Attic Conversions with and without planning permission

An attic conversion is one of the most affordable ways to add space to a home, but before you invest you need to know all the facts.

You are allowed to convert your attic without planning permission provided that it is a “non-habitable space” once there are no alterations to the side or front of your house or roof. If your attic does not meet the building regulations as a bedroom and you choose to install a dormer to the front side or rear roof of your house, you still require planning permission as it is an alteration to the existing roof.

You can however install roof windows to the rear of the house without planning permission.

As Architects at in the greater Dublin area we come across clients from all over wanting to convert their attics to create additional space within their homes. We simply ask?,

Does your attic conversion require planning permission?

Will it comply with building regulations if you plan to use it as a bedroom?

Our advice is simple.


Always use an Attic specialist when you plan to convert. In construction this is critical to use the right specialist as it can affect the structure, insulation and heating/plumbing of your house. Always consult with an Architect and/or engineer if you have a home that is not built with traditional methods ie. blockwork.

Most houses are not designed with the appropriate height needed to comply with building regulation to convert attic to a habitable bedroom, however we convert the attic for our own uses and it adds significant space to our home. In some instances, clients convert their attics with an additional dormer to give even mores circulation space within the attic. This would require planning permission as it is an alteration to the roof but is very straight forward. At JEArchitecture we can help you design and submit your planning application as we come across projects like this all the time. After you receive planning permission the project should take about 3 weeks to complete depending on the size of the loft conversion.

Other forms of attic conversion are hip end roofs convert to gable. Unlike a traditional A frame gable roof, a hip end has 3 angled slopes on the roof. But by simply applying for planning permission you can build up the gable wall to create an A frame gable roof which will increase the attic floor area when converted.

By converting the hip end to a gable this enables you to increase the additional attic space by approximately 1/3.

When applying for planning permission, the process generally takes eight weeks for the initial decision to be made, this can be extended if the local authority needs for more information. Once a decision is made a further and final decision is made 4 weeks after this, so the total time being 12 week’s minimum.

At JEArchitecture we work on projects that require planning and or projects that are exempt from planning all the time. We will work with you on your project to bring it within your brief, budget and planning constraints to deliver on your dreams, get in touch now for a consultation.