FREE no obligation survey. This would involve a visit from one of our surveyors. Ring our office number 01257 464302 to arrange a visit.

Yes, these types of loft conversion are getting a lot more common with approximately 50% of our conversions having trussed roofs.

The existing loft hatch will be made good, and plastered finish.


Every project is unique therefore you need to book a design visit with Access Builders so we can quote accordingly and offer the best price for your loft conversion project.

We estimate on average a home extension can take between 10 – 12 weeks to build.

A party wall agreement is required if your home has a wall that is connected to another property on either side. Each neighbour will have to be informed of the proposed works using a party wall notice form at least two calendar months before the intended start of the build.

The party wall agreement is there to protect you and your neighbour from issues that might arise due to work done on the party wall. It draws up an agreement between you and you neighbour on what needs to happen if there is a problem. By law your neighbour can insist you have one before the work starts.

This process is handled by clients directly, however if required Simply Extend can advise you on this process and put you in touch with one of our certified party wall surveyors.

If your property is not in a conservation area you may have permitted development rights (PD). This means you can build your extension without having to go through the planning permission process. For more details on the requirements and criteria for this, please visit the UK planning portal by clicking here.

With planning permission you are asking the council if your proposed scheme is acceptable. It is open to rejection by them and/or your neighbours and will have to follow the local development plan. With permitted development you are asking the council to simply confirm that your scheme fits within the permitted development criteria.

The council will issue you a Lawful Development Letter if they agree. Technically you are not required to have the Lawful Development letter in place before the work starts and in fact there is no law stating you have to have it. This allows clients who request it, to start the work without waiting for the Lawful Development Letter thus saving time.


Yes, Access Builders provide a full planning and design service only if required. Access Builders will have our Architect draw up plans for you and submit the plans to the relevant local Council planning office on your behalf.

Access Builders will gladly do all that on your behalf.

Access Builders will arrange a site appointment, which is convenient for you. This meeting normally take’s approximately 1 hour. During this informal consultation, we will discuss with you your requirements, offer advice and answer any questions you may have. You can telephone us on 01257 464302 to book this or click here to email us.

On average it takes between 4 – 5 weeks to get a set of provisional plans to our clients.

In general it takes 6 – 8 weeks for plans to be approved through planning permission. However, not all extension/loft conversion projects require planning permission.

Of Course, not a problem, Access Builders have numerous previous customers. When we meet with you to discuss your project we can tell you which customers you may contact in your area for a reference and if OK with the customer you are more than welcome to visit their home to view the work we carried out.

Disruption to the householder is kept to minimum as possible, only breaking through the stairwell on the last few days to incorporate your new stairs case.

We have public liability, employee’s liability and the most important, contract all risk insurance. Documentation can be provided on request.

Unfortunately from time to time our rates have to be reviewed due to increasing prices of materials. Our quotations are therefore valid for 6 months.

Access Builders do via skip’s, the cost of which will be included in your proposal.