We are often asked about attic and roof conversions and compliance with development codes. In NSW, the Department of Planning has compiled:

The Codes SEPP: Complying Development Checklist

In relation to attic conversions the following is current as at March 2011.

Specified Complying Development

An attic conversion in respect of a dwelling house that existed at the commencement of this clause is development specified for this code.

Development Standards

  1. The standards specified for that development are that the development
    1. must be contained entirely within the roof space, and
    2. must not result in a change in the roof pitch, and
    3. must have one dormer window if the building is less than 6m wide or 2 dormer windows if the building is 6m wide or more, and
    4. the flashing or waterproofing for a dormer window must not span the roof ridge, and
    5. if it is a heritage conservation area or a draft heritage conservation area:
      1. must not contain a dormer window or extend the roof in any way, and
      2. must only have windows that are flush with the existing roof plane, and
      3. must only have windows that are located in the existing rear roof plane, and
      4. must only have windows that do not exceed 1.5m2 in total.
  2. A dormer window referred to in subclause (1):
    1. must not have a width of more than 1.3m, and
    2. must not exceed the height of the existing roof ridge height, and
    3. must be set in at least 500mm from the edge of the roof, and
    4. must be at least 200mm below the existing roof ridge height, and
    5. facing to the rear of the building, must not have a total area of more than 4m2.

For more information contact:

NSW Department of Planning
Information Centre
23-33 Bridge Street, Sydney
t: 1300 305 695 or 02 9228 6333