Having a few companies around to quote for what we hope will be a simple loft converstion... I say 'simple' because we don't want anything other than a habitable space and more naturallight on the stairs +storage, but probably not that simple. Anyway - what I'm getting confused about is whether or not we need to have our ceiling lowered to create this space. the loft currently measures 2.19m at the highest point from bottom of floor joists.
Is there a way to avoid lowering the ceiling by using thinner steel beams when the floor joists are reinforced? Is this an ok thing?
Yes, it is possible. A god structural engineer should be able to advise, but you should be able to have slightly shallower floor and ceiling joists spaced more closely together. You need 2m ceiling height above the stairs by law, and you'd just about end up with this. It will feel a bit low, but manageable.