Up to 30% of a home’s potential space is located in the loft or attic.
A loft conversion is a great way to extend your home and can be used as an extra bedroom suite, a playroom, office or extra living and leisure space, adding both space and value to your property.
A professional loft conversion can add significant value to your property – in fact it can add more than 20% to the value of your home.
Many people choose to convert their loft instead of the costly and stressful process of moving home. For most loft conversion projects you can stay in your home the entire time – and some projects can be completed in well under two months.
There are four main types of loft conversions.
When thinking about what sort of conversion will suit you best, you will need to consider the shape and line of your existing roof, your budget and your permitted development rights.
1. Dormer loft conversion
The most popular type of loft conversion is a simple flat roof dormer. This is a structural extension which projects vertically from the slope of the existing roof, creating a box shape. This loft extension generally requires no dramatic changes, and allows for the installation of conventional windows.
Adds useful headroom in a low loft.
Has straight walls and flat ceilings.
Creates a large amount of additional internal space.
Good light and ventilation.
Inexpensive compared to other choices.
Suitable for most UK house styles.
Often falls under permitted development.
Not always the most aesthetically appealing choice.
For a mid-terrace period property, an L-shaped dormer - which wraps around the side and rear of the property - is a popular adaptation.
You may also wish to consider a gabled dormer, which has a more traditional inverted "v" shaped roof. This might be a more visually pleasing choice for the front of your property. However, it tends to be a more expensive option, which also places limitations on headroom.
2. Mansard loft conversion
A mansard loft conversion is constructed by raising the party wall (the wall shared with your neighbours). The roof remains flat, while one outer wall slopes gently inwards. Mansards are typically found at the rear of the house, and although they are suitable for many property types, they are most popular in terraced houses.
Often seen as as more aesthetically pleasing than a dormer.
Blends well into older properties.
More headroom than any other type of conversion.
Tends to allow more light into your loft.
Almost always requires planning permission.
Construction time can be longer.
3. Hip to Gable
Ideal for end of terrace and detached homes, a hip to gable loft conversion straightens an inwardly slanted end roof to create a vertical wall. This small change can make a huge difference to the feel of the living space inside, and is becoming an increasingly popular option for homeowners.
Aesthetically pleasing, as it blends in with the existing home.
Can be combined with a rear dormer loft for maximum space.
Suitable for bungalows and chalets.
Not appropriate for mid-terrace homes.
4. Roof Light Conversion
A roof light, or Velux conversion is when you don’t alter or expand the existing space but simply add in windows and reinforce the floor to transform your loft into extra living space.
Normally less costly than other types of conversion.
More likely to be approved in conservation areas.
Plenty of room for storage if you use your eaves creatively.
Requires 2.25m of head height in the middle of the room, leaving space to safely build up the floor .
Limited headroom means that stairs may have to come into the middle of the room .
May still require planning permission if windows are at the front .
If you are thinking about a loft conversion or any other type of extension, we are very happy to answer all your questions. Please do contact us for a free extension consultation.