loft conversion, low roof, detached house

I've searched the archive of this group for information to my questions. I came close, but unfortunately the two threads I found asking the same questions concerned terraced houses rather than detached houses.
I have a smaller sized 4 bedroom detached house built around 1982. I want to make use of my loft to give me more floor space. The loft covers the whole square of the house, but the pitch of the roof is low. I'm 6 foot and I can't stand up straight at the heighest point. Also, sorry I don't know what these are called, but there are pieces of wood that diagonally slant inward and down from the roof to the floor (are they eaves?) like this:
/ \ / \ / \ /\ /\ / \ / \
So, I'm guessing before I even think about a loft conversion the whole roof will need replacing to make it a higher pitched roof and the type of roof that doesn't require the inward slanting pieces of wood for support.
My questions are:
1. Is this a common practice with most modern houses having a lower pitched roof?
2. How much can be expected to pay for such a roof replacement?
3. And whilst we're at it, any pointers on how much the whole package (roof replacement and loft conversion) might cost?
Access to the loft space shouldn't be an issue. There's one of the smaller bedrooms that can be converted to accomodate the stairs up to the loft.
Many thanks.
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In an earlier contribution to this discussion,

I assume from your description that your roof structure uses trusses - where a truss is a triangulated structure consisting of a ceiling joist, two rafters and two or more bracing members, all held together with spiked metal plates, pressed in from the sides. Does that sound about right?
If so, you are right that you would have to re-build the whole roof - probably using purlins rather than trusses, and with a steeper pitch if you want to convert the loft space. I don't know the cost, but it sounds pretty expensive!
However, your first port of call needs to be your local Planning Department. You would certainly need planning permission to raise the roof line - and this may well be refused if this would make your house incompatible with the surrounding properties.
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Cheers,
Set Square
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...

If the loft is to be a proper room then there are strict rules about staircase design, fire doors and so on. I suggest you take a look at the building regulations - many councils have a leaflet about this kind of thing,
Robert
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Hi. A mate of mine used these guys last year. http://www.trussloft.co.uk / Very good job. Worth a look. Baz
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