Dormer Loft Conversions - The Low Down

Learn more about loft conversion dormer with our Low Down, dormer edition!

dormer loft conversions

If you are looking to embark on a loft conversion, you are probably wondering where to start. From working out whether your home is suitable, working out the rough loft conversion cost,  to knowing your Shed dormers from your Dog-house dormers, there is a wealth of questions to be asked and decisions to be made before you set sail on your loft conversion build. 

The different types of dormer loft conversion.

There are a range of different styles of dormer addition to suit any home. When thinking about your dormer loft conversion, it will be important to asses which of these would most suit your existing property style:
Shed dormer: a flat roof that slopes down. These are very popular in the US, and less so in the UK as they can be a costly way to complete a loft conversion, and aren’t always achievable in the older properties you often find in Britain due to the nature of the structures. 
Dog-house dormer: a dormer with a roof that has two pitched sides like a tiny house, hence the name; Dog House Dormer. These tend to be mid-range costing, and suit most house styles, especially Edwardian and Victorian style homes. 
Flat roof dormer: This is very much as described, a flat box shape which come out horizontally from the roof. These tend to be the cheapest option for dormers, because they are the least stylised, and the simplest to install. As with all flat roofs, they are prone to potential leakage in the long term. 
L-shaped dormer: An L-shaped dormer conversion is where two dormer builds are joined together in an L Shape. Usually a dormer will be built on the rear outrigger roof and the other on the main roof. These offer the opportunity to gain a lot of headroom.

Loft conversions for any kind of home.

Most homes are suitable for achieving a successful and great looking dormer loft conversion. Any property with a pitched roof and space in the loft can add a dormer. Properties with minimal headspace are perfect for dormers, but a dormer can be a great additions for any loft space requiring a little extra head height. 

Planning permission for dormer loft conversions

Like many small home extensions, a dormer loft conversion can possibly fall within your permitted development rights, meaning you won’t have to apply for planning permission. 
Permitted development only applies if your home addition fall within a strict set of criteria. 
For example, your home addition may not fall within permitted development rights if :
- You live in a conservation area, area of great natural beauty or in a listed building.
- The height of your dormer addition exceeds the height of the original roof.
- Your dormer is larger than 40 metres on a terrace house, or 50 metres on a semi-detached /or a detached home. 
- Your dormer features a balcony - though Juliet balconies are fine.
- The materials and finished used for your dormer are not in keeping with the overall appearance of your property.
- Your neighbours are entitled to a “right to light” which means any home addition, including a dormer addition
- If you have a protected species inhabiting your loft, such as Bats. You will need a special license to have them removed.

Building Regulations for dormer loft conversions.

Whilst you may be able to convert your Loft without planning permission, you will definitely require building regulations approval. This is an integral part of any structural work, and you must not proceed without approval from building control.

Complying with building control may require reports from a structural engineer, a surveyor and supported with architectural designs. This is to demonstrate that the space will be habitable, and safe once completed.
You’re designs should detail the following:
- Electricals
- Stair design
- Sound proofing
- Headroom
- Insulation
- Fire safety

Costs for dormer loft conversions

The cost of your loft conversion will depend on a variety of factors, including the chosen materials and finishes, the current condition of your loft and the complexity of your project. 
Dormer windows can cost in the remit of £5,000* to £15,000* range and can add space and light to an existing loft. Loft conversions which require a complete renovation (e.g. floor reinforcement, insulation, electrical work, lighting, a staircase and fire safety installations) usually start from £20,000+*. 
*Please note that these are rough estimates only. For a high-level indication of what your unique design will cost, the Refresh Process is designed to provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision.

The Green Homes Scheme 

The Green homes scheme , which offered grants for home improvements to make homes more energy efficient, ended on the 31 March 2021 and so any loft conversion projects which had not previously applied for help will not be eligible for grants. There may be help available from your individual councils, however you will likely have to meet a set of criteria which may be differ from council to council.

Adding value to your home with a loft conversion

As with any project which adds additional usable floorspace, a loft conversion can potentially increase the value in your home. Loft conversions are a particularly good way of adding space to properties which do not have the space to accommodate a traditional extension. 
According to , converting your loft into a bedroom has the potential to add up to 15% to the resale value of your home. 

Do Refresh offer dormer loft conversions?

Refresh will fully manage the design and build for your dormer loft conversion, including the design stages, planning permission if required and building regulations. We then utilise our connections with trusted and tested contractors to complete your project to the highest standard, whilst using our bespoke system and processes to schedule and budget your project accordingly, ensuring that it remains on budget and sticks to timelines. 

Would you like to learn more about Refresh?

We’re delighted to offer you a complimentary no-obligation consultation in your home to discuss the options for your loft conversion, so get in touch with Refresh today!

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