Bathrooms in loft conversions: what are the requirements?

Attic bathrooms are a popular design choice for self-build projects but what are the requirements?

By Paula Woods | 17 June 2020

A well-planned bathroom in a loft conversion can be a cost-effective investment, and an opportunity to bring in plenty of light.

loft conversion bathroom with view over rooftops - grand designs

Image: Adding a dormer provided headroom of 2m in this en-suite bathroom. The large window also helps open up the space and offers panoramic views. £66,677, Plus Rooms

According to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, the average loft conversion could increase the value of your home by as much as 25%. In some areas of the country, transforming the attic into extra living space is less costly than upgrading to a bigger property and creating a new bedroom with en-suite bathroom tends to be the best way to add value.

Wise allocation of space and adequate access is essential for success and adhering to the requirements is essential.

Space and size

loft bathroom conversion - what are the requirements for an attic bathroom? - self build homes -

Image: Neptune

Houses built before 1960 tend to have steep roof pitches, which allows for a relatively straightforward loft conversion. However, space and head-height issues can be resolved in most buildings by adapting the roof or lowering the ceiling of the floor beneath, although this will add to the cost of the project.

The simplest solution is to leave the roof intact and insert roof lights. Adding a dormer or mansard window, which has a sloping profile and flat roof, provides more floor space for an en-suite and opens up views. Those with a hipped roof may also wish to convert to an upright gable end to add even more space.

An architect will come up with a sympathetic design that makes the most of the internal space, and may also be able to recommend contractors. Alternatively, full service design and build companies can take on the entire scheme, including everything from planning, design and structural calculations, right through to supplying trades and fitting out interiors.