Although houses and loft conversions come in all shapes and sizes, there are three main kinds of conversion you need to be aware of.
When opting for a loft conversion, a lot will depend on your house and your budget. However, you should be aware of what kinds of conversions exist so that when you talk to local estate agents and contractors, you can have a useful conversation to determine your best options. Whether you’re based in Essex or London, your local estate agents will be a good port of call as they’ll know the housing market in your area well and they can help you to make a positive choice.
Dormers are the most common kind of loft conversion. Dormer conversions are simply a straightforward extension to the existing roof. Their popularity is due to a combination of different features. Dormers fit easily onto most kinds of house including terraced, semi detached and detached. They create lots of floor space and head space and, once complete, it’s not unusual for a dormer conversion to become the largest room in the house.
Due to their simplicity, dormer conversions seldom require special planning permission and the installation of the staircase can normally be situated easily above the house’s original stairs.
2. Hip to Gable
Hip to Gable is a typical choice for houses that have three separate slanting sides to their roofs. The side of the roof is extended out to make it vertical. This type of loft conversion is usually found on semi detached, end of terrace or fully detached houses.
Hip to Gable loft conversions are often appropriate when space is at a premium and often accommodates a more seamless staircase installation.
Hip to Gable conversions are less noticeable from the outside, and allow you to keep your loft conversion in keeping with the rest of your house on the exterior as well as the interior.
This kind of loft conversion is exceptional in that it often requires planning permission to be sought. That’s because it requires substantial changes to the existing structure of the roof. However, the finished result is often well worth the extra cost and effort, potentially creating ten times more space than other types of loft conversion.
A Mansard loft conversion has a flat top, with a back that slopes at a 72 degree angle (hence the need for planning permission, as councils tend to consider this to be a roof rather than a wall). Mansard conversions usually incorporate a number of windows, installed dormer-fashion, maximising space and light.
The parapet walls on either side of a Mansard conversion are raised in brickwork to match the rest of the house and maintain a pleasing exterior to the property.
Which kind of conversion you choose is not entirely a matter of choice. Certain kinds of conversion are only suitable on certain kinds of house. There are a great many things to consider including cost, timescales, how much value the conversion will realistically add to your house, what you intend to use the space for and whether you will need to obtain planning permission from the council.