Dormer loft conversions are a tool that many homeowners like to use to extend the amount of available space in their property. By adding extra space to the loft, they open up opportunities for new bedrooms, storage and living space.
The amount of extra space that your dormer loft conversion generates depends on the size of the extension that you plan. A large, double dormer loft conversion, for example, can yield 50 cubic metres of space in your loft, opening up numerous possibilities for additional living space and storage. With a well-planned dormer loft conversion, you can enhance your quality of life and get the family home you’ve always wanted.
What Is a Dormer Loft Conversion?
Dormer loft conversions are a type of extension that adjust the shape of the roof to create a larger and more practical internal volume. Instead of leaving your attic with its regular, sloping sides, these conversions extend the roof from its peak laterally, leaving a flat section, often flanked by regular sloping sides.
The goal is to create a room that feels light and airy, just like every other on your property. By changing the angle of the eaves (or removing them altogether), you can create extra standing space in your property, without an extension or alteration the floor plan.
There are many different types of dormer loft conversion. These include:
- Flat-roof dormer loft conversion which is the one that we described above
- Bungalow dormer loft conversion where builders create a loft conversion above a single-storied abode
- Shed roof dormer loft conversion which is similar in appearance to the flat roof variety, but with the exception that the sides of the roof slope downwards slightly, a little bit like a shed
- Gable fronted dormer conversions extend the roof perpendicular to the original roof and create a new gable wall, built up to the current ridgeline
- Hipped roof dormers have sloping roofs on three sides. They look great from the outside, but they do not create as much interior space.
Do Dormer Loft Conversions Require Planning Permission?
For most people, dormer loft conversions do not require any planning permission to carry out. People who own detached, freehold properties do not face any restrictions at all, so long as their projects fall within the footprint of the building.
There are, however, exceptions. If you live in a heritage area, for instance, you may have to apply with the planning office before you can begin work. Likewise, if you live in a flat or a maisonette, you may face restrictions, especially if your property is leasehold.
How Much Does It Cost For a Dormer Loft Conversion?
The total dormer loft conversion cost will depend heavily on the style and size of the loft conversion as well as the materials that you choose to use.
In general, flat roof dormer loft conversions with dormer windows are the most cost-effective. Flat roofs are much less expensive to install than sloping roofs and provide a greater internal volume.
Quotes for dormer loft conversions start at around £30,000 and go up from there. Towards the lower end of the budget, you’re paying for a basic conversion with no additional architectural features. As you go up the price range, you can add things like gable and hipped roofs.
The average price of a dormer loft conversion is currently sitting around the £45,000 mark. Most people in the UK pay between £30,000 and £60,000 for their loft conversion in total.
The cost breaks down into several chunks. Some of the money you pay goes into planning. Most homeowners will pay an architect in the region of £1,000 plus VAT to come up with sketches of how they might install a new dormer, should they choose to go ahead with the build.
Dormer conversions also sometimes require planning permission costs if you live in a restricted area. The current fee is a flat £172 in England.
You may also have to pay what is known as building regulations costs to make sure that the new conversion complies with existing laws. Fees for this range from £400 to £800 depending on the complexity of the plans.
If you share a wall with a neighbour, you’ll also need a surveyor and a legal professional to draw up a Party Wall Agreement. Here, you get permission from the owners of surrounding properties to allow you to go ahead with work that involves any walls your share with them.
Finally, you may need a bat survey, which costs in the region of £400.
Dormer Loft Conversion Ideas
If you’re running low on dormer loft conversion ideas, take a look at the following:
- Dormer loft bedroom. Dormer loft bedrooms are one of the most popular ways of using a dormer loft conversion. With a new place to sleep, you can give your family more room, especially if kids must currently share.
- Dormer ensuite. Sometimes you don’t have enough space for en-suites because of the regular floor plan of your property. Dormer extensions, however, give you the freedom to affix a bathroom directly onto the bedroom itself.
- Peaceful escape. Finally, you may want a space in your home where you can get away from it all. An L-shaped dormer loft conversion gives you an elegant space for sofa, ottomans, rugs and furniture.
How Long Does a Dormer Loft Conversion Take?
Dormer conversions take around four and a half weeks to complete but can range up to seven weeks if the work is more complicated.
Dormer conversions may take longer if you have trouble getting planning permission (if you live in a restricted area) or if you share a party wall and are unable to get your neighbour’s permission immediately.
Even though dormer conversions take several weeks of planning and building to complete, they’re worth it. Once you have the extra space, you can open up your home in ways you never imagined and avoid moving. Overall, it is an investment that can help you save a lot of money.