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Attic conversion (cinema media room )


Standard Member
Hi Guys looking for a bit of advice ,we are looking at buying a house with an attic space which has been floored , plasterboards and windows in place and a staircase put in they are using a generator for power from the 1st floor fed up to attic ,question is what is the cost of this etc to make legal ie planning permission ,habitable space ,how did you guys with attic conversions go about this ?any info on this would be appreciated thanks


Active Member
I don’t believe we needed planning permission for converting our loft into a room for storage. With a pull down/drop down stair case. When all said and done it’s a room with carpets and underlay, windows in the room and fully insulated.
We knocked chimneys out around the house so needed a party wall thingy.
Best advice get at least 3 quotes. Tell them exactly what you want and they will quote you and let you know what’s required.
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Active Member
If you want it to be a habitable space or be able to list it as a room come sales time then I think planning shall be required.

Personally I'd contact your local planning office and hear it from the horses mouth. They sometimes have drop in days (they used to) where you can take plans in and get advice for free pre application.


Well-known Member
I don't believe it's planning permission as such, just building regulations. Some local authorities have walk in clinics where you can spend 20 minutes talking about what you want to do and they'll give you an idea what you need to do to achieve it. We converted our garage to this and only needed building regulations as the footprint of the building wasn't going to change


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Novice Member
We had our loft converted just before Christmas and didn't need planning permission. We did it under permitted development as the total cubic space was under a certain amount (I forget the limit you are allowed). Ours involved doing a dormer and making it into a proper space.

From the research I did, if we didn't need the dormer it would just have been a case of making sure the work meets building regulations. For a loft this involved having a fire door at the entrance (either top or bottom of the stairs), wired smoke alarms fitted to the new "landing" area, a minimum head height (1.85m I think), minimum insulation and getting certificates for all the electrical work.

It will probably come down to what you want to use the room for. If you intend to call it a bedroom when you sell the house in future then it will probably need to go through permitted development. If you want to call it a hobby room or play room then you should be good to just get a spark round to run the power up properly and off you go.

Couple of other things; requirements do change between councils so as others have said, it would be worth speaking to yours if you can. Word of warning, mine were useless and we ended up paying a private building control company to oversee the work. It was well worth the extra £150. Heating wise lofts are better now with all the new insulation but you might want to check behind the plaster to see what you have.

Peter Parker

Distinguished Member
In my last place, I just strengthened the floor, added more insulation and extended the ring main and lighting circuit into the attic. I added a Wickes Means of Escape and a rope ladder just in case. I did all the roof joist insulation/vapour barrier and plasterboarding, as well as party wall soundproofing myself, and didn't remove any purlin supports so there were no structural changes. I used it as a cinema room with projector screen and speakers etc, but when it came to selling, I just told them to describe it as loft storage space. I had no problems with selling etc, and the new owners even wanted me to leave the pj and screen which I was happy to do, so for me it all worked out nicely.

Initially I was using a drop down ladder, but then used a removable fixed mini stair set up. It obstructed the landing a bit but added more convenience than it removed. It was easy to remove if necessary, and could be laid on the landing out of the way.


Active Member
I've done it - typed out a long post but pretty much all what i said is covered by @TheWorz and @Peter Parker above so deleted it. :)

I don't have any 'finished' pictures as it is now (son's bedroom) but you can see he couldn't wait to get up there and slept on a blow up bed while we waited for his to arrive. Prior to this i used to use it as a semi home office (the Emac was current at the time!).

One thing, i did notify my house insurance firm, just in case. My premium hardly rose at all but it gave me/us peace of mind.

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Active Member
My local estate agents (two of them) told me if no planning permission for it you can list it as 'comfortable storage'. :smashin:


Active Member
Hi mate. I brought the side walls down from where the purlins run the length of the room/roof, and have storage behind them.

The distance between them is 2800mm, and the length of the room is 5600mm. It's a really good size i think.


Active Member
When you do come to sell it, allow the buyer to 'assume' it is whatever they want it to be. But don't list as a bedroom ( which I know you won't ) and the estate agent shouldn't let it occur.

Your changes are under permitted development which is fine. The work looks clean and tidy.

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