Of course. We are more than happy to visit your property at a time convenient for yourself and quote for the required works.

For domestic properties, planning consent relates to changes in the appearance or use of buildings such as an extension to a house, or a conversion of a house into flats. Planning should not be confused with the building regulations that are entirely separate. Planning can be one of the main hurdles to clear when thinking about making changes to your home and needs to be given consideration from the start. It may be possible that your project can be done within permitted development. Kompas London Ltd will be able to advise you of this during your initial visit.

As a general rule, if you wish to make additions or extensions that will affect the external appearance of your property you will need planning permission. More restrictions apply to flats and maisonettes than to a house. Internal alterations do not usually require permission, although you do need planning permission if you want to convert your property into separate dwellings i.e. flats or bed-sits. Not all loft conversions require planning permission. If you live in a conservation area or your building is listed planning permission may be required for work which would normally not require it – always check with your local authority. If you have a situation which you think falls outside of these guidelines or are in any way unsure, it is best to contact your local authority who will give you the necessary guidance. Planning issues can be contentious and if you proceed without any required consents you may be required at your cost to demolish or significantly alter any development undertaken.

You may be able to make certain alterations on a house (as opposed to a flat or maisonette) without the need for planning permission. This is termed “permitted development” and it applies to an “original house” i.e. a house as it was first built, or as it stood on 1st July 1948 if it was built before that date. If an “original house” has not been extended (including loft conversions) you may be able to develop your property under these rights. As permitted development is subject to limits on height and volume, and has many permutations, we advise you consult your local authority and/ or an architect. Your local authority may have withdrawn permitted development rights if you live in a conservation area.

Again, this is subject to many variables, and your initial enquiries should be directed to the local authority and an architect. You can gain a general indication of what is likely to be approved by looking at other approved development of properties around your local neighbourhood.

Each local authority will have a building control office whose role it is to ensure that any building work conforms to building regulations, this includes the use of approved materials, design and construction methods. From a legislative perspective, building work is defined as:

  • The erection or extension of a building
  • An alteration to a building
  • A material change of use of a building
  • The provision, extension or alteration of a controlled service or fitting (drainage, boiler or other heated appliance, unvented hot water systems, mechanical ventilation systems) and replacement windows.

Internal alterations such as layout changes (even non-structural ones) may affect fire safety so it is worthwhile contacting the local authority building control office and discussing what you have in mind with them before you decide on the building work. Otherwise your new layout may require further work (for example, additional fire doors) that render your proposed changes unworkable or not financially viable.

General minor repair work involving replacing like for like does not normally require approval. If in doubt contact your local authority building control office.

This information is provided for your general interest only. Kompas London Ltd disclaims all responsibility and liability (including for negligence) in relation to use of the information on this site.

A party wall is an existing wall or structure shared with an adjoining property e.g. the common wall between two terrace houses. The term also includes the separating floor between flats (a “party structure”) or a garden wall (a “party fence wall” – does not include wooden fences).

As most loft conversions may affect the structure of a party wall you will need to notify all the adjoining owners of that party wall. Such work might typically include:

  • Cutting into a wall to insert a beam for a loft conversion.
  • Altering the height of a party wall
  • Demolishing and rebuilding a party wall (often to carry an extension)
  • Underpinning a party wall.
  • Minor works such as putting up shelves, or drilling and fixing plugs and screws do not require a party wall agreement.

Normally, a loft conversion will be priced between £30,000 and £50,000 depending on the type of the loft and its size. You can see here the different shapes and sizes of lofts that we build. Please do contact us and remember that we will help you come up with the most optimal design to fit your needs and budget.

The period of time necessary for a loft conversion to be completed is directly influenced by its size and complexity, but on average, based on our previous building experiences, it would take about 8-10 weeks to finalise the project.

Kompas London Ltd can make the necessary arrangements in as little as 2 weeks before starting the construction project. This timescale takes into account that you have already obtained all the required documents: drawings, structural calculations and party wall notices. In case you don’t have the plans, they will take around 2 months to be drawn up. The same is true for the building regulations drawings, structural calculations and party wall notices, although the time to make these is variable. In summary, the construction phase will begin after these intermediary steps are completed.

We can make the drawings for you within 2 months or less, depending on the complexity of the project.

Although the time of approval may vary from Council to Council, generally it takes about 8 weeks for a decision to be issued. In case a revision is required by the Planning Officer, the process may take a little longer.

When you are submitting your proposal for planning permission, the Council is free to approve or reject it, following the requirements of the local development plan. The permitted development is not subject to this kind of decision, as you are only asking the Council to confirm that your proposal corresponds to the criteria of permitted development. If this is the case, you will be given a Lawful Development Certificate before the commencement of building works. This certificate is not mandatory, so you can start the works without having obtained a Lawful Development Certificate.

There are certain head height requirements you must adhere to in order for your loft conversion to be compliant. As a rule of thumb, you need 2.2m between the top of the floor joist of the loft to the bottom of the ridge beam.

You can check your ridge height with a standard tape measure, which will give you an indication if the space is convertible. But the only real way to know for sure is to invite one of our specialist surveyors to fully assess your property. Our specialist surveyors can provide a  loft conversion site visit, no matter what area of London you live in.

We carry out all types of construction works, including house extensions, full house refurbishment, basements and new build projects. It is common that we do the loft conversion while extending the house, or fully renovating it. All options are available to our clients.

Because we cover all London Boroughs, it is highly probable we have already completed several projects in or around your area. Thus we are happy to share any references we may have, so that you may contact them or visit their properties.

3 months.

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