Types of loft conversion – your loft planning

Loft conversions can vary in style. There are four main types of loft conversion – rooflight, dormer, mansard and hip to gable conversions.

Which type of loft conversion you decide on will depend on factors such as the design of your existing roof, your budget, planning restrictions and your own personal preference.

  • VELUX or rooflight conversions – A rooflight conversion means converting your loft without changing any of its original shape. Ideal for higher pitch roofs where head height isn’t a problem. VELUX is one of the strongest brands in the global building materials and home improvement industry. Today, more than sixty years after the first VELUX roof window was installed the name has become synonymous with this type of conversion. This type of loft conversion is generally very cost effective and does not normally need planning permission.

  • Dormer loft conversion – A dormer is reshaping the roof to give greater internal height and space. Dormers protrude from the roof slope, normally at the rear of the property as an extension onto the existing roof. Dormers can be built in a variety of styles and internally, will have a horizontal ceiling and vertical walls so create more space and for lofts with limited space or headroom may make a conversion feasible. Some areas do not allow dormer loft conversion, you will need to check with your local planning department to get the rules for your area.

  • Mansard loft conversions – have two slopes, the lower slope is close to vertical at 72 degrees and the top section of the roof is almost horizontal. A mansard roof has the advantage of maximising the available space within your loft. A mansard loft conversion will almost certainly require planning permission.

  • A hip to gable loft conversion – involves making some major changes to the roof. A hip to gable dormer extends the hip of your existing roof into a gable end. The gable wall is built up to the ridge line and a new section of roof is built to fill in the gap. As a rule, houses with hip roofs tend to not have enough internal volume for a conversion to be practical so a hip to gable conversion is the best solution. This type of loft conversion is most popular in traditional semi-detached houses enabling the new staircase to go over the existing stairs minimising lost space in original living area. As a hip to gable conversion changes the outline of the roof planning permission is likely to be required.

For more help please visit the interactive loft conversions mini guide on the government planning portal

Visit the interactive loft conversions guide