There are three ways to add more room to your house: building upwards, downwards or sideways. The least intrusive way is to convert your existing roof space to make the loft habitable, as this doesn’t require any major structural work at ground level.
An attic extension is an exciting addition to your home as you can benefit from incredible views and lots of natural light filtering down into the interior spaces. You might even be able to incorporate a terrace so you can make the most of long summer evenings, perhaps with a gin and tonic. But what are the chances of gaining planning permission to add another storey if you have a flat, shallow or pitched roof?
Many Georgian and Victorian terraces, for example, have flat roofs behind parapets, which became even more common with art-deco style and post-war homes. It is only when you look up towards the tops of buildings in urban areas that you realise there is much more variety than you might originally have thought. Unfortunately, with a listed property it’s difficult to gain planning permission for an additional level, and in a conservation area it’s virtually impossible.
However, under a standard planning application you might have a chance with your local authority, particularly if other people on the same street have set a precedent by creating a loft conversion.
Making a pre-planning enquiry or application to your local planning department is often the best way to find out what is possible in principle before you spend too much money on full architectural drawings.
If you are lucky enough to get planning approval for a new rooftop extension, allow enough money in your budget to employ the Chris Tubbs services of a good structural engineer as early as possible, to make sure that adding a new storey to your home will be structurally viable without breaking the bank.