When we respond to a customer enquiry regarding a new loft conversion, one of the first things we will check upon visiting the property is the head height. In most cases we advise there should be a minimum of 2.3m available for us to work with. However, there are some circumstances where a workaround can be found if the head height in the loft is less than this.
Here are some of the alternative solutions we could suggest if this applies to your proposed loft conversion.
Reduce the insulation thickness
Sometimes the head height in the loft falls short of the 2.3m mark by only a few centimetres. If this is the case, one way to resolve the issue is to install thinner insulation boards in the floor and the ceiling. This will reduce the thickness of both the floors and walls and solve the problem. Normally, insulation accounts for around 25-30cm of space, but using modern insulation techniques, you can still achieve the same thermal efficiency.
Increase the height of the roof
This is probably one of the last options we’d suggest as it would require removing part, if not all of your existing roof structure, before rebuilding it to the height required. This is also likely to mean planning permission will be needed and extend the construction time on the project.
To fall under Permitted Developments, additions up to 50 metres squared, and 40 metres squared for a terraced home are allowed. But changing the height and shape of your roof will mean applying for planning permission from the local authority. This is all something which we can guide you through, if this option is the only way forward.
Lowering the ceiling below the loft
If you have quite a high ceiling in the room below the loft space, the final option is to lower the roof underneath. This would involve removing the ceiling in its entirety, and would no doubt lead to a lot of disruption to your daily routine at home, due to the amount of work required. Using shield anchors, a plate is bolted to the wall from which the new floor joists will hang. A project like this would be classified as a supervised demolition and clean up job. At The Loft consultancy we have successfully performed this loft conversion on a number of occasions, but will always try to find easier alternatives for you first.