Designing your Own Loft Conversion – What’s Your Type?

A loft conversion is a proficient way to create extra space in your home without too much disruption to daily life. There are different styles of conversion and some take longer than others to complete, but generally speaking even a complex project can be completed in around eight weeks. Even so, most conversions are not a job for your average DIY enthusiast. Nevertheless, you have every right to take a fair role when it comes to design. After all, this is about what you need and want. For many it is their dream project.

The Basics

Many designs do not need full building permission but do need to meet certain safety standards. Mansard, Dormer and Hip to Gable are the three primary designs and each has their variations. All loft conversions must have a window, which is usually a Velux or Light Dome Window, or Sun Tunnel Skylight.

Getting Started

Using one of the three basic styles that suits you most is a good place to start. To know which suits you best you need to know the pros and cons of each:

1. Dormer loft conversion – This requires a structural extension on your existing property, although nothing extreme. It has a flat roof and extends like a box vertically from your roof.

Pros:

The straight roof and ceiling means you can use normal windows – No problems with light or ventilation.

It can add a lot of extra m2 to your property as well as extra headroom, so perfect for low lofts.

Suits most property styles in the UK and is one of the least expensive choices. This style can also be adapted for mid-terrace property – A good all rounder!

Cons:

Not always considered the prettiest solution. The Gabled Dormer, an adaptation of this design, is more attractive but also more expensive.

2. Mansard loft conversion – This has a flat roof and slopes from an adjoining wall. The Mansard is a popular choice for terraced houses and is constructed at the rear of the house.

Pros:

Suits older properties very well and considered more visually pleasing than Dormer conversions.

More headroom and light than other styles.

Cons:

The most expensive choice and they just about always needs full planning permission. Construction times are usually the longest of all styles. 

3. Hip to gable loft conversion – Suitable for detached and semi-detached property as well as bungalows. This style straightens the slope of the roof to produce a vertical wall.

Pros:

The only option for bungalows and the only style that can be combined with a Dormer loft conversion and so create the most space possible.

Considered the most visually pleasing design

Cons:

Not suitable for mid-terrace property and can look odd on semi-detached property if the neighbour does not have one!

Costs more than Dormer conversions.

If you do not want to make any structural changes to your property a simple roof light loft conversion is always an option – Which design is all about you and your needs at the end of the day.