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How to assess your loft space

1 How much head height is available?

The first thing you’ll need to do is go up into the existing loft to check how much headroom is available. Measure from the underside of the ridge beam (the main timber running along the apex of the roof) to the top of the attic’s floor joists.

You’ll ideally want a clear height of at least 2.3m to get a comfortable finished room once the new floor and ceiling finishes are in place. While it is possible to convert lofts with just 2.1m of clearance, the result isn’t likely to feel like a full storey – unless you can increase the available head height (for more on this, see the box on page 92).

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Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Build It - May 2018
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About Build It

In the May edition of Build It magazine, you'll find a wealth of inspiration and advice for your self-build, renovation or extension project, including: - Cover house: A traditional-style new home on a garden plot (p20) - Kitchen design ideas (p72) - Does solar battery storage make sense? (p74) - Driveway design ideas (p80) - Complete guide to loft conversions (p 84) - Modern glazed extensions (p98) - How to keep your project on budget (p110)

Other Articles in this Issue

Build It
In the past few weeks we’ve seen the launch of a new
This new build in the countryside, south west of Cubert
New tech could change how we build houses
Great shopping ideas for your custom home project
Create a versatile living space by integrating patterns and a geometric interior scheme in your self-build or renovation
Got a funny story, a gripe or some superb self-build advice? Write to us at or the address below for your chance to win a prize
Essential advice on your problems with building, budgeting, DIY & planning from the most experienced names in the self-build industry
Looking for funding for your self-build project? Each month we round up the best deals from leading lenders – and update you on what you need to know about securing the right finance
This site comes with planning permission to build a detached house, but is it suitable for the Pilchers’ living and working needs? Mike Dade takes a closer look
It’s FREE to subscribe to PlotSearch – the UK’s premier land finding resource with over 8,000 genuine building opportunities, all with planning permission guaranteed. The plots collated here are a hand-picked selection, but you can find plenty more in the online database. To find out more and to subscribe call d+d+ 4499 or visit the website at
June issue on sale 25th April
We talk to the president of The Society of British and International Design (SBID), Diana Celella, about hiring an interior designer to help with your home decor ideas
Having been unsuccessful in their search for a smaller property, Warwick and Lyn Wilson realised their garden offered the perfect space to self-build their dream home
Perseverance, patience and a lot of graft were key to the success of Mark and Jane Caterer’s stylish self-build – a romantic holiday retreat on a stunning Cornish sea-view plot
Looking for a place to call home away from the city’s hustle, Judith and Struan Mackenzie came across a renovation opportunity that they couldn’t pass up
Karen and Ian Henderson’s fabric-first property in the Scottish Borders is ultra energy efficient – and choosing a hands-on approach, taking on some of the jobs and project managing, means they’ve achieved great value for money, too
The Combes were among the UK’s first custom builders – working alongside a specialist developer to take some of the stress and risk out of creating their new home. Could their journey inspire your project?
Thinking about installing smart technology in your property? Emily Smith looks into how different devices can work together to create an efficient setup that’s easy to control
As part of a full refurbishment project, this family home has been fitted with a complete smart technology system by CEDIA member BrownHen Solutions, which the occupants can use easily when home and away
The roof can make up around 40% of the exterior of your home – so selecting the right finish is crucial. These inspiring projects will help set you on the right path
The Build It Estimating Service’s Adrian Wild takes a look at what you can expect to pay for this part of your project
Sofia Delgado explores how technological advances have helped oak construction remain a popular choice for self-builders
It’s widely thought to be the heart of the home, so it’s crucial to choose the right kitchen for your lifestyle, property and design ambitions. Emily Smith takes a closer look at the options
Could this technology help maximise the potential of generating renewable electricity on site? Nigel Griffiths investigates
Transform your home’s exterior by installing a stunning driveway. Sofia Delgado looks into the options available for your scheme
Special subscription offer: 12 issues delivered to your door for just £24*
Transforming your unused attic into a habitable zone could give you the home your family needs – without the cost and upheaval of moving. Here’s how to get it right
Before you put any cash into your attic conversion, try these six simple steps to check your project is viable
Find inspiration for your new living space in this selection of stunning completed projects
You may not need to secure full planning consent if your design counts as permitted development
From rules and regulations to practical considerations, here’s what you need to know
Set a preliminary budget for your room-in-the-roof project with our benchmark pricing model
A glazed extension will bring extra light and wow factor to your home. Architect Julian Owen looks at how to ensure the design corresponds with today’s living standards
Our handpicked selection of different styles demonstrates the aesthetic diversity of contemporary glazed extensions
In the last part of his series about making sure your building plot is connected to utilities, Tim Doherty discusses how to ensure a suitable water supply is in place
Previously-developed land can off er an easier path to getting consent for your dream home – but there are challenges to be aware of before you buy this kind of plot, says Mike Dade
Self-builder and project manager Mike Hardwick shares his top tips to help you finish your scheme on time and on budget
Tackling this kind of project could give you a home with real wow factor – but there will be challenges along the way. Alan Tierney explains the essential considerations