Are you in need of extra space in your home, and a loft conversion seems to be the right choice? Many people choose this solution when they don’t want to move to a new larger house, but also don’t want to lose any space with a house extension. Why not use the existing house structure and add more floor space with a conversion? With prices of properties constantly going up, extending your house upwards makes even more sense. You should first analyze your existing roof, but most likely it can be converted, and you may not even need planning permission for that. Many loft conversions fall under permitted development, but your project needs to meet certain requirements for that.
Before actually starting this, you should determine what your needs are, what solutions you have and what constraints. Don’t worry if at first there seems to be a lot of information on many topics. You will understand the basics when it comes to loft conversions, what a space this type takes to become livable, whether you will require planning permission or not, what the rough cost will be, loft conversion types. With this knowledge, you can then approach specialists like architects and builders to actually put your vision into practice. In the end, the resulting loft should match your needs and taste, and not follow a generic solution. Experts who have done this in the past and have the knowledge can give you great advice on loft conversion options.
Let’s see what types of loft conversion there are, and which one might suit you. Starting with the cheapest conversion of all, a Velux loft conversion. It means adding windows to your loft and keeping most of the roof structure intact. They are less disruptive than other conversion types, they cost less, and most likely will not need planning permission. Unless, you live in a conservation area, which can be more restrictive. Your loft should have enough headroom to allow it to be converted by just adding the Velux windows. Adding the extra roof light with a Velux loft will make the space livable. But you can also transform it into your home office, with enough space and light. The Velux loft would be the easiest, fastest and cheapest conversion, if your roof structure allows it.
Another type of conversion, to the other end of the spectrum, is a mansard loft conversion. These types of loft offer the greatest amount of additional floor space and head height. It is easy to plan the layout in these because of their ample rectangular shape. But they are the most expensive types of loft conversion. You will need planning permission because you will alter the existing roof significantly. Mansard loft conversions are suited for most types of property, like semi-detached houses, detached homes, terraced houses. The lower slope of the mansard is almost vertical, while the top slope is almost a flat roof. This type of loft conversion gives you the most space and flexibility, with endless possibilities to create additional space for dorms, bathroom, office, play room, storage. You can gain the most space with a double mansard loft conversion. If you are looking for a similar conversion loft, a roof dormer can offer you a similar rectangular shape, with enough head height. A flat roof dormer is a box shaped structure that is an addition to the roof, it will cost less than a mansard loft conversion, and may not require planning permission if it meets certain conditions. The rear dormer loft conversion is the most popular of the main types of lofts in the UK. The front dormer loft conversion may require planning permission, but a dormer at the rear of the property may be considered permitted development.
The decision should be based on your existing roof shape and roof space, your needs for the space, and yes, your budget. Both time and money. There are other types of dormer loft conversions, such as gable loft conversions for dormers. They are better suited for terraced houses. If you live in a conservation area, you may not be permitted to build a full rear dormer. A pitched roof dormer loft conversion can be then the solution, adding several of them. As you can see, there are several loft extension types to choose from.
What does hip to gable loft mean?
Hip to gable lofts are different types of loft conversions, they can be found in detached houses, or semi detached or the end of a terraced house. In these types of loft conversions, the sloping part of the roof, called the hip, is removed and is replaced with a vertical wall, forming a gable loft conversion. A hip to gable loft can be combined with a flat roof dormer, to gain even more space and to make it easier to plan the layout inside. Gable loft conversions can be quite diverse, creating interesting looks and adding more space to your loft.
Some people may consider flat roof dormers or a mansard loft conversion styles too ugly, too intrusive. For them, a roof light conversion with a Velux loft will be the best choice. The Velux loft will have minimal changes to it, but will allow plenty of light coming in, and with the proper stairs access, can become a functional space. A sloping roof may be even considered by many as more appealing and more intimate than a standard looking room. It will also be considered permitted development because of the minimal impact it makes. But if space and head room are very important to you, then you should analyze the mansard vs dormer loft conversion, and choose which one is best suited. Dormer loft conversions at the rear of the property could be the choice for you if they are not requiring planning permission. See if an L shaped dormer loft is suited for your house, as they offer even more space than other dormer loft conversions. an L shaped dormer can easily accommodate two bedrooms and a bathroom and will create the perfect livable space. They are suited usually for period properties.
Having several main types of loft options to choose from for your conversion, as well as possibilities of combining them in interesting ways, allows one to keep their existing home and not move to a new property. Especially in London, with the high cost of property, increasing the size of your current home with a roof dormer or mansard loft conversions can make your loft a livable space. A loft conversion is a construction that avoids building an extension and taking away from your valuable land. Let your imagination run free, and create your perfect home in London, fit for your family or work needs. Your existing property can have a unique design, you can work with sloping roofs or straight walls, with more or less headroom, as you feel and need, leading ultimately to a perfect construction just for you.
Important details to consider for loft conversions
Building above the street level, your windows will be away from the traffic and the pollution. Having many windows will allow plenty of natural light coming in, as well as good ventilation. Windows are also important as fire safety exits. A conversion loft, regardless of its destination, can benefit tremendously by adding an en suite/ bathroom. This will increase the functionality of your space but also will increase the value of the house. Your new loft must have proper stair access to it. This is a very important feature, and you must pay a lot of attention to it. The stairs must provide easy and safe access, especially in the case of an emergency, with sturdy construction. Together with an architect or the builder you must analyze the floor below and see where it can be better placed. With great design and careful planning, your London home project can gain a stylish custom-built loft that is up to building standards, with solid walls and floor and stairs. Doing quality work on your property can only increase its value and make it suitable for living for a larger family or for a home office.
Although you want to add more living space to your home with a loft conversion, or an office space or playroom, you will most likely need to create some storage space in it as well. Depending on the loft conversion roof types, you will have more or less roof space that won’t be so easily usable. A sloping roof, unlike a dormer loft conversion or a mansard loft conversion, will leave you with spaces that are more difficult to use. But with smart planning and design, you can use those spaces to add cupboards or a bathroom and make the best of the entire space you have.
If you have neighbors to your home, and have one or more common walls with them, they need to be notified about your plans of a loft conversion. This is called a Party Wall Agreement, which is a document informing your neighbors about the work you are going to do.
Properties that have a well-designed loft conversion, following all building regulations will have a better market value and will always be a good investment.