dormer window loft conversions

Interested in a Dormer Loft Conversion?

To create a dormer loft conversion you need a structural extension projecting vertically from a sloping roof. The great advantage of a dormer loft conversion is that you can transform unused and often cramped loft space into usable space thanks to the creation of additional headroom and floor space with the added bonus that it will be a beautiful light, bright area due to the natural light provided by dormer windows.

Another reason for its popularity, a dormer conversion can often be feasible in lofts with limited space or headroom.

What you will learn in this article:

Types of Dormer Loft Conversion
What type of dormer window should I use?
I’ve chosen, the style. Now how big?
How much headroom can a dormer window create?
Pros and Cons of a Dormer Loft Conversion
Do I need Planning Permission for a Dormer Loft Conversion?

Types of Dormer Loft Conversion?

Did you know there is more than one type of dormer loft conversion?

The most popular type of dormer conversion in the UK is a simple flat roof dormer. Not only is this the cheapest form of dormer to build, a flat roof dormer will provide the most amount of usable internal space.

Shed Dormer

A shed dormer has a flat single planed roof which slopes downwards at an angle shallower than the main roof. This is suitable for properties with a gable roof. A shed dormer usually requires different roof sheeting to that of the main roof.

Gable Fronted Dormer

A gable fronted dormer provides another option, generally regarded as more attractive which has a gable wall extension built up to the existing ridge line, and a new roof section built outwards to the new gable end.

Hipped Roof Dormer

Equally attractive is a hipped roof dormer which has three sloping planes of a hipped roof converging at the ridge of the dormer.

What type of dormer window should I use?

But how to decide? Deciding which style of dormer would be best for your property isn’t too difficult. Essentially it depends on the outside appearance of your home. The idea is to make the loft conversion consistent with the current style. For example, if you have gable ends on your hour, choose a gable dormer window.

You should also take account of the pitch of your main roof – a flat-topped dormer window would work best on shallow coverings because they don’t need as much heght as other styles.

If you are unsure, we can help. After many years of experience, we have a pretty good idea of which dormer window would be best.

I’ve chosen, the style. Now how big?

Choosing the correst size dormer window is almost as important as choosing the ideal style.

One reason people might not choose a dormer window is because of the aesthetics. Dormer windows stick out of the roof shape to create more headroom, but the bigger the size, the less appealing they look. What you are aiming for is to get the maximum head room fort he loft conversions but maintaining the aesthetics outside.

Again, we can advise you but sometimes it makes sense to get an architect’s opinion. We have a pane of experts who we work with on a regular basis and we can get this done for you.

Try to keep dormers small and thin and be consistent with style – stick to a sleek appearance if the house is contemporary and use proper traditional details to remain in keeping with a period look. It’s best to avoid using too many materials, so keep it simple.

How much headroom can a dormer window create?

Sometimes this is hard to see from plans and drawings and it’s important to know exactly how much useable space you will gain. Sometimes people are disappointed when the project is completed because there is less space than they thought. So we will make sure you know what to expect.

Dormer windows can often more useble space than you might think. Modern dormer windows can add lots of room and look wonderful from the inside, but you still need to make sure the outside provides that kerb appeal which is so important.

The size you will need depends on the height of the roof. If your loft conversion has a very low ceiling then you’ll need a bigger dormer, but if the pitch is quite deep and you can stand up with no problem, the choose a smaller dormer.

Pros and Cons of a Dormer Loft Conversion

Pros

  • greater additional floor space than other types of loft conversion
  • flat roofed dormer provides increased headroo, straight walls and flat ceilings
  • relatively inexpensive to install
  • provides lots of natural light and ventilation
  • possible even in lofts with limited apce
  • suitable for all types of properties

Cons

  • not as aesthetically pleasing as other types of loft conversion

Do I need Planning Permission for a Dormer Loft Conversion?

In most cases, a dormer loft conversion to a house will be classed as permitted development and will not require planning permission.

There are, however, limitations of permitted development, and if we are unsure if your proposed conversion passes the permitted development tests, we recommend obtaining a Lawful Development Certificate from your local authority. The LDC is not the same as planning permission, but does provide you with written proof that your loft conversion is lawful should questions be raised at a later date when you come to sell your house.

There are also regulations about how much space can be added inside the house – 40 cubic meters  for terrace properties and 50 cubic meters for a semi or detached house.

Most dormers will fit into these brackets, but you may need to re-think if you’re planning to add a full-width style.

How about Building Regulations?

Building Regulations Approval is required on any loft conversion regardless if planning permission is required. Building Regulations ensure that the structure is safe and will cover, amongst other things, structural strength, stability, sound insulation, safety and suitable emergency exits.

Contact us today for your FREE consultation 07977 812450.

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