Frequently Asked Questions

Do I require planning permission before building a loft conversion?

In some instances yes and others no. In most cases, you have something called a Householders Permitted Development allowance which means you can build a loft without planning permission as long as you build within the existing boundary following current planning guidelines, are not altering the shape of the front roof slope (Velux windows are permitted) and the total volume of the conversion doesn't exceed 40m³ when measured externally.

I live in a conservation area. Are the rules any different?

If you live in a conservation area you have no permitted development allowance and will require planning permission.

I live in an apartment in a converted house. Do I still have a permitted development allowance?

Unfortunately not. You will need to apply for planning permission to do a loft conversion in a flat.

What if I want to convert within the existing roof space i.e. no dormers, only Velux windows.

If there is space to do this, you will not need to apply for planning permission as you are not altering the shape of the roof. Velux windows can usually be inserted into front, side and rear roof slopes without having to obtain planning permission.

What will I get permission to build?

Although there are national guidelines, each local authority interpret them slightly differently, in order to reflect the dominant architectural style of the area. So for example, in some boroughs you will be allowed to build full width mansards but in others, they will insist that you only build roof dormers that are subservient to the existing roof. The advice we offer you is based around what your local authority will allow.

Can you take care of planning permission without us having to appoint Armadillo to do the building work?

In some instances, people are unsure who they want to appoint to convert their loft but are keen to get the ball rolling and obtain planning permission. We are happy to take care of the whole planning process in these circumstances for a fee, and will deduct the cost of the planning element from the contact price if subsequently appointed to do the work. We can also provide planning drawings in isolation of the works to cover any type of residential building project if required.

Is the work messy and disruptive?

Generally, loft conversions are probably the least disruptive kind of building work as everything goes in and out through the front roof slope. We would not need to start coming through the house until we breakthrough and install the staircase by which time, most of the really messy work has been done.

How long does a typical loft conversion take?

The type of loft conversion you have will usually influence the amount of time it takes to build but as a guide, a typical loft conversion will take between 6 - 8 weeks from start to finish.

Can we see examples of your work and talk to former clients?

We are always happy for prospective clients to talk to former clients. We can supply a list of names of people for you to call to discuss our standards, staff and anything else that you may want to know about. We do not prime former clients and leave you free to choose who to call at whatever time is convenient for you.

At what stage is the loft at when you leave the job?

We usually leave our jobs at builders finish. Everything's complete, commissioned and working with the exception of the decorating and tiling.

Do you decorate and tile?

We can arrange to take care of this if required.

Can you build cupboards in alcoves, bathroom vanity units and things of that nature?

Yes. And we can do this type of work wherever it is required throughout the house.

Do you subcontract the work to loft teams?

The people entrusted to build your loft are employed by us - we do not subcontract work out to loft teams - so we are in full control of who we hire which means we can consistently maintain a high standard of craftsmanship.

Do you do other types of work?

Although we are loft specialists, we also undertake whole house refurbishments, kitchen extensions and build garden offices. Click here to see some examples of other work.