Roof space

Access - alteration - conversion

It is not unusual for the roof space in a dwelling to be used to accommodate additional living space or storage space. In such instances it is often the case that structural alterations are necessary.

These web pages explain what work may require Building Warrant permission from the Council's Building Standards Service and highlights possible design considerations.

Building Warrant requirement

If you propose to use the roof space as a bedroom, study or other room or if you intend to carry out works such as structural alterations, installing a roof light, providing heating, lining walls and ceilings or installing electrical power points you will require to submit an application for a Building Warrant to your South Ayrshire Council along with detailed plans showing full compliance with the Building Standards.

It is important that professional advice is sought and all approvals are obtained from South Ayrshire Council before any work starts.

The illustration below (not to scale) highlights the main parts of the work to be considered by Building Standards such as thermal insulation, ventilation, structural strengthening, fire safety and safe design.

Roof Space - Design Considerations

No Building Warrant required

Roof Space for Light Domestic Storage

If you only propose to floor the roof space for light domestic storage without overloading the roof structure and access from the lower storey is by way of a retractable/removable ladder then Building Warrant approval from the Council’s Building Standards Service is not required.


If you do not obtain all necessary approvals for work in the roof space legal problems can arise and the safety of your property and the occupants may be affected. You may also find that difficulties could arise during the sale of your property following a normal property enquiry carried out by a solicitor.

Planning requirement

In detached, semi-detached or terraced houses which are not Listed and are not within a Conservation Area Planning Permission is not required providing:

  1. Any roof light does not project more than 100mm above the plane of the roof.
  2. Any roof lights do not cover more than 10% of the roof area.

Planning Permission is always required for dormer windows in dwellings and to install roof lights in flats.


This guidance page gives you a broad view of the requirements for using the roof space in dwellings and if more detailed information is required it is necessary to refer to the Technical Handbook and the Building Standards (Scotland) Regulations.

The illustrations in these web pages show the development of the roof space in a single storey dwelling and additional works require to be considered for dwellings with more storeys.