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What Is the Best Type of Loft Conversion for Your Home?

Loft conversion work is a great way to add plenty of extra room to your home, but it also requires a lot of planning. Between obtaining planning permission and following building regulations, it is easy to forget some of the most basic decisions you will need to make and details you will have to account for.

When most people set out to get a loft conversion project done, they often default to the most basic of loft conversion options. However, it is important to think about which type of loft conversion you actually want – and which options are suitable for your home.

Understanding the basics of each loft conversion type can be important, especially if you are only just looking into conversion options for the first time.


About Us

We are a professional loft conversion company with a huge range of post projects under our belt. Our experts know how to put together a huge range of loft conversion options, as well as assist with the initial plan and the background paperwork that may be required to get your conversion started.

We have spent years supplying the UK with a wide variety of loft conversion options, and we understand how to tailor those options to each client’s needs. 

More importantly, we are fully prepared to tackle the technical side of this conversion work, including planning out the way that everything will fit together.

Types of Loft Conversions We Offer

There are countless ways to construct a loft, but most loft conversion projects fall into specific types. This is often due to the way they are designed, and the specific details about how they impact the house’s shape.

Each loft conversion type has its own average loft conversion cost, regulations, requirements, general sizes, and a whole host of other factors that make them suited to particular spaces. Beyond that, some are only usable on specific kinds of roofs, meaning that some homes are limited in which types of loft conversion they can get.

Dormer Loft Conversion 

A dormer loft conversion is one of the most common loft conversion options you can find in the UK and is suitable for almost any house type. These conversions add an extra room in the sloping roof, acting as a separate loft space with its own roof. 

This kind of loft conversion can be surprisingly cheap and very effective, giving you an easy way to turn part of your existing loft space into a room without having to convert the entire roof. 

While they make small alterations to the shape of the roof itself, they are often minor enough to be relatively quick to construct.

Rear dormers are especially easy, with many not requiring planning permission unless they change too much about the existing roof shape. This alone can make them invaluable for creating internal loft space without needing any large-scale conversion work.

Flat Roof Dormer

Flat roof dormers are one of the simplest ways to create a new loft space, requiring very little work beyond modifying the roof and adding proper flooring. Since this creates a distinct room, you do not have to convert the entire existing space under your roof space.

Pitched Roof Dormer

A pitched dormer roof provides less overall space but can be more consistent with the aesthetic of your home. While it might lack floor space, it can sometimes help with long-term maintenance since there is nowhere for rainwater to pool or snow to pile up.

Dormer Windows

A dormer window can be a very simple addition. Since dormers are not created using load-bearing walls, it is easy to install windows into the new attic space or even add these dormer window designs themselves as standalone roof windows.

Hip to Gable Loft Conversion

Hip to gable loft conversions open up a lot more floor space and headroom. Being installed on the “side” of the roof means that they can usually create a larger room, even if you already have a decently sized loft area, to begin with.

These are effectively dormers in a different position, but this is not a bad thing. The additional space makes them very worthwhile, and some people can even combine hip to gable loft and dormer loft conversions to create multiple rooms under the same roof.

Mansard Loft Conversions

A mansard loft conversion will extend the entire roof into more internal loft space, providing a lot more room to work with. This can either be used as a single loft room or a way to produce multiple separate spaces, all for one loft conversion cost.

These are large and expensive, but they work very well for people who want the most living space possible from their loft conversions. 

A mansard roof can be straight or slanted depending on the design, with a lot of different ways to customise exactly how they look – making it much easier to match the proposed design to the style of the existing house.

Internal Loft Conversion

An internal loft conversion is probably the most basic method of full conversion we can offer. This usually means performing VELUX or roof light conversions while also taking care of the flooring, the access staircase, the insulation, and anything else that will make the loft into a fully usable room.

This means minimal construction work and (usually) no planning permission, with the most major changes being the addition of windows and occasionally an interior vertical wall or new staircase. The existing roof structure remains largely the same.

VELUX Loft Conversion

VELUX loft conversions are simple and cheap. These usually mean little more than adding some windows and occasionally a new floor structure (if the existing one is not suitable for a living space), then making minor adjustments to turn the loft into a proper room.

These are incredibly straightforward and do not usually involve modifying the roof apart from adding windows. 

The existing roof space becomes the basis of the entire loft area: on the one hand, you are limited by the space within the roof, but on the other hand the end result is almost always worth it if you are looking for a low-budget option or quick conversion.

Roof Light Loft Conversion

Roof light conversions are similar to VELUX conversions, only focused more on skylights (also known as roof lights). 

These tend to be ideal for any space where you want to keep the roof mostly the same, making the absolute bare minimum of changes to your home while still creating a space that you can comfortably live in.

Unlike VELUX loft conversion, roof light conversion is incredibly basic. Most of the time, it involves adding small skylights to the roof, leaving the rest of the space intact in the process. It does not add any more space to move around or improve head height, but it provides natural light and makes the room slightly more usable.

Wrap Around Loft Conversion

Wrap-around loft conversions are incredibly large, literally wrapping around the outside of the roof and providing an entirely new room. This is almost like constructing an entire new floor of extra space, although with some distinct differences due to it being a very direct loft conversion. 

They are highly versatile and effectively replace part of the roof, giving you a massive amount of space to work with compared to other conversions.

These require a lot of planning and can be very expensive, so they are not done all that often. However, they are also very good for adding a lot of additional room, and for turning an unused loft into a space with a lot more practical value behind it. 

Modular Loft Conversions

A modular loft conversion is a non-standard kind of conversion that involves building the new loft separately, then cutting off the house’s roof and adding the new build with a crane. 

This is not done very often but has some practical value in specific situations that makes it a worthwhile choice for some homeowners.

Most of the time, this loft conversion method is used when others are not possible or if the house itself has a design that does not allow for conventional conversion. While it is not all that practical to most people, there can still be situations where it is worth considering, especially in an unusually-designed house that currently can’t accept a normal loft conversion project.

L Shaped Loft Conversion

L-shaped loft conversions are built over existing floor extensions, providing extra space in the process. These can be quite niche, especially for homes that only have small extensions, but their complex planning can provide some useful benefits in the form of highly valuable and flexible surface space.

L-shaped conversions are most used in homes that desperately need another floor, which makes them very popular in bungalow homes. 

They can be installed in any place with an L-shaped floorplan, as long as the right conditions are met and there is enough structural support to make the conversion possible.

What Type of Loft Conversion is Best?

It is easy to get caught up in the idea of having the best loft conversion available, but that is not how conversions work. You need to think about your home and the kind of loft conversion option that would fit its roof structure, as well as the results you actually want from the conversion.

Without a proper plan in place, it becomes very hard to know what kind of loft extension or conversion you are looking for. 

Hip to gable conversions are very different from a dormer conversion, even if they are both technically done in a similar way and do the same general area of the house, and that means that you need to plan ahead whenever possible.

If you want the best loft conversion for your particular situation, house or needs, then it is a good idea to look at the specifics of each option you have available.

Loft Conversion Plans

The plans behind your conversion are a major part of the process. They are not just for figuring out how you want your conversion to look but are also useful for getting the work approved, and for making sure that the project itself follows a consistent guideline to ensure that you get usable space and not an unsafe mess.

Planning Permission Requirements

Getting planning permission is an important part of loft conversion and home improvement as a whole. However, most loft conversions that do not modify the roof shape too much can go through without planning permission, making them faster and cheaper overall in a direct comparison.

Permitted Development

If you want your conversion to fall under permitted development rights, then there are limits to how complex it can be. Sticking to these rights makes the process a lot faster and slightly cheaper, but it might also limit the number of conversion options you have.

Building Regulations

Building regulations are also a major part of this work, and you need to follow building regulations to keep your extension legal. 

This means that some loft conversion options may cost more and take more time since there is more that needs to be checked by a building control inspector or adapted by a structural engineer.

Suitability

Not all lofts are suitable for every home. For example, terraced houses cannot always get hip to gable options since a terraced property usually shares the sides of its sloping roof structure (and party wall) with two other houses. However, semi-detached houses are perfect for this kind of conversion.

Converted Lofts

A loft conversion is primarily about the loft itself, and that means that you really need to think about the spaces you are creating. There are a lot of factors that can go into even the most basic conversion, and understanding individual parts of the design can sometimes be important for finding the conversion type that best suits your needs.

Safety

Safety features like fire doors, flame-resistant vertical wall materials and openable windows are all very important in any converted space. Having easily accessible loft conversion stairs and enough head height to move around comfortably should be one of the first things you consider when laying out a loft conversion floorplan.

Safety should always come first, especially when dealing with larger-scale conversion work. Even smaller loft conversions require some focus on safety, though, including basic internal changes that might accidentally become dangerous if handled incorrectly.

Features

It is good to think about the features and furnishings of your new loft room, too. For example, underfloor heating can be nice, but it requires extra wiring and/or plumbing to be set up. The same goes for additional lights, bathrooms, or even just figuring out if you can extend the Wi-Fi up to the new loft room.

Loft Conversion Cost

The cost of a loft conversion is going to vary heavily based on a range of different factors. Even just looking at one type, like mansard conversions, can show that each mansard loft conversion project costs a hugely different amount depending on the scope and scale of the work involved.

We can help you figure out the general loft conversion cost you will end up paying for each project, using a range of accurate estimates to find a good baseline for what you are proposing.

Space Limitations

Creating any loft conversion requires you to think about how you are using your space. For example, a loft conversion staircase may need to fit under the free-sloping side roof unless your loft is replacing the existing roof slope entirely.

If you want to give your space wall-mounted sanitaryware or any other kind of specific fixed furniture and appliances, then you need to consider where they will be placed, too. Sloping roofs can limit standing room, and the party wall agreement may force you to reconsider certain ideas or design choices entirely.

Even parts of the internal structure (like stud walls, floor joists and roof trusses) can have an impact on how much space you really have. This might make it difficult to place certain things in particular places due to a lack of headroom or easy access.

Get In Touch

Whether you want a basic addition to your semi-detached house or a full loft overhaul, our experts can make sure that you get the loft conversion you are looking for. We know how to plan and construct a range of loft options, all easily tailored to meet the customer’s needs.

If you want to know more about the loft conversion options we can offer or what the best loft conversion type might be for your own home, then give our specialists a call. We can help you put together an ideal plan for a loft that suits your house’s shape, size, and overall roof design.

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