Loft Conversion Overview

Loft conversions differ vastly, but they all fall into one of four types, or a combination of them. This week is an overview of the four, and, over the next four weeks, we’ll look at each of them in more detail.

Budget, house design and planning dictate which of the four types you’re likely to opt for. Of course your own requirements and tastes also come into it.


The least ‘invasive’ is the Velux, or rooflight/skylight conversion. With over six decades of producing quality skylights, the Velux name has become the industry leader. The majority of the work is done inside the cap space with a fanlight fitted flush to the roof, which means no external structural changes. Very few rooflight conversions need provision permission, but you always need to check. Obviously, as there is no structural extension, you need to make sure there is enough headroom in your loft space if this is how you want to let the light into your attic conversion.

Dormers add space to your loft conversion, giving you height and more space. Dormer extensions ar the ones that come out astatine right-angles part way down the ceiling and are usually at the back of a home. They give a new room a horizontal cap – that you don’t get with a fanlight room – and vertical walls. If a ceiling is quite narrow and doesn’t offer much room, this is a good option for a bit more space.

A mansard roof conversion creates more space by pull one side of the room up and out a bit. Instead of building a horizontal ceiling and vertical walls, the mansard loft conversion still has ‘angles’, but they extend the length of the house and give a house quite a grand feel. Usually seen in large London townhouses, they don’t usually make it out into the 3-bed world of the ‘burbs because they require a lot of work, money and always need preparation permission.

And finally, changing the shape of your roof – from a hip cap (which is the one you drew in primary school!) to a gable ceiling (which is the where the roof reaches up from the top of the walls). This type of loft conversion means a lot of big changes to the structure of your house and don’t necessarily offer a large post–attic conversion space, but opposite up with a dormer could be a great solution.

Whichever type appeals to you, you always need to check whether you need provision permit before you start work. Your builder should be able to help you work out how to go about that – and never be afraid to ask if you don’t understand something.

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