When it comes to options for converting your loft there are two basic ways to go and thats with either a dormer or a roof space only conversion.
Of course the main reason for converting the loft in the first place is to create lots of new space and most of us have to choose a large box dormer to make maximum use of the space available.
The problem with box dormers is that they can look very ugly. And, for those of us lucky enough to have a large roof space to play with, being able to convert the loft without having to use a box dormer is a great bonus.
But lets look in more detail at the two loft conversion options we’ve discussed.
Roof Space Only
Quite simply the easiest and usually the cheapest option when it comes to converting the loft with the installation of flush fitting skylight windows. Because skylights are used the roof space needs to big enough to cope without the added headroom of a dormer.
Not having to add a dormer means a lot less structural work and particularly with older properties that have cut timbers the only structural work required will usually be to strengthen the floor and to install a new staircase.
They can be big, ugly, small and neat. Obtrusive or subtle. Dormers can be all those things.
Dormer loft conversions are the most common as they are a great way to increase space for those of us whose roof space isn’t large enough to cope with just the addition of skylights.
Dormers can come in all shapes and sizes with the most common being the box or full width structure. These can look ugly though with cladding or rendering they can be made to blend nicely with the rest of the property.
Large dormers are of course popular because they can add a huge amount of space and also make the installation of the new staircase so much easier.
Box and full width dormers are relatively new addition to our skylines over the last thirty years or so but traditionally dormers were small structures now referred to as gable dormers or cottage dormers.
They undoubtedly look better than their larger brothers but good looks come at a price. They really don’t add much in the way of extra room and won’t be suitable for the majority of modern houses that have a shallow pitch to their roof.For more info see the related pages below
Structural calculations for loft conversions are of course hugely important to ensure safety and that the proposed plans meet building regulations
What is the difference between planning permission and building regulations approval for loft conversions ?
Using And Fitting Loose Fill Insulation In Your Loft