What Requirements Must I Meet?

How are loft windows affected by planning rules and building regulations?

Loft Windows Guide

Planning Rules

Planning rules change regularly and vary from area to area, so always check with your local planning office before embarking on expensive home improvements. Generally speaking, installing roof lights will not require planning permission, unless you live in a conservation area. A dormer may require planning permission, however, either because it projects out towards rights of way, or because it intrudes on your neighbours, or because it adds space to your home (the total volume a house can be increased by is governed by planning laws).

Building Regulations

Building regulations cover many aspects of loft conversions, including windows. The big one is to do with fire safety - loft conversions must have at least one window that can be used as a means of escape (calculated by the size of the opening, distance from the bottom of the opening to the floor etc) and the escape window must be able to be reached from outside by a ladder.

Building regulations also take insulation and ventilation into consideration, which may affect your choice of window. For example, low emissivity glass will improve insulation, while trickle vents built into roof lights provide ventilation. Consult your local building control for more information before you commit.

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