Dormer loft conversions provide more usable space than Velux loft conversions, while still only making minor changes to the roof. They are a popular choice as they are often constructed as a permitted development without the need for planning permission, and there are a range of different dormers available to suit any home.
What Does it Involve?
Dormer loft conversions involve creating windows within the roof which angle out rather than working with the pitch of the roof (like a Velux loft conversion). This means that the windows face at 90 degrees to the floor rather than following the existing roof lines. To create the windows, builders need to create small projections from the roof with boxes around them – this adds more headroom to the loft space, which is why it is such a popular option. Those boxes are called Dormers, which is where this conversion gets its name.
Depending on the size of the property this type of conversion can house up to 2 bedrooms and a bathroom. Gable end and hipped roof Dormer attic conversions are also available depending on your home, roof type, and your personal preferences. Some clients prefer to couple a hip to gable loft conversion with a few dormers to create as much room as possible, but this involves a much more extensive change to your home.
Getting Planning Permission
Unless you live in an area with building restrictions (such as a conservation area) or you have already carried out a number of permitted developments on your home, it is unlikely that you will require planning permission. In most areas, Dormer conversions are allowed as a permitted development, which means that you do not need to go through the lengthy process of gaining planning permission before starting the build.
One of the things that makes dormer loft conversions so versatile is the range of Dormers available. You can choose your Dormer type based on the amount of light you’d like to introduce to the room and what fits best with your home’s exterior. There are 5 types:
- Gable Dormers – these are the most popular dormer type. They have a little pitched roof over the dormer (like in the image above) to let water pour down the sides. These dormers provide the most headroom and are often found in groups across the front of a house.
- Shed Dormers – these are often grouped together, and if they are spread across the entire roof of a house this construction can often be mistaken for a mansard loft conversion. Unlike gable dormers, they have a flat roof which is often angled downwards slightly to let water pour off.
- Hipped Dormers – these look like gable dormers, but the front of the dormer is pitched too.
- Eyebrow Dormers – eyebrow dormers are either semi-circular or triangular, and add light and a little character to the exterior of a house without adding much headroom compared to most dormers. The windows are not as big as other dormers, and they are usually recommended if the loft space already has a lot of headroom available.
- Segmental Dormers – these look similar to gable dormers, but have curved roofs rather than pitched.