Top of main content

Getting a loft conversion loan: what you need to know

Converting your loft can give you more living space and add value to your home. But what should you keep in mind?

Is your house suitable for a loft conversion?

The main thing to consider is the size of the loft conversion. You don't want to end up with a room you can't stand up in, or one that’s too small to be used as a practical living space. 

Head height can be measured from the top of the floor joists in the loft, to the underside of the ridge beam (the highest point of your roof space). According to the Federation of Master Builders, this must be at least 2.2m – ideally 2.4m to be more comfortable. You also need enough space for a staircase up to the loft conversion.1

How much does a loft conversion cost?

Loft conversions vary in price. Ideally, ask for a few independent quotes before you begin any work. Things that influence costs include:

  • the size and shape of your loft
  • the type of extension needed (increasing the amount of interior space is more expensive)
  • the materials used (higher-quality finishes will cost more)
  • where you live (London will be typically more expensive than the rest of the UK)
  • whether you need planning permission

Who should handle your loft conversion?

A loft conversion is a big job, so it’s a good idea to go with an expert. Here are some of your options:

  • a specialist loft conversion company can offer you the complete package, from planning to painting and decorating
  • an architect can draw up something unique and can usually help with regulations and finding builders
  • a general builder can handle the process, but it's worth making sure they have experience

Do loft conversions need planning permission?

Usually, loft conversions within your existing roof space don't need planning permission, but always check. You may need planning permission if:

  • you live in a conservation area or other protected area
  • you want to raise the height of your roof or extend out to the side
  • your loft conversion is large (more than 40 cubic metres of space)
  • you want clear glass side windows that will overlook your neighbours

Building regulations for loft conversions

All loft conversions need building regulation approval. Building regulations cover things like fire safety, structural strength, and insulation.

You'll need to make a building regulations application to a building control body (BCB) before you begin work, and may have to submit detailed plans.

A BCB can be your local authority or a private approved inspector who will tell your local authority about the work. Your builder or architect should help you through this process.

What to consider

A loft conversion can be a lot of work, but it can potentially increase the value of a property.

Ideally, you’d be able to save the amount needed, so you don’t need to borrow. But if that isn't realistic, you could look at using a personal loan

You can use our home improvement loan calculator to get an estimate of what your repayments would be, based on the amount you want to borrow and how long you’d like to borrow for. 

Another option may be a home loan (a type of secured loan) where you borrow money against the equity in your home. However, you need to think carefully about securing debts against your home. Your property may be repossessed if you don’t keep up the repayments.

If you decide to go ahead with a loft conversation, it’s important to let your home insurance provider know. You want to make sure you have enough cover before any building work starts – just in case you need to make a claim.

Please remember...

We are a bank, not DIY gurus. We provide this information as a helpful guide. However, if you're considering a loft conversion, please carry out your own research and don't assume these details are 100% correct or the most up-to-date available.