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Loft conversions everything you need to know

Loft conversions and everything there is to know about loft conversions.

Loft conversions are the most popular type of lofts and you will probably have noticed them in every neighborhood. This is mainly because they are versatile and can be installed on most types of properties from detached houses to top floor maisonettes (subject to planning approval). In terms of the process a loft conversion is when a rectangular box shaped structure is built up in place of the pitched roof.

What is a dormer loft conversion? Loft conversion has a new structure on your roof, flat roof and walls are added at a 90 degree angle to the floor. This gives much more usable space in the loft and a comfortable ceiling height. Typically dormers are located at the rear of the property. Generally the new structure must fit in line with the current height of the ridge although permission can be sought from the local planning department where the ridge is too low to achieve adequate head height.

What are the different types of dormer loft conversions? As there is quiet few loft conversions here are the most popular ones, this is also dependent on type of house you have:

  • Flat roof - these type of loft conversions would be built at the rear of your terraced house, meaning the gable wall or boundary walls are already built originally, these type of dormers do increase your loft space rapidly and are very popular option.

  • Side - the side of the sloped roof the dormer box is built

  • Front pitched - also known as gable dormer is a small dormer topped with small mini gable roof.

  • L shaped - one of the bigger options typically built on properties that have outriggers, these dormers have two parts that form L shape and add huge amount of space.

Will i need planning permission for my loft conversion?

One of the great advantages of dormer loft conversions is that they are included in the homeowners permitted development rights. These rights allow homeowners to add liveable space and extend their homes without needing to go through the full planning application process as long as specific criteria are met and guidelines are followed, some examples include:

Your current home:

  • Is not a building containing one or more flats.

  • Has not already had additional storeys added to it under permitted development rights

  • Was not changed from non-residential to be used as a house under permitted development rights.

  • Was not built under permitted development rights.

  • Is not in a conservation area.

Limitations on the proposed development:

  • Materials must be similar in appearance to the existing house

  • Volume of enlargement must not exceed the original roof space by more than:

    • 40 cubic metres for terraced houses; or

    • 50 cubic metres otherwise

  • Must not exceed the height of the existing roof.

  • The front roof must not exceed the existing roof slope.

  • Must not include: verandas, balconies* or raised platforms (Juliette balconies are permitted).

  • Side-facing windows must be obscure-glazed.

Further details can be found here:

Is my home suitable for loft conversion? Technically any house that has pitched roof and enough head height would be able to have dormer loft conversion. Typical houses that have dormer loft conversions would be London terraced houses, end of terrace houses, semi detached house or detached houses. But also Edwardian, Victorian 1920s and 1930s, new builds and bungalows have widely benefited from the loft conversions and those in conservation areas or flats and maisonettes.

What are the benefits of the loft conversion? One of the main benefits of loft conversions is to increase the value of the property by adding an extra bedroom and en-suite, however not all properties would be able to achieve this and it is dependent on location, circumstances or existing property condition. Unlike velux loft conversion the loft conversion will allow vertical walls and normal stairs with skylights allowing light onto first floor dark areas, you would also benefit from additional storage and en-suite, most dormer loft conversion will add a good size bedroom space with a lot of options that can be added from Juliet balconies to flat roof skylights and built in wardrobes. loft conversions are cheaper then the other loft conversions in general.

If you would like to speak to an expert about your project please call 020 7731 6841


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