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Different Types Of Loft Conversions

This article discusses different types of loft conversions while also emphasising the uniqueness of each home and the need for a tailored approach.

The selection of a suitable conversion type depends on several factors, including the property’s style, roof height, available space, planning regulations, budget, and specific requirements. Furthermore, considerations such as the roof’s height and shape, the type of home (detached, semi-detached, or terraced), financial constraints, and local planning regulations play a crucial role in determining the ideal loft conversion for a particular house​​.

Let’s look at each of this in more detail which will help you decide the right one for you.

Different types of loft conversions

Rear Dormer Conversion

A rear dormer loft conversion is one of the different types of loft conversions and is a prevalent home extension method in the UK. This process involves removing the existing back slope of the roof and constructing it vertically from the rear elevation. The design of rear dormers can vary; some are built directly up from the property’s back wall, while others are slightly recessed to comply with local council regulations. Despite appearing flat, rear dormer roofs are slightly sloped externally for effective rainwater drainage, while their internal ceilings remain level​​.

Benefits of a rear dormer conversion

These conversions are beneficial for transforming cramped attics into spacious, well-lit areas suitable for bedrooms, bathrooms, or offices. The inclusion of Velux windows on the front roof, opposite the dormer windows, ensures ample natural light. Additionally, French doors can be added to the dormer face for an enhanced aesthetic appeal​​.

Options for exterior finishing

The exterior of a rear dormer extension offers several finish options, including brick, tile hanging, slate hanging, rendering, or cladding. Should you opt for tile or slate, the selection will be made on-site to closely match your existing roof. In the case of a rendered finish, our skilled plasterers are capable of producing various designs to complement the existing style.

For brick finishes, we will ensure the bricks harmonise with your current brickwork. Additionally, other external elements such as fascias, soffits, gutters, and windows will be coordinated to align with the existing finishes.

This approach ensures that your rear dormer conversion seamlessly integrates with the original structure.

Planning permissions for rear dormer conversion

Planning permission requirements depend on the property’s permitted development rights. Properties with these rights can proceed under a Certificate of Lawfulness, allowing construction to start without waiting for application approval, provided it adheres to council guidelines.

Mansard Loft Conversion

A Mansard loft conversion, named after 17th-century French architect Francois Mansard, is typically situated at the rear of a property, but can occasionally be located at the front depending on the house type and local council permissions. This conversion style is characterised by a flat roof with a slight slope for water drainage and a distinctively sloping 72-degree face.

Benefits of mansard loft conversions

Mansard conversions are ideal for adding usable space to your loft or attic, suitable for additional bedrooms, bathrooms, playrooms, lounges, or offices. They offer a blend of style and practicality.

A Mansard loft conversion represents an excellent method for diminishing your carbon footprint. This eco-friendly home improvement initiative leverages the existing roof structure to expand living space, thereby curbing energy consumption. Opting for this conversion enables homeowners to mitigate their property’s carbon footprint by circumventing the need for extensive construction activities.

It’s also a favoured choice among homeowners seeking to augment their living space. Characterised by its creation of an additional level within the roof space, akin to a flat roof conversion, the Mansard design is noted for its flexibility. It can be tailored to a diverse array of design requirements. For instance, it is capable of transforming into a large master bedroom, a dedicated home office, a children’s playroom, or a welcoming guest bedroom.

The Mansard loft conversion is particularly advantageous for those in period homes or with constrained roof space. Its design can be customised to complement various property styles, offering options for either a traditional or modern aesthetic, aligning with the homeowner’s personal taste.

Does Mansard loft conversion require planning permission?

Regarding planning permission, properties with permitted development rights can proceed under a Certificate of Lawfulness, provided they adhere to council guidelines. Without these rights, planning permission is required, and work can only begin once granted, typically within eight weeks of a validated application.

Hip to Gable Loft Conversion

A hip to gable loft conversion involves transforming a roof with sloping sides to one where the side slope is built up vertically, extending the existing ridge to create a gable end.

This significantly increases the loft space, often allowing for a new stairwell. It’s particularly suited for bungalows, semi-detached, and detached homes, being most common in semi-detached and end-of-terraced houses. However, it’s unsuitable for mid-terraced homes due to their roof structure.

Benefits of hip to gable loft conversion

The main advantage of this conversion is the considerable increase in usable space, making the loft fully habitable. It can be further combined with rear dormer or L-shaped loft conversions to maximise property potential.

A hip-to-gable conversion significantly increases the available space by transforming a sloping roof into a partially horizontal one, providing substantial headroom and rendering the entire loft area usable.

This enhancement not only provides additional living space but also considerably boosts the property’s value. Upon selling your home, the investment in the conversion is likely to be fully recuperated, while simultaneously, you benefit from the expanded space.

External finishing options

Regarding exterior finishes, options include tile hung, slate hung, rendered, or cladded surfaces. Choices like tile or slate are selected on-site to closely match the existing roof.

For rendered finishes, skilled plasterers can create various designs to complement the existing structure. If brick is chosen, it will be matched to the existing brickwork.

Other external finishes, such as fascias, soffits, gutters, and windows, are also matched as closely as possible to ensure the conversion integrates seamlessly with the original building.

L-Shaped Dormer Conversion

Adding an L-shaped dormer loft conversion to your property is an excellent strategy to enhance both its space and market value. This type of conversion is ideal for families needing additional room or for generating extra income.

L-shaped loft conversions represent a practical and typically cost-effective solution for augmenting both space and value in your home. A well-executed design and layout can transform your loft into a cosy, well-lit living area, maximising the use of space and natural light.

Planning permissions for L-Shaped Dormer Conversion

In most cases, L-shaped loft conversions fall within the scope of permitted development rights, eliminating the need for planning permission. However, exceptions exist, such as properties located in conservation areas or those classified as listed buildings, which do necessitate a planning application.

Additionally, applications are required for conversions exceeding the existing roof in height or width, or if they surpass 40 cubic metres for terraced houses or 50 cubic metres for other types of properties.

It is always prudent to verify the specific requirements. You can consult with your local council’s planning department.

Velux Loft Conversion

Among the different types of loft conversions, Velux loft conversion is a popular option. It is a type of attic transformation that maintains the existing roofline while integrating Velux windows to allow natural light into the newly created space. These conversions are considered non-intrusive, cost-effective, and an easy way to add extra room to a home.

They are particularly suitable when there’s a significant height between the loft floor and the ridge of the roof. Unlike other types of conversions, Velux conversions require less construction work, causing minimal disruption.

Benefits of Velux Loft Conversion

A Velux conversion, also known as a roof light loft conversion, is an efficient, minimally invasive, and cost-effective method for creating extra space. These conversions are most effective when there is substantial height between the loft floor and the existing ridge line. Compared to other types of conversions, Velux conversions involve significantly less construction, resulting in reduced disruption.

Planning permissions for Velux Loft Conversion

In the context of building regulations and planning, modifications to roofs are typically classified as “permitted developments” in home improvement. This means that most alterations to your roof, including the installation of Velux windows or similar products, generally comply with permitted development guidelines and do not require additional planning permissions.

Piggyback Loft Conversion

A Piggyback loft conversion is one of the different types of loft conversions that involves completely removing the existing roof and extending the perimeter walls by approximately 1.3 meters. This allows for the construction of a new pitched roof atop the raised walls, significantly increasing headroom and creating more practical living space.

Benefits of piggyback loft conversion

Piggyback loft conversions are notably more cost-effective compared to other extension types, leveraging the existing loft structure while reducing material requirements.

The piggyback loft conversion process generally takes less time than alternative extension methods. Additionally, for properties with limited external expansion options, piggyback loft conversions effectively utilise the available internal space.

Incorporating additional functional space through such conversions can significantly enhance the property’s market value, representing a prudent investment.

Planning permissions required for piggyback loft conversion

It’s important to note that a Piggyback conversion always requires planning permission due to the alteration in the roof’s ridge height, which falls outside the parameters of a Certificate of Lawfulness.

Pitched Dormer Loft Conversions

A pitched dormer loft conversion, also known as a pitched roof dormer, is a favourable option for properties where the existing roof height is adequate. This conversion style is often considered aesthetically appealing due to the unique character and internal angles it introduces.

Benefits of pitched dormer loft conversions

The added space from a pitched dormer extension can serve various purposes, including bedrooms, bathrooms, or even a spacious home office. The design allows for the inclusion of Velux windows on the front roof, directly opposite the dormer windows, ensuring ample natural light.

Exterior finishing options

For the exterior finish, options include tile hanging, slate hanging, rendering, or cladding. Tiles or slates are chosen on-site to closely match the existing roof. Rendered finishes are crafted by skilled plasterers to complement the existing exterior. Additional external finishes like fascias, soffits, gutters, and windows are also matched to the existing house, making the conversion seamlessly integrate with the original structure.

Side Dormer Loft Conversion

A side dormer loft conversion typically retains the same shape as a rear dormer conversion but is positioned on the side of the property. This involves removing the existing slope on the side and constructing a vertical structure from the rear elevation.

Benefits of side dormer loft conversion

In some cases, side dormers are built directly atop the property’s lower brick wall, while in others, they’re slightly stepped in to comply with local council regulations. For detached properties, constructing side dormers on both roof sides can maximise space. Despite being termed ‘flat roofs’, side dormer roofs have a subtle slope for rainwater drainage, with the interior ceilings remaining level.

Regulations regarding side dormer loft conversions

When your side dormer faces a public highway, or if your property is adjacent to a neighbour’s garden, compliance with permitted development regulations is necessary. These regulations mandate the installation of obscure windows, which should be fixed at a height of up to 1.7 meters. While you may include an opening window, typically, this will consist of a top fan light design.

This feature allows ventilation while ensuring privacy and preventing direct views into your neighbour’s garden. The same principles apply to roof lights. Since obscure roof lights require special ordering, we can help source the appropriate size once your design is approved.

Looking for a contractor for your next loft conversion project?

At Premier Roofing Solutions, our skilled professionals specialize in guiding homeowners through the selection of different types of loft conversions options, tailored to meet individual needs. Our expertise lies in well-established design and planning techniques, ensuring our services in residential extensions, conversions, and new construction homes are of the highest quality. Get in touch with us for a free consultation.

We assist homeowners in realising their dream homes, while also providing landowners and developers with solutions geared towards achieving optimal return on investment.

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