Your Beginner’s Guide to Loft Conversions

If your roof space is large enough and planning permission isn’t an issue, then your home can benefit from a simple change which could not only improve your quality of life but also the value of your home.

Your home may be spacious or bijou but who wouldn’t want the luxury of another room for the family to use? Loft conversions provide people with that extra space so often needed; a bedroom for visitors, an office, a hobby room or even a second sitting room.

Whatever it is that you feel you need, your loft could provide the perfect solution and your journey will begin with a conversion assessment which will ascertain whether you have enough space and also if there are any obstacles such as chimney stacks or water tanks.

The head height is another important factor and measurements will need to be taken to ensure that there is enough space to stand…though even if there isn’t enough space to stand, this is not insurmountable and can be fixed by either raising the roof or lowering the ceiling height of the floor below.

Is My Home Suitable?

If you live in a period house or in a heritage area then you may find that securing planning permission is a little trickier but in most cases, all types of homes can benefit from a loft conversion.

Types of Loft Conversion

It is helpful to understand the various styles of loft conversion out there in order to garner some idea of which may suit your home and your needs.

Velux

Velux is a brand; Velux windows are used in the simplest form of loft conversion. The method involves installing Velux windows into the pitched attic roof; the body of the attic stays the same and so this is only suitable for attics which are quite spacious. The windows may be fitted into any gradient of pitch and more than one may be added to maximise light.

Dormer

Dormer loft conversions are the most common of all and are also simple to install. Dormers involve construction of a vertical wall to the exterior of the roof which runs from the bottom edge of the roof and then ends in a flat roof. From the outside they appear like small, extra rooms tacked onto the sloped roof of the house. They provide extra space and headroom.

Hip to Gable

Hip to Gable loft conversions are a little more complex and usually need planning permission. They alter the shape of the roof by altering “hipped” roofs to flat gable ends.

Hip to Gable conversions are suitable for most homes.

Mansard

Mansard conversions are usually added to the rear of properties and are popular in terraced homes or in built-up urban areas. Mansards change the structure of a home considerably and are more expensive than other styles.

Deciding which style of conversion is going to suit your needs, is a process of elimination. First, look at your neighbour’s homes; are there other homes with loft conversions? Is there one style which seems to be popular? Chances are there will be a reason for that and speaking to your neighbours about the process will help you in your quest for a larger home.

For inspiration and ideas, visit Loftworld’s gallery today.